Let’s face it, the transition from the school year schedule to a less-structured summer schedule can bring on all of The Zones at home! Using The Zones of Regulation language and strategies at home can help families to navigate this transition, while also maintaining and building upon regulation skills taught during the school year. Check out these five easy ideas and FREE RESOURCE for exploring The Zones at home this summer.
1. Make a Zones Check-in for Home
Follow the steps on the video (below) with Zones’ creator, Leah Kuypers, in order to make your own family Zones visual and check-in. You can use your Zones Check-In as a mindful moment and point of connection throughout your day and week. Remember to emphasize that ALL our feelings and Zones are okay!
2. Build a “Comfort Corner”
Create a place for kids and other family members to go when they want a break. Choose a space that’s comfortable and quiet, and include items such as stuffed animals, coloring books, fidgets, and books. Practice using your comfort corner a few times together, caregivers can even model by using it themselves.
3. Try out a “Tool of the Week”
Choose a regulation tool or strategy to try each week as a family. Some examples are journaling, listening to music, going for a nature walk, eating a healthy snack, and screen breaks. Collect your favorite tools in a family Zones Toolbox. Check out our Tools to Try For Kids and Tools to Try for Tweens/Teens Card decks for ready-to-go tool ideas.
4. Family Game Night
Family-friendly games like UNO, Jenga (4 color version), and Twister can easily be turned into opportunities to practice and reinforce The Zones. Take turns naming an emotion or experience for each red, yellow, green, or blue colored Zone during game play.
5. Explore The Zones of Regulation Apps
Use summer screen time as an opportunity to build and reinforce regulation competencies with The Zones. The Original Zones of Regulation App and Exploring Emotions App (available for Apple or Android) are an easy way to keep up skills while having fun!
The Zones Team wishes you a safe and happy summer!
NOTE: a version of this content was originally posted in June 2022.