Mightier for Self-Regulation

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If you are a pediatric occupational therapist working with kids on self regulation or emotional regulation, then you may have heard of Mightier. The biofeedback games help kids build emotional regulation skills by playing games as they learn calming skills to stay focused and in control through game playing. Mightier is just one tool that can be a means to help kids thrive. Today, I’m excited to explore this kit a bit more.

This post was part of our Therapy Giveaway Series.

Self-regulation strategies for kids to help with emotional regulation.

What is Mightier

First, let’s talk about the Mightier application. I came across Mightier at last year’s AOTA annual conference. I had the chance to talk with Mightier representatives and the regulation tool sounded really interesting. I’ve seen threads here and there on various occupational therapy pages and forums asking about Mightier and it’s use in addressing self-regulation needs.

Mightier is a way for kids to play games and see their emotions come to life in the process of playing the game. They then have to identify feelings and coping strategies that impact those various emotional regulation changes. The games adjust to challenge the child as they become more proficient in coping strategies.

Kids can use those strategies in real life situations. Through the process of playing the game and analyzing the data associated with it, parents have the opportunity to connect with a clinical coach to set goals, track progress and practice strategies to help their child use and apply their specific calming skills fin real life situations where emotions, worries, frustrations, or meltdowns may impact function or learning.

Self Regulation Strategies

We’ve shared a lot of strategies to help kids cope with various needs here on the website.

You’ll find self regulation strategies for addressing regulation needs.

There are coping strategies to assist and support sensory processing and meltdown issues.

There are DIY and on-the-go self-reflection tools.

And there are mindfulness tips to help kids become more aware of themselves and their world around them.

Using strategies such as biofeedback games are just one more tool to add to the self-regulation toolbox.

Mightier Giveaway

This giveaway has ended.

More self regulation strategies

Some of the smartest and most creative folks I know are the readers of The OT Toolbox. I asked readers to tell me sensory strategies they personally love and use to address sensory modulation. Scroll through the comments…you might just find some new sensory strategies that will work for you! Hopefully we can learn from one another!

181 thoughts on “Mightier for Self-Regulation”

  1. Tappying aka Emotional Freedom Technique- it really works! I love the sense of empowerment kids get from taking this tool into their own hands and applying it! 🙂

  2. At my school we use zones of regulation to help teach students how they are feeling and strategies to support regulation.

  3. I have never heard of this program, I’ll have to look into it if I don’t win 😉 For my older kiddos, yoga and deep breathing has been working very well; for my younger ones, I kind of mix together the Zones and Alert programs to help them recognize what they’re feeling and what they can do about it. I have a couple of kiddos on the spectrum that have been having toileting accidents and I have implemented a body check chart for them so they are able to check in with their bodies and see if they need a sensory break (or bathroom break). It’s been successful so far!

  4. I love using BrainWorks by Sensational Brain. It has great print-outs to be able to make resources for teachers.

  5. For my preschool students who need heavy work, I have them go and try to push down the wall of the school. It’s much easier to explain than walk push ups and simple to set up. They also love trying it!

  6. The self regulation skill I use right now is deep breathes. The children connect with me at this time and we both breathe until they are calm.

  7. For self regulation, I teach the children I work with the how to be aware of how they are feeling. Feeling just right, too high, or too low using a pictogram has worked very well. I also use yoga poses and animal walks to help with calming.

  8. What a great product! I’m excited to learn about this. For self regulation, I teach my students mindfulness strategies that they can use anytime/anywhere. We work on visualization and conscious breathing techniques.

  9. I use a combination of “How does your engine run?”, zones of regulation, and brainworks to help with regulation.

  10. I like to give kids breathing techniques to do. This is something discrete that can be completed anywhere!

  11. Joint compression and deep pressure are generally very successful as well as holding up the index finger and blowing out a candle to assist with calming.

  12. Being proactive about self regulation and reading books (Julia Cook has many on various topics) and learning about emotions and behavior.

  13. I work in a special needs school with students who have autism, or moderate cognitive disabilities. We use brushing and joint compression/pressure vest, lots of heavy work, and simple breathing techniques like smell the flower, blow out your candle. I’ve been wanting to try the Calm app with some higher students but have not gotten there yet! This program sounds interesting…so many of my kids like gaming and spend a great deal of time on devices so if this could help them that would be wonderful!

