Blue Jelly Beans

Feeling & Expressing
Feeling & Expressing

Participants will explore how the various parts of body work together to display to others how we are feeling. This activity exercises the participants’ emotional expression through the hands, face, and voice.


  • Any object to designate as “the feelings stick”


Whatever object you have, explain to the group that it is called “the feelings stick” and that anyone who holds it will speak through an emotion.


  1. Gather all participants into a circle.
  2. Describe an emotion and then pass “the feelings stick” to the next person in the circle. 
  3. Each participant must display the emotion with their hands, face, and voice by only saying “blue jelly beans”.
  4. Play three rounds with easy emotions like happy, sad, and angry.
  5. After the basic emotions are complete, try more complex emotions like nervous, surprised, or jealous.


  • Change it up and have participants demonstrate emotions through only one or two of the methods of expression. Disallow the use of hand gestures, get rid of the phrase, or blind fold everyone to eliminate the face expression.
  • Try this activity (or the previous “Modify” suggestion) without prompting the group with an emotion and allowing each participant to imagine and display their own. Have the rest of the group guess and, whether right or wrong, have them explain why they guessed what they did. (What about the hands, voice, or face prompted that guess?)


  • Some participants may struggle with appropriately displaying emotions. Make sure to reinforce the notion that not everyone shows emotions the same way and that the goal to recognize individual differences.


After ending the activity, reconvene for a brief reflection by posing to them some questions like:

  • Why do you think we all expressed our emotions differently?
  • What emotion was the hardest to display?
  • What emotion was the easiest to display?
  • Was it easier displaying emotions with your hands, voice, or face?

Submitted by Somerset West Community Health Centre.

Originally sourced from: Journey Toward the Classroom Using the Adventure to Create Community Second Edition by Laurie S. Frank.