Zones of Regulation


The Zones of Regulation is a framework and curriculum (Kuypers, 2011) that develops awareness of feelings, energy and alertness levels while exploring a variety of tools and strategies for regulation, prosocial skills, self-care, and overall wellness. 

It provides an easy way to think and talk about how we feel on the inside and sort these feelings into four coloured Zones, all of which are normal and expected in life. 

Once the children understand their feelings and zones, they can learn to use tools/strategies to manage their different Zones in order to meet goals like doing schoolwork or other tasks, managing big feelings, and healthy relationships with others.

The simple, common language and visual structure of The Zones of Regulation helps make the complex skill of regulation more concrete for the children and the staff who are supporting them to regulate their feelings.

When the children arrived at school they tell their teacher which zone they are in and they can explain why but they don’t have to. The teacher will them ask them what they can do to move themselves into the green zone and if needed, may offer them a physical tool or strategy to help eg a fidget toy, a drink, food or a breathing exercise.

The adults and children use the language of the coloured zones and the strategies throughout the day to help themselves and one another to regulate their emotions so that they are able to learn and have positive interactions.