Spring Emotions Matching Game Slide Deck

Emotions Matching game with a bug theme for Spring

Today, I have another free therapy slide deck for you to use in guiding teletherapy occupational therapy sessions. This activity is a Spring themed emotions matching game. The premise behind this emotions game is to help with teaching feelings to kids, as well as the social emotional learning involved in self-regulation. Because there are always other skill areas to work on, the occupational therapy activity addresses visual perceptual skills like visual discrimination and visual memory as well.

This teletherapy slide deck is one of the many free slides we have here on the website. Use them in your teletherapy activities for occupational therapy.

Emotions Matching game with a bug theme for Spring

Emotions Matching Game

This emotions matching game is a lot like our other spot it game activities. The idea is to work on teaching emotions by facial expression and to help kids with identifying different facial expressions that translate to feelings and emotions.

Spring bugs emotions matching game for teaching feelings

This slide deck has a bugs theme, making it a great activity for Spring (but anytime really…bugs are a fun theme to use in occupational therapy activities!)

When kids play this emotions matching activity, they can first, identify different emotions. On the slide deck children can actually type right into the space below each image.

Teach feelings and emotions with this emotion matching game.

The slides are set up so that kids can type the emotion they identify with each facial expression. Some kids might identify different emotions based on the images. Some of the bugs have silly expressions, and others have angry, worried, happy, or calm expressions. When kids go through this part of the emotional learning game, they can express the reasoning why they define each image as a specific feeling or emotion.

When kids identify emotions, it goes a long way in teaching feelings to kids. This can help them with empathy for others and to better understand why and how they feel certain ways in specific situations.

You can extend this part of the activity to further social emotional development and self evaluation. Help kids identify when they may feel that specific emotion, and what they have done about it in the past.

Then, you can help them identify coping strategies if needed (for feelings of anxiousness, worry, or anger) and when feelings get “too big” or out of control. For example, as the child to describe how they might act when they feel that type of feeling. There are so many ways to extend this part of the emotions game that works on an individual basis; Make the social emotional learning online game work for the child you are treating.

These kind of self-reflection strategies are addressed in the Impulse Control Journal, a printable resource for working on responses, coping mechanisms, and self-reflection that impacts our responses to specific situations in everyday situations. With the Impulse Control Journal, kids can journal their responses and identify ways they can respond and react differently in the future.

Emotions Game for teletherapy

Emotions Matching Activity

The next part of the slide deck includes a spot it game with the emotions and facial expressions images.

Kids will go through each slide and find two matching facial expression bugs that share the same emotion.

This visual discrimination activity helps with more social emotional skills (picturing the expression in different sizes or positioning) and working memory as it relates to emotional learning. They can recall the emotion that they defined for that particular expression and then go back and identify the self regulation strategies that they came up with in the precious part to the slide activity.

This part of the free slide deck is also interactive- Kids can click on the leaves on the slide and drag them over to cover the matching bugs.

This free social emotional worksheet goes well with this slide deck. Print it off and use it with kids to write in different facial expressions.

Visual Perceptual Skills with Matching Games

When kids play matching games like this spot it activity, they are developing and refining so many visual perceptual skills that carryover to reading, writing, math, handwriting, and other aspects of learning.

These are the visual perceptual skills and visual processing skills that this virtual game addresses:

  • Visual memory
  • Visual attention
  • Visual discrimination
  • Form constancy
  • Visual figure ground,
  • Visual scanning

There are different ways to extend this emotions game as well:

  1. Use it to teach empathy- Identify how others might feel when they have the visual expressions described in this slide deck.
  2. Work on coping strategies- Use the facial expressions to practice coping techniques.
  3. Work on handwriting- write down the emotions and work on letter formation, spacing, sizing, and legibility.
  4. Use the activity as a writing prompt- Kids can write about a time that they experienced one of the emotions on the slide deck. They can describe what led to those feelings and what they did about it if coping tools were needed.

How would you use this emotions game in teletherapy or to guide therapy sessions?

Emotions Slide Deck

Want to add this teaching feelings game to your social emotional skills toolbox? Need easy teletherapy activities that don’t require a ton of materials?

You’ve got it!

Enter your email into the form below. You’ll receive a link to add this slide deck to your Google drive. Then, start using it right away in therapy sessions.

