Activities & Games

Emotional Scavenger Hunt
Kindergarten-5th Grade

Allotted Time

20-40 minutes

Target Behavior

Describe how they are feeling
Group of kindergarten kids friends holding magnifying glass for explore

Words to Live By

I love and accept who I am on the inside and know my emotions are nothing to hide.
Share your emotions

Children who share their emotions can:

IDENTIFY a range of emotions

DESCRIBE emotions associated with personal experiences

SHARE feelings in a range of contexts (speaking, writing, drawing)

USE “I-statements” to express various emotions


Students hunt around the location for hidden letters of the alphabet. The group works together to brainstorm emotion words starting with the letter they find.


  • Alphabet letters printed out and hung around the school

How to Play

  1. Prep Work: Print off the alphabet provided in the download link of the activity and cut out each letter. Hang each letter around the designated location in places where students can find them, matching difficulty level to age/ability. Letters do not have to be hung or found in alphabetical order.
  2. Explain that the group will be hunting for all the letters of the alphabet. Remind them that it’s important for everyone to stay with the group and work together during the emotional scavenger hunt.
  3. Once the group finds a letter, they must brainstorm and come up with an emotion that starts with that letter.  After coming up with a correct emotion, the group then completes the action on the card and moves onto searching for another letter.
  4. Remind the group that there are 26 letters in the alphabet so we’ll have to move quickly to find all the letters! Since there are a few letters that would be hard for students to do, you can leave out K, Q, and X in your hunt, leaving only 23 letters.
  5. Keep your group engaged and having fun by trying some of these transition activities as you search for each letter:
    • Act like the emotion word we just found
    • Walk like your favorite animals
    • Act like quiet ninjas
    • Make a train with your arms on the shoulders of the person in front of you
    • Walk like a runway model
    • Do a soldier march

Activity Prompts for Reflection

  • Can anyone share how they were a good team player during this activity?
  • What was a good choice you made during the scavenger hunt?
  • Was there any time that it was hard to control yourself during the emotional scavenger hunt?
  • Did anyone learn any new emotion words that they want to share with the group?
  • What was something that was challenging for you to do during this scavenger hunt?

Other Ways to Play

  • After all letters have been found, have the group work together to put the letters in alphabetical order.
  • If students are having a hard time thinking of a variety of emotion words you can teach them a new one with each new letter. Then ask them to think of a time they felt that emotion to help them critically think and remember the new emotion better.
  • Give each student a turn writing the emotion word that the group came up with on the alphabet letter card.
  • Divide the group into two smaller groups and have them come to you and share their letter and emotion word each time they find one.
  • Challenge the group to find the letters in alphabetical order.

Additional Notes

  • Use the SEL Activity Prompts to tie other SEL competencies to this activity.
  • Keep in mind the amount of time you have for this activity and make sure you are hiding the letters in places where the students can find them in the time provided.
  • If your group is having trouble thinking of emotion words you can help them by using the following link to Skill Builder – Emotional Alphabet.


Emotional Scavenger Hunt Cut-Out Alphabet

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