First, I love the subdued muted colors on the packing and the cards. It is an adorable, whimsical set for those who loved unplugged play with their children, plus it will look adorable enough to put on your coffee table to play whenever and as often as you like.
There are so many variations to play this card game and depending on the child's age you can go with a memory game, an emotion game, or they can just recognize one of the 8 emotions fear, love, joy, disgust, sadness, excitement, surprise and anger.
When I brought it to work for my fellow teachers to give me their thoughts many loved the fact that you can ask many open questions to get your child to talk about emotions and what might elicit an emotion.
You can talk about what might have caused the animal to experience the emotion on the card as well as ask them the last time they experienced one of the emotions and what caused it.
I love this game. Talking about emotions with children is so important. During our morning circle time we talk about emotions. I point to faces on my wall asking the children what the face is telling us as well as ask them what face shows how they are feeling today. Helping children to learn how to identify their own emotions as well as others is an important part of growing up. Toddlers don't always have the words to explain how they are feeling but they can learn simple words like I am sad, happy, excited, etc. Knowing them at a young age will help them better deal with their emotions later in life as well as how to effectively express their feelings to elicit the response that will allow them to flourish even before they have all their words to let us know how they REALLY feel.
Children who know how to identify and express their feelings will do better in school, know sympathy and empathy, have stable relationships, be confident and have a great self image. All positives!
Be sure to talk to your child about how they are feeling and letting them know how you feel too! Always lead by example!