Spring
Emotions Game Slide Deck!

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    More Social Emotional Tools

    Need strategies to work on self-regulation and coping mechanisms? Try the heavy work activity cards for proprioceptive input that calms and helps to regulate.

    Or, try the social emotional learning crafts, activities, and play ideas in the resource, Exploring Books Through Play, 50 Activities Based on Books About Friendship, Acceptance, and Empathy.

    Emotional Learning information– Use these social emotional learning activities to help children develop positive relationships, teach concepts of behaving ethically, and how to handle challenging emotions and behaviors.

    Zones of Regulation Activities– Strategies and hands-on activities to incorporate into self-reflection of feelingsemotions, and our response to situations is the ability to use emotional regulation. 

    Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

    Emotion Matching Game Slide Deck

    emotion matching game

    Today, I’ve got a fun emotion matching game that you can use in teletherapy sessions to teach emotions and feelings. This social emotional learning activity is an online game that kids will love to use in virtual therapy while working on things like identifying facial expressions as well as the visual perceptual skills like visual discrimination, visual scanning, and form constancy.

    Emotion Matching Game for helping kids identify emotions in a spot it game for occupational therapy teletherapy interventions.

    Emotion Matching Game

    If working on emotions in a spot it game is helpful in your occupational therapy interentions, this emotions matching game will do the trick.

    Emotion game to teach facial expressions and emotions to kids

    Kids can work through the slides and first, identify emotions based on facial expressions of the stars on each rainbow star.

    There is a text box under each facial expression where users can type the name of the facial expression.

    Next, kids can work through each slide to identify the matching emotions. There are only two facial expressions that match on each slide and kids can move the clouds over to cover the matching emotions.

    This slide deck covers a variety of skill areas:

    • Visual scanning
    • Visual form constancy
    • Visual discrimination
    • Visual attention
    • Visual memory
    • Social emotional learning
    • Identifying emotions
    • Eye hand coordination
    • Typing skills
    • Computer mouse skills

    Identifying and expressing emotions through play is an important part of social emotional development. This game offers an oppourtunity to work on these skills in virtual therapy sessions.

    For more ways to work on emotion matching, try these activities and resource pages:

    Want to add this emotion matching game to your therapy toolbox?

    Enter your email address into the form below and you’ll receive this Google slide deck game.

    Google Slide Deck TIPS:

    1. Save the PDF file that you receive once you enter your email below, because you can come back to it again and again and send it to the kids on your caseload (or classroom) so they can make their own copy on their Google drive.
    2. You will be prompted to make a copy of the slide deck. Before clicking that, be sure that you are logged into your Google account.
    3. Make a copy for each student’s Google Drive. When you share it, make sure you enable edit capabilities for users.
    4. The pieces will be moveable in “edit” mode. If you click “present”, the movable ice cubes won’t work.
    5. Be sure to make a copy of this slide deck and not change the url to indicate “edit” at the end. When you make a copy of the slide deck onto your Google drive, you will end up with your own version that you are free to adjust in order to meet your student’s needs. By changing the url to “edit”, you can potentially mess up the original version that many other therapists and The OT Toolbox users are given.
    6. To easily start a new game- Once you’ve gone through all of the slides, go to “history” on the top of the Google dashboard. You will be able to revert the slide to it’s original state using the history option, so all of the ice cubes go back to their original place. The history option is located on the top dashboard by clicking the link that says, “last edit was…”. When you click on that, you will see a list of edits made on the right side of your screen. Click on the edit titled, “New Game (Revert slides to their original state)”. This should move all of the movable ice cubes back to their original location on the slide deck. The typed in emotions on the text boxes will disappear as well. Note that you can delete edits from that list, so if several students are using the slides, you can keep the organization simple and delete edit versions that you no longer need.

    Emotion Matching Game Slide Deck!

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      MORE Emotions Games and Activities

      Want to help kids explore social and emotional learning through play? Exploring Books Through Play inspires social and emotional development though play based on children’s books. The specifically chosen books explore concepts such as differences, acceptance, empathy, and friendship.

      Exploring Books Through Play: 50 Activities Based on Books About Friendship, Acceptance and Empathy is filled with hands-on activities rooted in interactive, hands-on, sensory play that focus on creating a well-rounded early childhood education supporting growth in literacy, mathematics, science, emotional and social development, artistic expression, sensory exploration, gross motor development and fine motor skills. Kids can explore books while building specific skills in therapy sessions, as part of home programs, or in the home.

