Common Sense


Emotional Intelligence Apps and Games

It can be tough for students of any age to understand what they're feeling and to channel those feelings in ways that help them be better people and better learners. The key for these kids is emotional intelligence: knowing what emotions are, how they work, and how to use them and manage them for social interaction and learning. Students also need the capacity to recognize other people's emotions, to discriminate among the different feelings, and to label them appropriately. This collection of top-notch apps and games will help students with everything from anger management to emotion identification to meditation.

Interested in more lessons and activities for supporting students' social and emotional learning? Explore our SEL in Digital Life Resource Center.

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Top Picks


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Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings

Songs and activities help kids express, recognize, understand emotions

Bottom line: Daniel Tiger and his friends present excellent examples for kids who are just learning healthy emotional expression.

Bouncy the People Trainer

Thorough, thoughtful multimedia social-emotional learning experience

Bottom line: Important info for all kids is especially helpful for at-risk students.

Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame

Sesame Street winner teaches kids how to keep calm and carry on

Bottom line: Highly effective tool for whole-class instruction or one-on-one intervention.

Zoo Academy

Uncage compassion and learn social-emotional awareness with a cast of cute zoo animals

Bottom line: Interactive program with practice activities teaches SEL to young students.


Complete SEL units in a neat and tidy package

Bottom line: Detailed social and emotional learning lessons provide teachers with almost everything they'll need to spark positive character development and reflection in their students.


Shake up SEL lessons with music and movement

Bottom line: Fun for students, easy for teachers, QuaverSEL uses the power of music to boost social and emotional learning.


Relaxing and serene app helps incorporate peace into daily life

Bottom line: If you're looking for a captivating app to teach relaxation and calming skills to students, Calm is an essential tool to add to your toolbox.

Touch and Learn - Emotions

Free app helps kids identify emotions, recognize body language

Bottom line: Bridges the gap between feeling or witnessing emotions and using words to describe them.

Wisdom: The World of Emotions

Quirky game helps kids recognize and regulate anger in self and others

Bottom line: If they can get through the confusing bits, students will be able to identify, label, and perhaps manage strong feelings of anger or frustration.

Emotional ABCs Classroom

Strong learning approach to mastering SEL competencies

Bottom line: Excellent program for teaching young kids emotion identification, regulation, and social relationships.

Hopster Saturday Club: Empathy

Explore range of emotions to help kids ID feelings and spark discussion

Bottom line: This could be a fun introduction to talking about a variety of emotions and how to recognize them in others.

AIM Buddy Project

Well-organized SEL program pairs older and younger students for discussion

Bottom line: The AIM Buddy Project is an enjoyable, effective program for teaching SEL concepts and making elementary students feel more connected with each other.

Mindful Powers

Care for a cute creature to practice mindfulness and self-control

Bottom line: Meditation lessons and visual timers act as decent supplemental activities for introducing SEL skills.

Zoo U

Research-based social game has terrific assessment potential

Bottom line: A powerful and focused social problem-solving game designed to reach kids who need direct instruction.

Mind Yeti

Calming program with cute characters helps center kids

Bottom line: If you're someone who needs mindfulness-based approaches, Mind Yeti's characters could be the right fit.

Insight Timer

Popular mindfulness app offers daily, guru-guided meditation practice

Bottom line: This expert-guided SEL tool can help students -- and teachers -- build lifelong habits for relaxation, reflection, and focus.

Common Sense Selection


Connect with classrooms around the world using built-in activities

Bottom line: Teachers will find almost everything they need to create the opportunity for meaningful exchanges with students from faraway places.


Basic mood journal can help kids build self-awareness

Bottom line: Simple tool for a quick, daily check-in on students' emotions.

Me: A Kid's Diary

Unique take on self-exploration relies on prompts to guide reflection

Bottom line: With plenty of ways to express and document their thoughts and more, this app can help students learn something new about themselves.

Better World Ed

Wordless videos link core subjects, SEL; connect students to the world

Bottom line: If your school or home can afford it, Better World Ed is a well-done interdisciplinary curriculum that will expand students' global view.

Hall of Heroes

Responsive game helps students prepare for transition to middle school

Bottom line: Wonderful and fun social-interaction game designed to teach cooperation and friendship skills needed for middle school and beyond.

Character Playbook

Realistic comic book-style stories help build healthy relationships

Bottom line: A valuable series of modules to get kids thinking about how their choices help build strong character.

The Mood Meter

Well-designed tool encourages kids to reflect on and manage emotions

Bottom line: Appealing, thought-provoking tool builds emotional intelligence.

Calm Harm - Manages Self Harm

Immediate help for teens struggling with harmful urges

Bottom line: Powerful therapeutic tool teaches positive coping skills and mental wellness.

Smiling Mind

Quick and easy meditation practice for busy classroom lives

Bottom line: This easy-to-follow meditation program can help reduce stress and support social and emotional learning.


Insightful, minimalist app gets students tracking emotions and values

Bottom line: A practical tool to use in combination with discussion about emotional intelligence and character development.

Please Knock on My Door

Effective and affecting game about dealing with depression

Bottom line: A slow-paced SEL game for helping students understand the nuances of managing mental health.


Incredibly relatable story about navigating adult love and life

Bottom line: This heartwarming game helps kids empathize with the highs and lows of romantic relationships.

Get tips for using these tools in the classroom

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