Home of the Bear Cards

The Bear Cards® Games

Use imagination to get people comfortably talking about feelings in a fun way. Children learn to express feelings more easily by increasing their ability to recognise, name and describe them.

  • Cut the Deck, Me Hearties!

    Cut the Deck, Me Hearties

    Intro:
    This game encourages players to identify feelings and use imagination to explore how and why different feelings arise.

    Play:
    Shuffle the cards.
    Players make up a pirate name and introduce themselves to the other players.

    Pirates take turns in ‘cutting the deck’ to select a card, placing it face up in front of them and returning the rest of the cards from their cut to the deck.

    Pirates are invited to name the feeling of the card they have chosen and make up ‘piratey’ story about why they feel that way.
    Pirates cut the deck again and name the new feeling, telling what happened next in the story.

    If the pirates are enjoying themselves, they can keep cutting the deck and continue the stories.

    Example:
    At the first cut a player reveals a sad bear. Their story might go like this: “I feel
    lonely. Today we visited a small island. I fell asleep and when I woke up the other pirates
    had left me there all alone.”
    At the second cut, the same player reveals an angry bear. “Now I am very angry because they stole my money as well.”
    On the third cut, the player reveals a very happy bear. “I was so angry that I threw my sword at the ground. It made a strange sound and I realised that it hit a buried chest full of treasure. Now I am very happy.”

  • Go Feel!

    Go Feel!

    Intro:
    Go Feel! is like ‘Go Fish’ – except it encourages players to name and describe feelings to win.

    Play:

    Shuffle the pack and deal seven cards to each player.
    Players only get to see their own ‘hand’.
    The rest of the cards are put in an unruly pile, face down, in the centre.

    The aim is to collect consecutive numbered cards and lay them face up on the table, in runs. For example; 24,25 or 6,7,8.
    Players can add single cards to other people’s runs at any time.

    Each player, in turn, can ask any other player for a card that shows one of the following:
    a feeling – such as “Ruby, do you have a very sad bear?”
    or a behaviour – such as “Ruby, do have a crying bear?”
    or an experience – such as “Ruby, do you have a bear that has lost it’s favourite toy?”
    They cannot ask for a card by number or colour.

    If Ruby has a bear that matches the request, she gives it to the player who asked for it.

    If the number on the card is consecutive to any cards in their hand, they can put them down as a ‘run’ and have another turn.

    If the number is not consecutive to any others, the card is kept by the player who asked for it.

    If, however, Ruby does not have a very sad bear, she says “Go Feel!” and the player chooses another card by ‘feel’ from anywhere in the centre pile.

    The player who runs out of cards first is the winner.

  • I Remember…

    I Remember…

    Intro:
    I Remember… is a fun way to practice actively listening to, and acknowledging others’ feelings.

    Play:
    Shuffle the pack and deal 4 cards to each player, face down.
    Players look at their cards and then put them face down in a row.

    Each player, in turn, turns over one card for all to see.
    They name the feeling shown on the card and describe a real or imagined event that could trigger that feeling.
    The card is left face up.
    i.e. ‘Josh’ turns over a smiling bear and says “Happy, this is how I feel when someone smiles at me.”
    Other players need to listen carefully to remember the feeling and the event.

    Continue until all the cards are face up.

    All players now turn their cards face down without changing their order.

    Players take turns choosing another player’s card. They turn it over, say the feeling and describe the event as told by the card’s ‘owner’. i.e. “Josh feels happy when other people smile at him”.

    If they can remember and repeat the story well enough, they take the card and keep it.

    If they can’t remember the feeling or the event, the ‘owner’ of the card gets to keep it.

    Continue until no cards are left. The player with the most cards wins. If two players have the same number of cards – they both win!

  • Shopkeeper

    ShopKeeper

    Intro:
    Shopkeeper is about the connection between feelings and events.

    Play:
    Shuffle the cards and deal one to each player.

    The player with the highest number becomes Shopkeeper.

    Return the cards to the bottom of the deck.

    Shopkeeper holds the deck of cards and asks each player, “What would you like to buy?”
    The player asks for anything they want.

    When asked for an item Shopkeeper says “Yes, we have only one of those left and here it is” and places a card face down in front of the player.
    The players must not look at the cards.

    When each player has a card, the Shopkeeper asks each in turn “What happened when you took your (item) home?”
    Each player makes up a story about the item they bought.
    They then turn over their card for all to see.

    Shopkeeper then chooses the winner by deciding whose story best matches the feeling on their card.
    The winner becomes Shopkeeper for the next round.

    Example:
    Player A asks Shopkeeper for a box of chocolates. Player B asks for a pet elephant. Shopkeeper then asks each player, “What happened when you took your box of chocolates/elephant home?” Player A says “The chocolates taste like soap.” Player B says “I went for a long ride on the elephant.” Player A turns over a happy bear and Player B turns over a frightened bear. Shopkeeper decides that a frightened elephant rider is more likely than a happy soap eater, and declares Player B to have the best match. Player B becomes Shopkeeper in the next round.

    If played by only 2 players the Shopkeeper also ‘buys’ a card and the best match is determined by agreement.

  • The Mystery Package

    The Mystery Package

    Intro:
    This game encourages players to think and talk about how feelings relate to their expectations.

    Play:

    Shuffle the pack and deal a card to each player, face down. Do not look at the cards.
    Each player, in turn, pretends that a mystery package has arrived in the post and they guess what’s inside it.
    Then each player, in turn, opens their package by turning over the card.
    They must then explain why they felt like the bear on the card.

    Example:
    A player guesses the package contains a new pair of shoes. Their card shows an angry bear. The player says the shoes are both for left feet.

  • What if…?

    What if…?

    This game requires situation cards. The free download Game Cards1 has 64 situation cards for school aged children on 8 A4 pages.

    Intro:

    This game is a fun way to look at how situations may bring out different feelings.

    Play:

    The dealer shuffles The Bear Cards and deals five cards to each player.
    Players only get to see their own ‘hand’.

    After players have picked up their hand – place another card face down in front of each player.
    Players may not look at this card.

    Shuffle and place the situation cards face down in the middle.

    The first player says “What if..?”, picks up a situation card and reads it out.
    This player then chooses a card from their own hand, places it face up, names the feeling and says why they may feel this way about the situation.

    All players takes turns.

    As the game continues, the players have less cards to choose from. If the cards do not appear to match the given situation, the players will have to invent a reason why they would feel this way.

    Continue until all the players have used the cards in their hand.

    The dealer then says “What if…?” and turns over the next situation card.
    All players turn over their last card and, in turn, name the feeling and give a reason why they would feel that way.

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