Life Story Works


You could ask your child: ‘Show me a happy face, a sad face, act scared, ashamed etc.’ Have fun! Join in and ask them what face it is. Ask them to point to what face they feel today?

I like my -

It is hard for me to -

Sometimes I’m afraid to -

I would like a great big -

I hate it when -

I like to pretend I have -

I feel silly when -

When I grow up I want -

I don’t like to -

I would hate to loose my -

I love to give -

I was really scared when -

I was very happy the time that -

I would not like to live without -

I wish I could -

I wish people would stop -

I feel sad when -

I feel happiest when -

At night I like to -

I’m very good at -

I’d use a magic word to -

I don’t like it when people -

I feel like crying when -

Something at home I like very much is -

One of the best things about me is -

I sometimes wonder if -

I feel happy when people -

If I were a bird I would -  

If I were older/younger -

    This is a Mary Corrigan exercise for talking about feelings and gives some instant access to them.

  1. Bullet The child finishes the sentences and the adult jots down what they say.

  2. Bullet Move swiftly on to the next sentence if the child can’t think of anything to say.

  3. Bullet A child may find it easier to respond without eye contact so try sitting beside them looking straight ahead. 

  4. Bullet Do not analyse what they have said at the time - rather come back to anything that feels important later.

  1. Bullet    Do you want to put some colour in

        these faces?

  1. Bullet    Here is a picture of a volcano I have


  1. Bullet    Here are some faces with feelings I

        have made.

  1. Bullet    Here is a mask with an angry face and

        a happy face.

  1. Bullet    Draw me a picture of how you feel


  1. Bullet    Can you draw me a ‘____’ face?

  1. Bullet    Do you ever have feelings that are not

        here? Can you draw them?

Sometimes feelings all mix up together. 
A bit like the colours of a rainbow can. 
As you get older your feelings may change.
It is important to address the  child’s understanding of the world of feelings before you approach subjects such as the loss of family members. You can return to feelings after you have looked at some of the reasons for separation from birth family and you may find their understanding of their birth family situation is enhanced. Below are some exercises you can do with your child that help to talk about feelings.
You can download ‘emoticons’ or just search for images of ‘emotions’ and get your child to guess some of the expressions to help build up a vocabulary of positive and negative feelings. Try to end this section by talking about love.
We have lots of feelings.

Happy is when you feel very smiley!
Great is when you feel fine.
Sad is when you feel like crying.
Guilty is when you wish you had not done something.
Jealous is when you want something that someone else has got.
Surprised is when you see something new like presents on your birthday!
Angry is when you feel red inside and want to shout and hurt something or someone. 
Puzzled is when you feel muddled.
Excited is when you feel tickly inside.

The scribble exercise is where angry feelings can be explored and changed in a fun way, helps to approach the subject of anger. Go to USEFUL LINKS and

open up the pdf for Stella aged 7.




  1. Bullet    DESCRIBE FEELINGS - show illustrations, written descriptions

  2. Bullet    EXERCISES - Tips to involve children in Life Story Work


*See our section on babies needs