Feeling-o-meter to help children identify and describe their feelings

My son gets frustrated and upset very quickly. He has a short fuse. He always describes his state as he’s “MAD”. Whatever happens he’s always mad and whenever that word comes out of his mouth, things get escalated pretty quickly.

I explained him that most probably he doesn’t get MAD in every situation. He doesn’t feel the same level of frustration every time. MAD is like an extreme feeling that he cannot get to in a split second. There must be other feelings he’s visiting, in between feeling happy and MAD.

We had the feelings list with pictures of facial expressions but I wanted a gauge looking scale to identify and describe his feelings. I googled “feeling meter”, “feeling scale”, “feeling gauge”, “feeling thermometer” and finally found this gauge here. Then both my son and daughter made the ones below for themselves.


We used it for a while which helped him describe the level of his frustration. Luckily, the gauge mostly stayed at yellow. When it went up it didn’t always get to MAD or FURIOUS as he was saying before. It might be harder for boys for verbalize their exact feelings. In my personal opinion, words also impact our self-image and feelings as well. (see NLP) It’s important to be able to use the correct description of the state.

We have this Feelings Pictures since the kids were much younger.

I’ve recently come around with this “Wheel of Emotions”, which I sometimes get help from to describe my own feelings. Printed out and laminated for the kids to review at their leisure.


  1. Angie says

    I am a teacher seeking help for a student who is having big anger issues. I am going to try this wheel with him because I feel like making it visual will help him. Thank you for sharing. I hope it works because I’m at my ropes end and I need to help him.

    • Practical Mama says

      Angie, I hope it helps. It is definitely a useful visual tool to help kids express their feelings. If you get a chance, let me know how it works out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>