The Mentalist: Facial Expressions and Body Language for Kids

emotions poster

There is real magic in learning to read facial expressions and body language. Teaching Children how to read facial expressions and body language is undoubtedly an interesting subject.  It’s much like on the TV show “The Mentalist” where Patrick Jane uses the power of observation to tell if someone is being truthful, evasive or simply just lying. Children love the power of magic, and there is definitely a particular magic in being able to read someone else’s facial expressions and body language.

Did you know?
According to one study more than 70 percent of a child’s perception comes from observing the expressions on other people’s faces, so it is actually a skill learnt from a young age. Unfortunately, some children don’t develop this natural ability.  As a parent you are able to help your child read other peoples facial expressions and body language when in conversation and at play.  Having this ability is another valuable skill set for building your child’s confidence and self-esteem.

Activities to learn Facial Expressions

  • Watch movies and sitcoms specifically targeted toward your child’s age and make comments on the actions and expressions of the characters. Discuss with your child what emotion that character might be feeling or even what thoughts they could be thinking.
  • Look through the magazines, again make comments and ask your child to tell you what each person may be feeling or thinking by looking at their face. You are in essence teaching your child how particular looks are associated with particular feelings, be that happy, sad, inquisitive, confused, angry, fear, surprise, boredom, reminiscing, etc.


Body language skills to learn and observe:-

  • If someone is twitching, itching or moving their show eyes continuously about the room it could imply that they not being truthful in what they are saying.
  • People hiding their hands and palms from others can often mean that they may be evasive and shifty.
  • Folded arms across the chest often means that others are being “closed” or disinterested in what is being shared
  • When observing others touching their face, rubbing their nose, ears etc it can mean that the person is showing doubt with what they are saying or hearing

Teaching your child to interpret facial expressions and body language will build excellent social skills, they will be able to empathize and understand others better and will grow into kind generous successful and confident adults.  What more could you ask for as a parent?


Thomas Learning Centers provides NECPA accredited preschool and childcare at the most affordable rates in the Denver Metro Area.  Check us out at , click on the offers below, drop in for a visit to get to know more about us. We’d love to meet you!

Call  877-938-1442 for general info

Lakewood 303-237-0917 or Westminster 303-427-8831


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