  14. I use the ALERT program with my younger students and the Zones of Regulation with my older ones. We check in each time I see them with how fast their engines are going or what Zone they are in. I use the ALERT engine speedometer and a laminated “Zones” visual. Each student has their own clothespin that they have decorated that they use to show where they are in the zones and if this changes during our time together. I also have an “emotions” and “energy” clip for them to use since sometimes these are in different places (for example, feeling “low energy/Blue Zone” and “frustrated/Yellow Zone”).

  15. I recently learned about the Focus Sequence (a sequence of Move-Hold-Breathe-Pause) and my students have really enjoyed using these strategies in a sequence to support their focus.

  16. I use the Zones of Regulation system along with sensory strategies such as heavy work and deep pressure.

  17. Working on emotional literacy – knowing what emotion they are experiencing and naming it – and from there learning to cope.

  18. We use the Zones and Superflex curriculum. I also love doing wall pushes/heavy work activities, volcano breaths, and yoga poses. Blowing bubbles is a great way to focus on breathing for kids that aren’t into doing deep breathing on its own.

  19. I think teaching deep breathing techniques is a great way to enable kids to self-regulate. Deep breathing can be done in any setting, without any special equipment, and kids( and adults) of any age can practice deep breathing techniques.

  20. I use a combination of the Alert program, The zones of regulation, yoga in the classroom and basic breathing activities within my treatment settings.

  21. For my younger kids, I often use co-regulation, working alongside the child to regulate. This connectedness brings the child safety and security and in time empowers them to implement their strategies independently.

  22. Deep pressure with lots of hugs, deep breathing, and most importantly ask what they feel and why do they feel it and why is it so strong

  23. Doing yoga breathing techniques either before, during and after some yoga poses or just alone when a student becomes too overwhelmed.

  24. I use bubbles to increase the breathing process. Also visual cards for deep pressure, squeezes, drink of water, brushing, walk, and counting. Most of my students appear much calmer after counting to 10.

  25. Deep breathing, learning how to recognize/name emotions and to “take a break” when feeling overwhelmed before acting out. (I’m still working on that last part myself!)

  26. Depending on the kid, I will use the Zones of Regulation and Alert Programs. Love all the different activities you can do incorporating the colors of the Zones program, especially Pop the Pirate!

  27. I have been using deep breathing techniques with my kids. I actually have a very verbal two-year-old who is learning to take deep breaths. He will actually say to himself when he is upset “mommy I take a deep breath“. Then he takes a deep breath and calms down a little.

  28. Anything with PROPRIOCEPTIO!!!!! Aeroswing, resistance tunnel and weighted ball use, roll me like a taco, rollers of various sorrts, joint compression, massage, crab walks, bear w alks, wheelbarrow walking over a penaut with hand on duct tapes lines to keep it slow and controlled, body sox, deep breathing, many various forms of yoga, squish between beanbags and work that way…….

  29. I use the ALERT program with my older kids, in addition to lots of sensory strategies and input. Heavy work, compression, brushing, swing, balance disc, weighted blanket, sensory lights, etc. I trial to see what works best for each child and build them a regulation/calming program from there.

  30. I have seen good results after providing proprioceptive input and I also like to use personalized social stories too!

  31. I practice in school based therapy. I have used yoga deep breathing safe zone regulation, deep pressure techniques and more. Every child is different sometimes you have it trial multiple techniques

  32. My go to is to teach a child how their body feels. I start with awareness of how the heart rate is and then introducing various emotions that the child may be feeling. Depending on the child I may associate different emotions with colors or pictures to help them verbalize. Its important that a child is able to identify the emotion first, and then introducing them to strategies. They can’t learn to calm down if they 1. don’t know what calm feels like and 2. don’t understand what not calm feels like.

  33. I use terminology and visuals from the Alert Program. Deep pressure and deep breathing are favorites as well

  34. I try to educate my son or be in tune on all the different feelings so when he does have any sort of outburst of whatever that feeling is he can learn to discuss it with someone or know how to handle the situation if someone is not around. I like for him to know his feelings are always valid but depending the situation especially there are better way to handle that but if he knows how he is feeling that can guide him into the direction.

