Are you familiar with the zones of regulation curriculum? It is a popular self regulation curriculum that helps students communicate how they are feeling. SLPs can use zones of regulation activities to help students initiate communication, explain how they are feeling, or what they are needing. Zones of regulation activities can also help students identify how others are feeling and what words/actions they should do when someone is feeling a certain emotion.

Resources and ideas for teaching zones of regulation to build social communication. Lots of great ideas and fun youtube videos.

At my middle school, I have students on the Autism Spectrum that have a difficult time with regulating their emotions. They need visual and verbal prompts to recognize what type of emotion/feeling they are experiencing in situations.  An SLP can work on teaching self-regulation by using the zones of regulation curriculum in therapy. These terms and strategies help improve a child’s ability to express their emotion and make requests/comments for what they need in a social situation.

What is zones of regulation?

Zones of regulation is a curriculum (amazon affiliate links included for your convenience) designed to help children independently self regulate their actions by teaching them to recognize how their body is feeling. They use colors to explain the different emotions. By teaching these zones, students can learn to increase communication initiations by sharing how they are feeling and what activities they need to do to help them stay in the green zone. Increasing communication around emotions helps decrease unwanted behaviors!

  • Blue zone- tired, sleepy, bored, sad
  • Green zone- calm, ready, happy, focused, content
  • Yellow zone- excited, anxious, nervous, surprised, worried, silly
  • Red zone- furious, angry, rage, out of control

If you want to read more about the program and get more of the worksheets, head over to Zones of Regulation website.

Bulletin Boards For Zones Of Regulation

This is a great poster to hang in your room as a visual and use with your students to generate strategies to help them stay or get to a certain zone.  Grab a poster for your speech room on Social Thinking.

My SDC teacher Janelle McDaniel made this cute visual bulletin board for her classroom.  I think it is awesome! She had the different zones and then pasted the emotions that go on the zones as a visual reminder for students.

Look what else they made in the SDC classroom!  The SDC teacher grabbed free paint chip samples from Home Depot and had the kids write the different emotions for the zones.  She took pictures of the students acting out the different zones and posted them in the classroom.

Zones Of Regulation Activities For Your Speech Therapy Sessions

I dabbled around on the internet in search of some more “Zones” activities and this is what I found!

Free break cards Zones of Regulation Break Cards

Speechy Musings Self Regulation Handouts and Size of the Problem Detectives

A Sprinkle of Speech What size is your problem?

Speech Paths- How Would Others Feel? Interactive Activity for Middle/High School

The Zones of Regulation App (haven’t tried this app yet, but it looks like it could be great)!

Fun with Firsties made a very cool bulletin board in her class with all the ZONES and has some great strategies on how to make a calm down area.

There are visuals in the ZONES book that you can photo copy and use as visuals.  The Lower Elementary Cottage made a “tools” book for students to pick a tool for a ZONE to help them get back to green.  If they successfully use the tool, they earn a tool coupon in which they can save up to earn a prize.

The Incredible 5 Point Scale– A great visual resource to visually show students how to regulate their emotions in social situations.

5 Point Scale for Adolescent & Adults– is a curriculum designed for older students and adults.

Youtube Videos For Zones Of Regulation Activities

I found some hilarious video clips on youtube from one of my SDC teachers.  They show the different zones people can be in using clips from the Big Bang Theory!

Sheldon in the yellow zone! Super funny!!

Love this clip for the blue zone. The kids got a kick out of this. We were also able to talk about how the other character was feeling too and why it may be unexpected to ask a friend to rub Vics on your chest when you are sick.

Red zone with Sheldon! This one made me laugh the most!!

This video is of Sheldon in the green zone. Some of my kiddos could relate to feeling the most calm when they are left alone, lol.

This video has LOTS of Zones going on! I recommend starting the video at about 1:28 seconds because Kevin Hart says “bitch” in the video. My students LOVE Kevin Hart and they sure got more interested about ZONES when we watched this clip.  What activities have you done with the Zones of Regulation?  I would love to add some more ideas to my stash of tricks!!

Need more videos to help teach the Zones of Regulation?

Follow my playlist on youtube for videos that help teach the Zones of Regulation HERE.

I used video clips from the movie Elf during the holidays to work on perspective taking and what “zone” people were in.  Check out my blog post HERE!


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