Short Animated Videos That Teach Kids about Emotions

By Sanika Natu, M.A Clinical Psychology

We know that one of the main features of autism is difficulty in identifying, managing, and expressing emotions. Learning to recognize and respond to other people’s emotions can help children with social interactions, thus, leading to improved self-esteem.

(For more information on how to teach your child to deal with emotions, you can refer to the article on iSmartmoms titled: ‘Emotions & Autism: Ways to Teach your Child to Deal with Emotions.’)

Along with employing the techniques mentioned in the above article, another great way of teaching your child about emotions is by using animations. Animations can be a fun way to teach children about things that are complex and may be otherwise difficult to explain.

Since shorts videos and animations are readily available and easily accessible, they make for ideal tools to help our children learn and gain a deeper understanding of certain concepts.


Here are a few short videos that will help your child learn about emotions:


Emotions, Self-esteem, and Empathy for Kids

(From Smile and Learn on YouTube)

This 10-minute video explains six basic emotions – happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise, and disgust through the ‘Wheel of Emotions.’ While describing each emotion, the video also talks about situations where we are most likely to experience that emotion.

Along with explaining these basic emotions, the video also talks about empathy through a fun short story. Children also get to learn about empathy through an interesting exercise.

This video is perfect for introducing your child to basic emotions and helping them understand what empathy is and how it manifests in everyday interactions.


“Emotions” – StoryBots

(From Netflix Jr. on YouTube)

Through catchy songs and dialogue, Storybots – the colorful and adorable creatures – sing about emotions and how each emotion makes us feel.

The catchy tunes paired with attractive animations are not only a treat for the eyes and ears, but also convey complex information in a fun and light manner.

With songs about feeling happy, grumpy, sad, scared, and silly, your child will learn about these emotions all the while being thoroughly entertained.


Why Do We Lose Control of Our Emotions?

(From Kids Want to Know on YouTube)

This easy-to-understand whiteboard animation uses the hand/brain model to help children learn about emotions.

By explaining how our brains work to manage our emotions, this video makes understanding emotions easier for children.

Perfect for elementary-aged children, the animation makes for a perfect foundational resource to help your child learn about the basics of emotional regulation.

Inside Out: Guessing the Feelings

(From Laia Garcia on YouTube)

This video features a few snippets from the movie Inside Out that allow the viewer to guess what emotions the main character in the movie – Riley – is feeling.

The interactive video shows Riley going through multiple situations before asking the viewer, ‘How is she feeling?’

This witty video is amazing for teaching your child about the basic emotions of happiness, anger, sadness, fear, and disgust while helping them correlate the particular emotion to the appropriate circumstance.


Sesame Street: Name That Emotion with Murray!

(From Sesame Street on YouTube)

Murray, a beloved character from the popular T.V show Sesame Street encourages viewers to ‘Name that emotion’ in this fun and engaging video.

Your child has to guess what emotion each of the characters is feeling by paying attention to the tone of their voice along with the situation they are describing.

For example, Mr. Tiger is seen crying over his dropped ice cream. What emotion is he feeling?

Through the game, children get a chance to relate to the characters while learning about the situation the character is in and assigning appropriate emotions to the situations being described.


“Sanika Natu has a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and has experience in working with children.

Sanika is passionate about destigmatizing mental health in India, and her work in that area includes a study on emotional empathy, resilience and mental well-being among young adults, besides writing articles for iSmartmoms.”

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