Funky Fish Feelings

Exploring Oceans of Emotions

Fabulous fish characters for helping you to describe feelings!

$55.00 inc. GST

Product Code: 2850

Available on back-order

If you’ve ever pressed your nose to an aquarium and been disappointed by the blank expressions returned, then grab your snorkel and plunge with us into the burbling watery world of Funky Fish Feelings!

These are fish with attitude, and some might bear an uncanny resemblance to people you know! Which one are you today? The flummoxed flounder? The cranky crab? What about the despondent dolphin or the shy shark?

These 48 quirky critters of the deep can be used in similar ways to The Bears and Stones …have feelings too! But each card also features a cute little seahorse named Farr Lapp, who plays the role of observer. Having an observer as a witness creates different ways of building conversations, and can turn a two-person dialogue into a ‘trialogue’.

  • What do you think the seahorse is seeing?
  • Do you think the seahorse could have a different perspective from yours?
  • If the seahorse knows the fish really well, might this change his response to the emotion displayed?

Funky Fish Feelings will find many creative uses in the hands of teachers and human service workers, and the cards are ideal for icebreakers, storytelling, family sculpting exercises and therapeutic conversations. So whether you’re sailing on the high seas or paddling in the shallows, take a dip below the foam and say hello to these fabulous aquatic personalities!

Published by Innovative Resources, 2011
ISBN: 978 1 920945 503
48 full-colour, laminated cards 210mm x 150mm
Polypropylene box, accompanied by 24-page booklet
Author: Russell Deal
Designer and illustrator: Kate Northover

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Stories and Reviews

‘Kate is 11 years old and has come from a very traumatic background. Since entering Foster Care three years ago, she has had 17 different placements ranging from placements with family members, Home Based Care placements and Residential Care placements. She struggles to articulate her emotions and regulate herself, which becomes challenging when she is trying to express how  and what is making her feel the way she does.

I have been working with Kate a lot, using a variety of card sets every week for different activities. We use the Ups and Downs cards, Cars ‘R’ Us and The Bears. We use them to talk about ‘highlights of the day’ and how we are feeling, and explore what happens when we trust people and what trust looks like, how we can feel safe, and create a plan or set goals for the next week. Her range of emotions is extremely limited. However, the cards prompt Kate to expand her capacity to express herself and encourage Kate’s primary carers to assist her in working through challenges that arise.

I suggested the Funky Fish Feelings cards after a discussion with Kate about the possibility of her having her own set of cards, which she could use with her carers at any time. Kate enjoys craft activities, sport, drawing, playing games on her Nintendo DS, playing guitar and dancing. She is very artistic and I thought Funky Fish Feelings would be excellent and appeal to her. Plus, they would be a different type of card set from the ones we use in our sessions—they would be special and specific to her home environment.

I know Kate will greatly appreciate the cards—she continuously asks me ‘Have you got them yet?’ And I will keep you posted about how the cards go.’

Phalen Taylor, Family Worker, St Luke’s Anglicare.


From ‘Equine Magic,’ SOON 63, January 2014

In an era when health and welfare organisations are notoriously risk-averse, Emily McVeigh’s Ballarat-based centre, Equine Learning Experiences Australia (ELEA), has been busting the trend with some remarkable results. On paper, the idea of placing vulnerable individuals in close proximity to 500kg of solid horseflesh would usually send a shudder down the spine of CEOs and program managers. But ELEA, in fact, is thriving with the support of therapists, psychologists, schools and disability services, who are seeing firsthand the life-changing outcomes of Emily’s programs.

Innovative Resources’ card sets are used in a number of ways to complement equine therapy processes. In her work with autistic children, Emily has found Funky Fish Feelings to be particularly effective. Emily sees an ongoing role for Innovative Resources’ card sets and is keen to keep experimenting with them. Flimsy cards and hunky horses may seem an unlikely combination. But for those of her clients who struggle with naming and verbalising feelings, the cards are just the ticket for putting emotions back into very human terms.