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Just released!

[Free Printable] 3 Youtube Animations to Teach Perspective Taking Skills


Recommended age: 6-14

Includes: 3 PDF pages

Download here or at the end of the post

Use: As an educational tool and activity to teach the different types of anger

Will enhance social and emotional skills:

Self Awareness - Identify own feelings and emotions

Social Awareness - Empathy for others

Relationship skills - Listening and perspective-taking


A wonderful form of media I use with children to strengthen their social and emotional skills are short animation films on Youtube. Since most children enjoy watching animations, the films are perfect to leverage into educational content!

The best short animation films to use are those that contain social and emotional themes or relevant social interactions. Which can be turned into educational tools by creating interactive activities to examine these themes. The activities can include: discussions, drawings, or simple games done in 1:1 or group settings.

I started using short animation films two years ago in my psychotherapy sessions with the children and families I work with. And I found the films and activities have been a huge hit on strengthening relationships and enhancing children's social and emotional skills.

This activity idea was inspired by speech and language pathologist Ann Vagin, PhD. She is one of the first professionals I encountered who encouraged using Youtube animations, she even wrote a book on it, YouCue Feelings: Using Online Videos for Social Learning!

In this article, I will highlight three excellent films at teaching perspective taking skills to children. And share the activities I created for them, all downloadable in PDF format (link above and below the post). And for context, I will also discuss how I choose the animation films.

Choosing the films

As you already know, Youtube is a wonderful source of video content. The only problem is finding the right films. So I carefully combed through Youtube's vast library and narrowed down a wonderful collection. This is the criteria I found to be most effective on creating social skills activities:

Films that feature relevant social and emotional content

  • Social interactions between characters (conflicts, working together, collaboration, etc.)

  • Show use of social and emotional skills (problem solving, perspective taking, empathy, self awareness, etc.)

  • Display personal values (honesty, integrity, perseverance, etc.)

  • Social themes (challenges, grief and loss, )


  • Most of the films I choose average 4 minutes in length. Although 4 minutes may appear short, it is enough to tell a story, and long enough where children will remember the details.

Source and Quality

Children today are great at evaluating animation quality. So the quality of the animation and storytelling can make a difference in engaging them. The animations need to have quality sound, look, feel and with fluid motions. The story should also be authentic and original.

It doesn't have to be Pixar quality, but similar is important. The animations I find that often meet this criteria are created by student and professional animators. And thanks to their willingness to share their creations, we can make meaningful use of them!

In addition, it is best to choose HD (high definition) video quality over non-HD resolutions of 360p or 480p. I've had numerous children comment and contrast low and high quality animations and the difference is evident.

"Joy and Heron" by Passion Pictures

Duration - 4:04 minutes