Emotions and big feelings are tough to explain to kids, and it is also challenging for them to understand that having these feelings is okay. It’s also OK to feel more than one emotion at a time! Sensory play is an excellent opportunity to talk about emotions and big or little feelings.

Have you seen the movie Inside Out yet? Riley had quite a few BIG emotions going on inside her body. We used our favorite slime recipe to create Joy, Anger, Fear, Disgust, and Sadness emotions to encourage exploring these emotions at home.

How do you feel some days? Can you feel joy and fear at the same time? Disgust and anger? Joy and sadness and fear? Yes, it’s possible to have many emotions so much that they spill into one another.

This hands-on sensory play emotions activity explores emotions and encourages kids to talk about their feelings. Our awesome slime allows kids to visualize emotions ranging from Joy to Anger. Explore emotions by combining bits of pieces of different colors to represent how you feel about certain situations.

Also, You Can Explore: All About Me Activities and Collage


Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after playing with slime.  If your slime gets a little messy, it does happen; check out my tips for how to get slime out of clothes and hair!


  • 1/2 Cup of Washable PVA Clear Glue or White Glue 
  • 1/4-1/2 Cup of Liquid Starch
  • 1/2 Cup of Water
  • Food coloring


STEP 1:  In a bowl add 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup glue and mix well to combine completely.

STEP 2: Now’s the time to add color, glitter, or confetti!

Remember when you add color to white glue, the color will be lighter. Use clear glue for jewel-toned colors!

You can never add too much glitter! Mix the glitter and color into the glue and water mixture.

STEP 3: Pour in 1/4 cup of liquid starch and stir well.

You will see the slime immediately start to form and pull away from the sides of the bowl. Keep stirring until you have a gooey blob of slime. The liquid should be gone! 

STEP 4:  Start kneading your slime! It will appear stringy at first but just work it around with your hands and you will notice the consistency change.

SLIME MAKING TIP:   The trick with liquid starch slime is to put a few drops of the liquid starch onto your hands before picking up the slime. However, keep in mind that although adding more liquid starch reduces the stickiness, and it will eventually create a stiffer slime.

Slime Tips

I halved our homemade slime recipe so we didn’t have too much slime! I followed the same recipe using a 1/4 cup measure instead of a 1/2 cup. If you have more kids, use the full recipe!

Mixing the glue and water together is the best time to add color to your slime. Add liquid food coloring once you have thoroughly mixed the glue and water. Feel free to add glitter if you like, and use clear glue!

What are different emotions?

  • Joy: 5 drops of yellow food coloring.
  • Anger: About 40 drops of red food coloring {otherwise it can look on the pinker side}.
  • Sadness: 5-10 drops of blue food coloring.
  • Disgust: 5-10 drops of green food coloring.
  • Fear: 2 drops each of red and blue food coloring.

Can you have more than one emotion about a situation?

When you begin exploring emotions with your kid, point out how it’s okay to feel many ways about what is happening! We are preparing to move to a new house. My son has only really known the place that we are in now. This is an excellent opportunity to explore emotions using sensory play. When the hands are busy, a great conversation can happen!

My son chose anger, sadness, and some fear to begin exploring emotions about moving. I hadn’t realized he felt so much anger about it since he seemed so excited. This was a fantastic opportunity to talk about moving and exploring emotions around such a significant change for him. He did add joy because he can finally have a trampoline in the backyard.

Explore emotions and see how they all connect and run together. Our beautiful slime is stretchy, silky, and soft. We have always found that slime is fantastic for calming sensory play, but we have various sensory play ideas to try!

Every person has all these emotions inside. Talk about them all when you are exploring emotions with your kids.

What happens when emotions become BIG EMOTIONS?

Sometimes our emotions become really big emotions, and they run over! We can cry. Exploring emotions through play is an excellent way for your kid to understand that feeling these things is okay.

  • We can yell in anger.
  • We can laugh with joy.
  • We can hide in fear. We can walk away in disgust.

Sometimes, our emotions all run together. Our emotions make us who we are.

Help your child find appropriate ways to deal with emotions. Provide a special place in the house that is comforting and filled with favorite things. This should be a safe place that is not considered a time-out or a punishment.

Read books about feelings and leave them out for your kids to look through. Sensory bottles, balloons, or even this slime can be very effective ways to help children calm themselves or relieve anxiety. Our All About Me activities come with some great book suggestions!

Exploring emotions through sensory play is all about connecting with your kids, engaging with your kids, and understanding your kids. You may even learn a few things along the way like I did. Kids can have difficulty just sitting down and discussing feelings like adults would. Through sensory play and time spent together, exploring emotions with your kids will be a great experience.

Printable Preschool Pack

Get ready to explore this year with our growing Preschool STEM Bundle! Or grab the individual Preschool 5 Senses Pack.

What’s Included:

There are 5 fun preschool themes to get you started. This is an ” I can explore” series!

Each unit contains approximately 15 activities, with instructions and templates as needed. Hands-on activities are provided to keep it fun and exciting. This includes sensory bins, experiments, games, and more! Easy supplies keep it low cost and book suggestions add the learning time.


  1. Sarah – I absolutely love this analogy for emotions and think it ‘s such a great idea to get kids talking! I’m going to include it in a roundup of similar ideas this week. Can’t wait to try this with my son – I think we’ll talk about how he feels about kindergarten approaching.

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