      Click here to explore acceptance, empathy, and friendship through play.

      Friendship Activities

      friendship activities

      Today, I am excited to share a collection of friendship activities designed to help children establish and build friendships. How do you teach friendship? This can be an abstract concept for kids, but by using friendship skills activities like games to teach social skills, friendship crafts, friendship recipes, and printables about friendship, we can teach children skills like empathy, perseverance, sharing, cooperation, and other essential components of friendship.

      Be sure grab these friendship activities for teletherapy:

      Writing about Friendship Slide Deck – writing prompts, writing letters to friends, and handwriting activities to develop friendship skills, all on a free interactive Google slide deck.

      Personal Space Friendship Skills Slide Deck– Friendship involves allowing personal space, and body awareness and all of this is part of the social skill development that some kids struggle with. Use this free Google slide deck to work on body awareness and personal space.

      Friendship activities to help kids develop social skills for friendship skills. Includes friendship recipes, friendship crafts, social stories information, and more.

      Friendship Activities: Teaching Friendship Skills to Kids

      Are you a good friend? Do you make a good friend? Do you have good friends? All of these are such important questions for children who are learning each day the necessary social skills that build lasting friendships.

      Strong social skills are an important piece of everyday life and the earlier this is recognized, the better social growth and development a child will experience.

      Demonstrating and recognizing the friendship qualities that makes a good friend and keeps friendships strong is an important skill to have early on in childhood. Children will develop friendships with others from different backgrounds, cultures, lifestyles, and abilities. Adults have a responsibility to teach children about kindness and friendship to all. Learning this along with how a good friend acts and behaves and what is the right and wrong way to treat a friend is essential for strong social skill development.

      Friendship activities can help children begin to explore the friendship qualities and behaviors that are important to learn how to be a good friend, if they make a good friend, and recognize do they have a good friend.

      Read on for some creative ways to engage children in learning friendship skills.

      Friendship Activities

      There are many wonderful activities that can be used to help children develop friendship skills. What are some of the specific skills that are needed for building and maintaining friendships?

      • Empathy
      • Acceptance
      • Sharing
      • Listening
      • Asking questions/being interested
      • Helping others
      • Responding to social situations
      • Communicating
      • Turn-taking
      • Cooperating
      • Solving problems
      • Perseverance
      • Being supportive
      • Trustworthiness

      Some of these concepts are very abstract.

      Using concrete examples, modeling, social stories, and activities that provide examples of these social skills can be powerful.

      One way that I’ve loved to help children with social skill development in hands-on, and memorable ways is through play. To bring real-life visual examples that provide an opportunity for conversation and discussion is to use children’s books to inspire exploration of friendship skill development. Here are children’s books and activities that develop friendship skills.

      Use the books to inspire discussion and play-based exploration of concepts such as empathy, acceptance, and differences.

      Another way to address abstract concepts is through play. Use everyday toys to explore and develop turn-taking, communication, sharing, and problem solving.

      Or, address turn-taking with blocks as kids communicate and practice taking turns.

      Explore differences with this friendship sensory bottle.

      These other friendship activities will give children the time to play and read to help them build a better understanding of good friendship behaviors and how to demonstrate them. Let’s take a look…

      Sensory Friendship Activity

      Friendship Countdown Chain

      Friendship Ice Cream Cone Throw

      Friendship Recipes

      Food is always a fun way for children to learn!  Using food is a great way to explore different friendship characteristics while making a tasty friendship treat to eat!

      These recipes include food items like cereal, fruit, chocolate, and nuts. Be sure to always check for food allergies and especially peanut or nut allergies, if you include these in your treats. 

      Freight Train Activity – This mesmerizing book teaches basic concepts of shapes and colors, but can be expanded to discuss differences, awareness of others.

      Friendship Treat Recipe

      Friendship Snack Mix

      Friendship Snack Mix

      Friendship Fruit Salad

      Friendship Games

      Games are another fun way for children to learn important skills like sharing, empathy, making friends, kindness, differences, and more.  What child doesn’t like games? 

