The Zones of Regulation is a tool that is used in many different places and may be something you have heard of before. We see it used a lot with kiddos in the school and we use it right here at Therapy OPS! But what are the zones and what does this program help with? For the month of June, our blog posts are going to focus on the different zones and what each one means and what emotions are part of each one!
The Zones were created as a tool to help with understanding and reacting to our own emotions. This is a great way to work towards self-regulation. By using color categories, it helps children begin to organize the different ways they are feeling and their different states of alertness. Once the children begin to recognize their zones and emotions/behaviors, the Zones introduces strategies to help with controlling their emotions, help them out and recognize their sensory needs and assist with problem solving. The main goal of the Zones is to teach kiddos to identify their feelings, understand how behaviors impact those around them and finding tools to manage all of this!
The four zones are red, yellow, green and blue. Today we will focus on RED.
This is the first full week of summer break for many kiddos. This often can mean no routine, wacky sleep schedule and lots of playing outside. With these changes, kids may be feeling intense emotions. Feelings commonly experienced in the RED zone include elation, anger, rage, explosive behavior, devastation, or terror. This zone is a great zone to use tools in, but it is important to teach the children the tools while they are not in this zone, so they can learn and practice them when they are not in an elevated state.
The tools that work for this zone will be different for each kiddo but could include things such as belly breathing, blowing bubbles, “blowing out candles (blowing down their fingers),” drawing and more!
If you have specific questions about controlling emotions or reactions, please give TOPS a call to talk to an occupational therapist today at 651-455-0561!