Zones of Regulation

What is Zones of Regulation?

Zones of Regulation is an approach used to support the development of self-regulation in children. All the different ways children feel and the states of alertness they experience are categorised into four coloured zones. Children who are well regulated are able to be in the appropriate zone at the appropriate time.

  • Blue Zone tired, sad e.g. getting ready to go to bed
  • Yellow Zone silly, frustrated e.g. playing chase game with friends
  • Green Zone calm, happy e.g. doing a puzzle at the table
  • Red Zone angry, out of control e.g. jumping with excitement


Why use Zones of Regulation?

To teach children how to:

  • Identify their feelings
  • Be aware of what zone they are in
  • Start to use tools to be in the appropriate zone for the moment

How do I introduce Zones of Regulation?

Identify your own feelings using Zones language in front of your child (e.g. “I’m frustrated, I am in the yellow zone”)

Talk about what tool you will use to be in the appropriate zone (e.g. “I’m going to go for a walk, I need to get to the green zone”)

Label what zone your child is in throughout the day (e.g. “you look sleepy, you are in the blue zone”)

Teach your child what Zones tools he can use to help him stay in the zone or move to a different zone (e.g. “it’s time for bed, let’s read a book together in the rocking chair. We’re in the blue zone”)

Remember: - Every zone is a good zone and appropriate at different times. - Your child’s zone will often mirror your zone, so think about what zone you are in before you try to help your child (e.g. if you yourself are in the red zone, it will be hard to help your child move from the red zone to a different zone).

You can find more information here