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Few things are as appealing to the whole family like a movie night at home to provide long awaited rest, relaxation, and family bonding, am I right?  So as soon as I heard Inside Out was available for purchase, we ran over to Walmart to buy it because, naturally!

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When I first heard about the Inside Out movie, I was excited for my kids to see a movie I knew would appeal to them that was full of pro-social content good for their emotional development.

Like most parents we carefully monitor our children’s media intake, mindful not to expose them to any undue aggression or adult references.  After all, there are so many high quality TV shows and movies for kids out there, so we figure why waste screen time when we don’t have to?  This is where top notch programming like Inside Out comes in.  This was our definitely our favorite Pixar film to date and just an all around excellent movie. The message is so encouraging and validating, incorporating every emotion children experience on a daily basis!

Kids face peer pressure, worries, fears, and negative influences so frequently yet they often have a hard time verbalizing their struggles.  Sometimes even the most communicative kids need a little help bridging the gap between how they feel and what they want to do about it.


So I was thinking about how I could take the thematic elements of the story further to make the most of the teachable moments embedded in this gem of a movie.  We decided to use some printable images we found here to make our own ‘pocket puppets’ for a little role-playing.  You could also use these bigger images with the biggest popsicle sticks or clothespins you can find, if your children would rather have more of a mask look.  My kids always loved putting on unique shows, no matter their age or stage, so I knew they’d have fun really making this activity their own!

Feelings Role Play Activity

Simply print the images and attach them with glue dots or glue to popsicle sticks or clothespins and let your kids lead the way!  See where the conversation takes you, relax, and let it be open-ended.  This activity will encourage your child to explore depths of emotions they may otherwise stuff or shy away from. Sometimes putting the focus on something or someone else rather than making it all about you helps all of us open up a little more!

You can even extend the role playing fun with the Inside Out Tomy Toy products to have a 3D set of characters to bring the role play to life that much more so!   Our favorites are the huggable, squeezable characters – they kinda make kids feel like they just get you, ya know?  They get sad, mad, fearful, and disgusted too  😉  The Inside Out movie is the perfect reminder that we need all of our emotions – every single one of them. Even when some of them can be exhausting or confusing.

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End of Day Conversation Starter

Another fun variation of this activity would be to lay each of the characters down, face up on the table  (as pictured above). Then have the kiddos (or even the whole family) identify the predominant emotion of their day by choosing the character that best fit their day overall.  Use this as a springboard to discuss the highs and lows and why you each felt about them as you did.


You may event want to try one other spin on this using these character sticks in a different way.  My family decided to each pick a movie character off the table (as pictured above) – we could see our own, but not each other’s.  We each took turns outwardly expressing our chosen emotion while everyone else guessed how we were “feeling”  🙂  Just one more way to work with these as props that we all ended up enjoying!

Is your child overwhelmed by emotions? Try these simple activities for processing feelings!

When you purchase the Inside Out DVD or and Blu-Ray at Walmart, it includes 20 minutes of exclusive bonus content and deleted scenes. My daughters LOVED these bonuses!  Be sure to pick up your own copy of Inside Out at Walmart – I’d love to hear about your DVD viewing plans!