      Engage children in these fun games that include a version of I Spy with monsters, bean bag activities played in a group while in a line or a circle, tossing of a yarn ball to say why someone makes a good friend, and activity ideas in a cooperation blog post that includes elements of friendship.

      What Makes a Friend? Monster Game

      Core Strengthening Friendship Activity

      Friendship Yarn Game

      Cooperation: 12 Group Activities for Kids

      Friendship Crafts

      Crafts are a creative way for children to express themselves, share and create with others, and develop their skills.

      These crafts incorporate all of these elements while focusing on friendship to include spreading kindness, sharing, turn taking, and giving.

      Empathy Activity– Use beads and a children’s book to explore empathy.

      Super Friend Capes made with tee shirts.

      Friendship Rocks Fingerprint Hearts made with rocks and fingerprints.

      Friendship Flowers made with construction paper.

      Foam Heart Friendship Necklaces made with foam hearts, beads, and yarn.

      Beaded Friendship Bracelets made with beads and stretchy cords.

      Friendship High Fives made with handprints and construction paper.

      Secret Friendship Messages made with white crayons and revealed with watercolor paints.

      Friendship Printables

      In the classroom, therapy room, and hallway are great places to display friendship posters that show the importance of friendship and help create a positive classroom and school community. They show how to be a good friend and how not to be a good friend as well as help children to gain an understanding of good friendship qualities.

      Friendship Posters

      How to Be a Friend Posters

      Friends Play Dough Printable

      Friendship social stories

      Social stories, or printable, hand-held stories that describe situations can give kids a concrete plan for everyday tasks. Using social stories to explain social situations is a great way to help kids with abstract concepts.

      There are many nice templates out there that cover aspects of friendship, but for the most part, a social story should be individualized for each child.

      This article on Autism and Friendship Skills includes important research on this topic to explore, but when it comes to using online social stories, they may not always be appropriate. Writing a social story for your child will be far more effective when you use the images, vocabulary, and terms that make sense to YOUR child or client, and the specific situations that are appropriate to your individual child or client.

      Friendship Activities with Books

      Mentioned briefly above, using books to help kids explore friendship is an incredibly rewarding way to pair friendship activities with the world of books.

      Parents can cozy up with a child under a cozy blanket, for a calming and regulating experience of reading books togeter. Then, there is the oppourtunity to communicate about the characters, their friendships, and their conflicts, and their social situations that they had to navigate.

      Through books, families can look at the pictures and come back to specific concepts again and again. And, adding hands-on, multi-sensory play experiences brings those concepts home.

      In the resource, Exploring Books Through Play, you’ll do just that.

      This digital, E-BOOK download is an amazing resource for anyone helping kids learn about acceptance, empathy, compassion, and friendship. In Exploring Books through Play, you’ll find therapist-approved resources, activities, crafts, projects, and play ideas based on 10 popular children’s books. Each book covered contains activities designed to develop fine motor skills, gross motor skills, sensory exploration, handwriting, and more. Help kids understand complex topics of social/emotional skills, empathy, compassion, and friendship through books and hands-on play.

      Click here to get your copy of Exploring Books Through Play.

      social emotional activities for kids
      Regina Allen

      Regina Parsons-Allen is a school-based certified occupational therapy assistant. She has a pediatrics practice area of emphasis from the NBCOT. She graduated from the OTA program at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute in Hudson, North Carolina with an A.A.S degree in occupational therapy assistant. She has been practicing occupational therapy in the same school district for 20 years. She loves her children, husband, OT, working with children and teaching Sunday school. She is passionate about engaging, empowering, and enabling children to reach their maximum potential in ALL of their occupations as well assuring them that God loves them!

      Penguin Emotions Game

      Emotions game for social emotional development with a penguin theme

      Today, I have a very fun virtual therapy slide deck to share. This emotions game is designed with a penguins theme, and can help kids identify emotions based on facial expressions, specifically the eyes. There is a lot of emotion in the eyes! Kids may or may not pick up on this emotional expression, depending on their development in social emotional learning. I created a penguins gross motor slide deck this week, and got a little carried away with the penguin theme…but how cute are these little guys, right? Use them for helping kids identify feelings and emotions based on expressions, and a few other skills that are addressed in therapy. Let’s break this activity down…

      This emotions game has a penguins theme and helps kids learn about identifying emotions and feelings.

