Zones of Regulation

Aims of The Zones of Regulation:  


  • To help children recognise when they are in the different Zones and how to change or stay in the Zone they are in.  
  • To gain an increased vocabulary of emotional terms so that they can explain how they are feeling.  
  • To gain insight into events that might make them move into the different Zones eg. disagreement with a sibling/parent, a certain subject being taught or when being asked something they do not want to do.  
  • To help children understand that emotions, sensory experiences, physiological needs (eg. hunger/lack of sleep) and environments can influence which Zone they are in.  
  • To develop problem-solving skills.  
  • To identify a range of different calming and alerting strategies/tools that support them. 
  • Tools identified may be personalised sensory supports (eg. use of a comforter at key times), calming techniques or thinking strategies.

Who is The Zones of Regulation for? 


This swift and significant change to how we live our lives has brought out all the feelings.


We need to teach ALL of our children good coping and regulation strategies so that they can help themselves when they experience emotions such as anxiety or stress. Teaching children these tools at a young age will support them in later life. 


How can you help children use The Zones of Regulation?  


  • Identify your own feelings using Zones language in front of your child/ren (e.g. “I’m frustrated, I think I am in the Yellow Zone.”)  
  • Talk about what tool you will use to be in the appropriate Zone (e.g. “I need to take some deep breaths to help get me back to the Green Zone.”)  
  • At times, wonder out loud which Zone your child might be in. Or, discuss which Zone a character in a book might be in (eg. “You look sleepy, are you in the Blue Zone?”  “Horrid Henry is very angry - what Zone do you think he is in?”)  
  • Engaging children in discussion around Zones when they are in the Red Zone is unlikely to be effective. You need to be discussing the different Zones and tools they can use when they are more regulated/calm.  
  • Teach children which tools they can use (e.g. after lunch “We have work to do this afternoon, let’s just do some deep breathing exercises to get into the Green Zone”).
  • Share how their behaviour is affecting your Zone. For example, if they are in the Green Zone you could comment that their behaviour is also helping you feel happy/go into the Green Zone. 
  • Praise/encourage your child to share which Zone they might be in.  Check in regularly throughout the day.  
  • This is not a behaviour/reward chart and there are no ‘bad’ zones - we all might feel mad or angry (Red) at times and that is fine - we just don’t want to be in that zone for too long so we need to know how we can move away from that zone back into a more positive headspace.
  • It is also important for your child to recognise what their triggers are in moving to the ‘Red’ Zone - help your child (more appropriate for KS2) to identify them together.

Training Videos - Here are a couple of short ​​​​​​ explaining more about the Zones of Regulation