As a school counselor, I often had kids come into my office in a heightened state, and it was my job to be able to help them calm down and get back to work in class. I had lots of items in my room to help achieve that. It’s always easier for kids to talk about what’s bothering them when they’re doing another activity or playing a game. As a mom, I know that there are lots of things that can help my kids reset when they are having a hard time, or getting into arguments or just have on their cranky pants. Here are some of my favorite items to help kids calm down and get back to the green zone.
The Zones of Regulation were created by Leah Kuypers; it’s another great tool to help kids learn self-regulation skills. This framework is designed to help kids notice what they are thinking and feeling, how their thoughts and feelings affect their behavior and learn to self-regulate. I absolutely love teaching the Zones of Regulation to kids. It’s such a great visual for them to see what zone their feelings are in and learn ways to get back to the green zone.
Very early in my career, a colleague shared a resource with me that I have found incredibly helpful. It’s called a Solution Wheel. When kids are having a conflict, sometimes they don’t always know what to do. In the moment, they can’t remember things that they can do to help work through a problem. Using a solution wheel is a great resource to help them figure out different ways to solve a problem.
The Incredible 5-Point Scale by Kari Dunn Baron and Mitzi Curtis is a great resource for people to use in a school setting, a social group setting or at home. It can be used to address a number of different issues, and it’s a great resource for working not only with kids on the spectrum, but for all kids who need a little extra teaching around social and emotional concerns.