Music has a way of tapping into our deepest emotions. So use it to teach children about emotional states with these musical activities:
Mood music (Preschool & early elementary)
Mash up a tape of many different song snippets, each about 15 to 30 seconds in length, until you have a compilation that is about 5 minutes long. Play it for the kids, and have them perform exaggerated facial expressions and dance moves according to what each song makes them feel.
Emotional musical chairs (Preschool & Elementary)
Play a sort of mood musical chairs by using masking tape to affix either smiley faces or frowny faces on the chairs. When the music stops, have kids rush for a smiley face chair. Take one smiley face chair out of the circle with each round, while leaving all the frowny face ones. Play the game until the last child manages to sit in the last 'happy chair.'
Musical art (All ages)
Set up your art activities to different types of emotional music for a little creative inspiration. Afterwards, talk with children about whether or not listening to the music influenced their artwork in any way.
Music show and share (All ages)
Have kids bring in a song from their favorite band for show and tell. Have them describe why they like that song and what emotions they feel when listening to it, then playa short snippet of that song.