  35. I love to use the ALERT program’s “How’s your engine?” and breathing using bubbles. Followed Mightier on pinterest!

  36. Zones of regulation, deep pressure and social stories! So many benefits for kids. My true love is deep pressure- even for myself.

  37. I use colour cards with the kiddies I work with. I put three cards, a red, orange and yellow one on the table or the carpet. The kiddie shows me how they are feeling by using the colour cards. Red is overwhelmed, upset. Orange is in-between upset and happy. Green is calm and happy. When the kiddie gives me the red card ,I give him/her options to calm down by blowing bubbles in a cup, deep pressure massage, deep breathing. They also sometimes suggest their preferred activity. We do the activity together and when we are done, the child can tell me how they are feeling using the colour cards again. I followed Mightier on Pintrest!

  38. I teach Mindfulness to the kids and pair that with expressing their emotions. This way, they can use their thinking brain to talk to their the emotional side of their brain.

  39. +I love using social stories, Proprioceptive input in various ways, calm environments with soft lighting and 60 beats per minute music playing in the background, deep breathing and weighted blankets.

  40. I work with 4 pre-k classrooms and one of the first things we work on is breathing. I teach them to smell their flower and then slowly blow out their candle. The teachers use this method continually throughout the year and it really seems to work for the kiddos!

  41. We have him put their hand over their heart to feel heart racing and go with star fish breathing . If he needs some time and space to self regulate we have spoken with the school and came up with a discreet signal for child to let teacher know he needs a break to self regulate.

  42. I like breathing exercises. Many students I work with do really well with “Hot Chocolate Breathing” from the book Breathe Like a Bear by Kira Willey.

  43. I often use strategies from The ALERT Program; How Does Your Engine Run?
    My students can really understand/relate to the programs terminology, and have found it useful across academic settings. I also love to use it quickly as a consultation resources in teaching kids quick ways to understand their bodys state and how to quickly understand a change needs to happen to make them run “just right”.

  44. We love mighter! Hey you can never have too many of a great item. This really has helped our son with self regulation.

  45. I use heavy work and sensory motor pathways for breaks with kids in school. I also always love yoga and take five breathing.

  46. I like Zones of Regulation and have developed Sensory Passports for the pupils I work with for what ever state of arousal they are in to try and attain calm alert if task demands it.

  47. I like introducing a sensory tool every week to eventually be placed in the classroom calm down kit. This is paired with the zones of regulation to allow for students to check in on how they feeling and what tools they can use to regulate.

  48. Too many to mention. I find SI intriguing and under used because of not a lot of evidenced based practice.
    I will keep promoting!

  49. Guided meditations. I use an app that has meditations as short as 3 minutes and as long as 30 depending on the child and what they can tolerate. It works so well with most of my kids!

  50. I really like to use the Lazy 8 breathing strategies with my students. I also like to have them pretend that they are blowing out a candle to work on taking deep breaths and then letting it out.

  51. I love teaching kids various breathing techniques to self-calm and use yoga and sensory tools for this as well.

  52. Zones of Regulation, Deep Pressure, Yoga like poses, Tactile Sensory activities – are just some of my favorites.

  53. I love deep pressure, but I also like using yoga and brain gym to help with self calming because they can easily be used in the classroom and therapy room.

  54. Deep Pressure is one of my all time favorites as it works and can be applied in many different situations in many different ways.
    I spent countless hours squeezing my own son’s head in line at Disney when he was young so he was able to wait without frustration.
    I love teaching this technique to parents at my clinic and to the kids themselves.

  55. Deep breathing and pressure, but it all depends on the kiddo! Some of my kiddos love to engage in an enjoyed activity such as colouring or Lego.

  56. Deep breathing, social stories and a good conversation always pays off for my stressed kids. Would love to win the Mightier Tool Kit as it would be a boost for my kids to work harder while having fun. I’ve always admired alternative ways to educate someone, mostly regarding their wants and needs.

  57. At our learning centre for Indigenous peoples, we have created our own regulation model to incorporate indigenous beliefs and healings while recognizing the impact of generational trauma on these children. I would love to be able to incorporate a biofeedback tool to help recognize and solidify the relationship between the body’s response and recovery towards ones’ connection to spirit (regulation).

