Stone experiments

Expressing feelings

“Expressing feelings” is a workshop that focuses on getting children to think about how feelings are mediated through facial expressions and what the nuances of these feelings are.

The experiment trains the children’s ability to mimic feelings in terms of facial expressions and provide a playful way to dive into how different feelings are related and differentiate from each other.


Quick facts about the experiment:

Target group

1. Mixed group of ASD and neurotypical children (max 10 children) 2. ASD children (1-1 special education teacher + child)


Teacher / special education teacher

Time scale

30 minutes


classroom or individual therapy room


1. promote integration 2. education


Stones, “secret bag” to draw from, acrylic markers, papers, pencils


How to:

  1. Have the children name feelings and write the different feelings down on pieces of paper.
  1. Each child picks a paper and draws a face on a stone, which expresses the feeling he or she picked
  1. Put all the stones in a “secret bag” where no one can see inside it.
  1. Every child blind draws a stone from the “secret bag” and doesn’t show to the others which stone they got.
  1. The children make a facial expression that is like the face on the stone they picked, and the others must guess which feeling it is.


Variations of the exercise:

  1. Try to find feeling pairs: which feelings are in the same categories? – e.g. happy and excited are in the same family, angry and annoyed are in the same family and so on. How are these feelings related? And how are they different from each other?
  1. Bidding with coins about positive feelings and explaining why you want to bid on that feelings. Why did you choose to bid 2 coins on “excited”? Why is it an important feeling for you?
  1. Paint masks that express the feelings. Decorate them with colours and other materialt. Which materials and colours suit happiness? Sadness? Shyness?