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Strategies to Help Emotional Regulation

Children cannot use the skills that they do not have and adopted and care experienced children have missed out on early opportunities to develop a range of skills. These include the skills needed for emotional literacy and emotional regulation.

Below are some ideas that teachers/education staff and children can look at together. These are strategies that can be taught and learnt, coached and practiced. They need to be taught and practised when they are calm before they can be used when emotions are running high.
  • String beads onto a length of wool
  • Talk about what I am feeling
  • Draw what I am feeling
  • Let my chest rise and fall as
  • I take deep breaths in an out
  • Chew Gum
  • Squeeze a stress ball
  • Imagine I am somewhere soothing
  • Put a blanket over my body
  • Sort a set of pencils out by colour
  • Colour in a picture
  • Lie down with my eyes closed and feel the weight of my body on the floor
  • Tell myself that although this is tricky I can cope and will be calm again soon
  • Listen to calming sounds like music, rain or white noise
  • Sit ona gym ball and bounce
  • Do a puzzle
  • Sit cross legged and slowly rock
  • Take a wlka
  • Stroke my hair or have someone do it for me
  • Feel tactile objects, like soft materials or grains
  • Blow bubbles
  • Watch a sand timer trickle down
  • Stretch all the muscles in my body one by one
  • Blow up a balloon with big puffs of air

In addition to the above ideas here are a series of ideas for teachers and education staff to cut out and make them into cards for you and the children and young people in your class to use.

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The BRIGHTER FUTURE project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.