Lion and Lamb Self-Regulation Activity | The OT Toolbox

Lion and Lamb Self-Regulation Activity

This Lion and Lamb Self-regulation activity is perfect for helping kids build their ability to control emotions and behaviors in a fun, spring themed way.  Use this tool to help kids adjust to difficult situations in the classroom or at home.

Self-regulation is a difficult skill for many children.  Kids of all ages and developmental levels have a need to build on their self-regulation skills. Building self-regulation skills allows kids to deal with their emotions in appropriate and functional ways.  When a child is able to control their emotions, they can adjust to situations while managing their feelings and behaviors.  

Lion and lamb self-regulation activity for kids

Lion and Lamb Self-Regulation Activity 

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Using a lion and lamb metaphor is a concrete way for kids to learn about and understand self-regulation.  Many times, kids understand when their body or brain is not in control.  Situations can get away from a child, when they are unable to react or respond in an appropriate manner. 

Kids can use the idea of a lion and lamb to understand different ways that they might be feeling.  This activity should be done in a separate time from breakdowns or tantrums.  When a child is calm and open to talking about previous situations, sit down with the child or group of children and talk about how it might feel to be a lion and a lamb.  

Self-Regulation Activity for the Classroom

For this activity, I used just a piece of paper and divided it into two columns. This could be done on a large notebook on an easel in front of the classroom and hung as a poster in the classroom.  This paper is a great price and can be used on any easel

I asked my preschooler and first grader how a lion might feel and how a lamb might feel.  We talked about how lions are load and fast and how a lamb is calm and quiet.  As they mentioned describing terms, I just jotted them down on the columns. 

Then, we looked at the whole list for each animal.  At this point, you can talk with the class about how we all feel all of these ways at one time or another.  Sometimes we feel soft-spoken and slow and other times we feel loud and "roar-y"!  

Self-regulation is adapting to and responding to sensory, emotional, and cognitive input.  The way our body and mind acts and thinks can get stuck if we don't use our self-regulation abilities. 

Use the lion and lamb metaphor to help kids adjust in appropriate ways.  You can tell your child or students that there are times that it is appropriate to "be a lion" and there are times that it is appropriate to "be a lamb".  

Lion and lamb self regulation activities

Sensory Activities to Help with Self-Regulation

Next, come up with techniques to adjust to situations when the child needs to switch from a lion to a lamb or vice versa.  One strategy is using sensory tools to help calm down or speed up our bodies.  Try these sensory activities to address many different needs and interests.

Try some of these calming sensory ideas to calm down a "lion":

  • Wall push ups
  • Chair push ups
  • Carrying a stack of books
  • Pushing a laundry basket full of toys
  • Tug of war
  • Animal Walks
  • Yoga
  • Deep breathing
  • Stress toys
  • Drinking from a cup with a straw
  • A calm-down station or corner
  • Wrapping up in a blanket
  • Pillow sandwiches

Try some of these ideas to alert a "lamb":

  • Jumping 
  • Skipping
  • Trampoline
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Head Shoulders Knees and Toes
  • Icy drink
  • Clapping games
  • Spinning on a swing
  • Dancing 
  • Brain Breaks
  • Playing catch
These lion and lamb themed activities would be another great way to incorporate a lion and lamb theme into discussion with your kids or classroom:

Make a pine cone lamb craft while talking about the qualities of a lamb. (Fireflies and Mudpies)

Use a lion and lamb ten frame to work sneak address math concepts with the same theme. (Fun-a-Day)

Make these In like a lion and Out like a lamb puppets and get creative with the imagination play. (Still Playing School)

More sensory heavy work activities you may like: