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Self-Regulation Activities

The Big Idea: In hard times, we can prioritize what we need and make the best of what we have.

Article: Needs vs. Wants

Interactive: Abby’s Smoothie Maker

Each day brings new changes, challenges, and opportunities. Right now, children and families may not have everything they’re used to having on hand, which can lead to some difficult moments and tough conversations. These activities can help children understand the difference between needs and wants, to prioritize needs, and to be flexible and creative as a family.



girl and elmo

Activity Tips — Managing Emotions, Routines, and Exercise Through Play

Activities that grown-ups can use to help young children manage their emotions, add playful learning to daily routines, and get exercise.


Region 16 Education Sevice Center

Region 16 Education Service Center provides monthly newsletters for parents of school age children. There are informative articles on a variety of topics. Sample topics are cyberbullying, getting children to do homework, summer activities, etc.


tree grounding technique

Free Printable Tree Grounding Technique for Kids

Looking for simple grounding techniques to help kids with anxiety? Try this tree grounding exercise. It comes with a free printable poster!


Create a “Kindness Tree” | Crafts for Kids | PBS KIDS for Parents

Show your child how kindness grows by creating a “Kindness Tree” to hang on the wall. This paper tree creates a visual reminder of the ways your child is kind every day.



You’ll Feel Better Again Jar | Crafts for Kids | PBS KIDS for Parents

Make a simple You’ll Feel Better Again Jar out of materials from around the house. Use this activity to talk with your child and find out about the activities that make them feel better.


pbs cartoon

Bake “Get Out the Mad” Cookies | Recipes for Kids | PBS KIDS for Parents

How do you talk with your children about managing their feelings? This activity encourages children to find another way to deal with feelings like anger and frustration. Tip: The cookies taste better the more you pound on the dough!



Links to Help Manage Challenging Behaviors


Erica Duckworth Recommendations

Use ChoiceWork app for making a choice board for chores or for learning activities.

Use Chatterpix app. In this app, take a picture of child's favorite doll or stuffed animal. Then use the app to have the picture "talk" and ask the child to do something.

Read the book, When Miles Gets Mad.

Use Visuals to explain a chore or expectation to your child.


Daily Parenting Reflections | Heather T. Forbes, LCSW

Subscribe to receive a daily parenting nugget for inspiration on your road to a happier and healthier home.


Unconditional Positive Regard | TEDx Talks
A mom parenting talks about she learned how to help her young child learn "how to behave".
Parenting Counts | Parent Handouts
mom and son
How Play Helps Kids Navigate Difficult Times | Parenting Tips & Advice | PBS KIDS for Parents
In the last couple months, a lot has changed for my kids — and probably for your kids, too. Playtime with family is a powerful tool to help kids navigate this challenging time.