  58. This tool looks amazing! I am looking forward to reading more about the various applications and if it would work in a school setting. It would be interesting to know if they have something along these lines for adults as well.

  59. I like to to use the iPad to motivate the student when they are learning to write letters. Some of the apps can be motivating to the kids.

  60. I use zones of regulation and alert program to help kiddos understand their emotions and how to improve their regulation by looking by body signs. I also use a lot of body compressions or joint compressions and help to teach kids to ask for this when they feel like they need it.

  61. Providing regular doses of heavy work for two year olds throughout the day using everyday routines. Helping with housework whether transferring wet laundry to the dryer, pushing a vacuum cleaner or mop, carrying laundry baskets or putting away groceries. Two year olds love to help!

  62. Can you share the body check chart? My son is 7 and still has toileting accidents and has issues with emotional regulation.

  63. I use a lot of strategies from the ZONES program like the lazy 8 breathing, calm down jars are also great!

  64. We use Zones of Regulation. I would like to look into Superflex too. Social emotional issues are becoming the biggest needs in my school system. We need more tools to help kids.

  65. Wirh my high functioning kids, I always love asking them, “is it right or wrong?” “how did you do?” For other kids, giving them deep pressure through tight hugs calm them down plus i think it gives extra emotional support to the kids.

  66. Currently students I served seem to like 1. breathing and 2. visualization the most.
    I’m always on the lookout for new strategies : )

  67. I love the Zones of Regulation! It is becoming more widely used throughout our school which helps with a universal vocabulary and approach to self-regulation.

  68. I like birthday cake breaths – Smell the cake, blow out the candles. Deep breathing requires no extra equipment. I also like deep pressure and compressions, but deep breaths are the first step.

  69. Play-doh and making imaginary food is always a big hit. It can work on so many skills (bilateral coordination , finger isolation, hand strength, etc!).

  70. I notice a huge regulation difference when a child receives the appropriate proprioceptive and vestibular inputs.

  71. I have been using breathing techniques, calming music and mindful thinking with my son and my patients.

  72. We are getting ready to do a Zones of Regulation lesson for the month of January in my TK/K/1st mod severe classrooms. Typically I love the breathing used for blowing bubbles and counting together to 10 for calming strategies.

  73. my favour self-reg activity would have to be an acrobat swing for heavy work, deep pressure and vestibular input. Kid’s love it and always walk away feeling less overwhelmed

  74. I love using the Zones of Regulation and video modeling to help kids identify emotions and learn to understand their big feelings!

  75. I love incorporating animal walks in the kindergarten classroom so the teachers can learn how to implement them also.

  76. I love using deep breathing as well as Concious Discipline’s skill of “noticing” to help build self-awareness around how a child is feeling and how to become more regulated!

  77. I have used some mindfulness/guided relaxation with little ones that get really into it and love it. For those that have a difficult time with this, I like to do active things, such as blowing bubbles or cotton balls for breathing, or pushing the wall, etc.

  78. My district uses the Zones of Regulation. It’s nice to have a strategy that is used by everyone for consistency with kids.

  79. Hi. Combining body and emotional awareness, breathing and resistance activities has been useful for some of my little people – I call it Squish and Flick.
    1. Take a deep, slow belly breath
    2. Notice what is happening in their bodies,
    3. Recognise the feeling that goes with the body experience
    4. Blow the feelings into cupped hands and squeeze really hard while counting to 5 (at least)
    5. Then flick the feelings away and shake your hands.

    For little ones who struggle to identify body experiences of feelings – name a feeling or notice that they have big feelings and blow them into their hands.
    Best part is can be done anywhere at anytime.

  80. I’ve never heard of this product but it would be so helpful for so many of clients!! I like to use the Zones to help with emotional regulation and teach calming techniques like deep pressure, deep breaths, mindfulness!

  81. I have used deep pressure/joint compressions along with heavy work. I’ve used pressure vests in the past as well.

  82. I have never heard of this product before but it sounds amazing. I have special needs students that would benefit from this product in my classroom to assist with emotional regulation, learning development and sensory needs.

  83. My favorite self-regulation strategies are low calming music, candles (for myself, lol), Lycra swings, or any slow moving swing. I also like weighted blankets. I am just getting into mindfulness/meditation which is really seeming to have a positive impact on students.

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