      Teach Emotions with a Game

      Ok, this therapy game is very fun to play, and it will be a huge hit, depending on the testers in my own home. But first, let’s break this down on the various skills that this emotions game addresses:

      • Identifying emotions
      • Naming feelings
      • Identifying facial expressions
      • Exploring emotional expression in the eyes
      • Social emotional learning

      Then, there are the other skills that are addressed, because of the way that this therapy slide deck is presented and organized:

      • Visual discrimination
      • Visual scanning
      • Visual attention
      • Visual memory
      • Form constancy

      This game is such a fun way to build skills in a variety of areas. Games for emotions and feelings are sometimes difficult to find, and so this free resource should be a great starting point for helping children with the areas listed above.

      Emotion Matching Game

      To play this emotional expression game, you’ll just need to load the slide deck onto your Google drive. Then, you can play in virtual therapy sessions with clients, or in home therapy programs, or even as a fun brain break in the distance learning classroom.

      Kids can identify emotions and facial expressions in this emotions game using a penguin theme.

      Next, ask children to complete the first slide in the deck. You’ll notice that there are text boxes on the slide where kids can identify the feelings or emotions based on the penguin’s expressions. Kids can type them into the box or they can say or write the feelings words.

      On the next slides in the deck, kids can find the matching facial expressions for each penguin. Each slide has four penguins with different emotions expressed with their eyes. There are only penguins that match between the two circles.

      This slide deck is so useful in helping kids work on visual perceptual skills, too. By visually scanning for the matching penguins, they are using visual discrimination, form constancy, visual attention, and visual memory. All of these skills are important not only in social emotional skills, but handwriting, reading, math, and other learning tasks as well.

      Kids can move the ice cube to cover the matching penguins. The ice cube is an interactive piece on the Google slide deck. You will notice that there are two ice cubes. One is over top the other, so once you move the first ice cube to cover one of the penguins, the other ice cube is right below that. Kids can slide both ice cubes to cover the matching penguins.

      I love this game for the emotions matching. It’s set up as an “I Spy” game for emotions and facial expressions, and kids will LOVE it!

      More Emotional Learning Resources

      This activity goes really well with some of the other emotions and feelings tools here on the website. These emotional learning tools can be used together:

      1. Identifying emotions can be hard for kids who are early in social emotional learning development. Try this identifying emotion faces worksheet. It’s another free resource, so you can download it and begin using the printable right away.

      2. Kids respond well to the stories in children’s books. Pair social emotional learning with popular kids’ books and hands-on activities. Here is information on how to teach social emotional development with children’s’ books.

      3. Emotions and empathy are very closely related. Use this hands-on activity to teach empathy.

      4. What is social emotional learning? Here are resources and information to help.

      5. Emotional development occurs through play. This blog post includes examples of social emotional development and strategies to help kids develop these essential skills. Check out the comments on that post for strategies that The OT Toolbox community uses to develop social emotional skills.

      6. Emotional regulation and executive functioning skills go hand-in-hand. Here is information on executive functioning and emotional development. You’ll find information on these connections, the research involved, and strategies to help.

      Emotions Game for Teletherapy

      Want to add this emotions game to your therapy toolbox?

      You can grab a copy of this Google slide deck and use it to work on specific skills.

      Enter your email address below and you will receive a PDF containing a link to copy the slide deck onto your Google drive.

      Google Slide Deck TIPS:

      1. Save the PDF file that you receive once you enter your email below, because you can come back to it again and again and send it to the kids on your caseload (or classroom) so they can make their own copy on their Google drive.
      2. You will be prompted to make a copy of the slide deck. Before clicking that, be sure that you are logged into your Google account.
      3. Make a copy for each student’s Google Drive. When you share it, make sure you enable edit capabilities for users.
      4. The pieces will be moveable in “edit” mode. If you click “present”, the movable ice cubes won’t work.
      5. Be sure to make a copy of this slide deck and not change the url to indicate “edit” at the end. When you make a copy of the slide deck onto your Google drive, you will end up with your own version that you are free to adjust in order to meet your student’s needs. By changing the url to “edit”, you can potentially mess up the original version that many other therapists and The OT Toolbox users are given.
      6. To easily start a new game- Once you’ve gone through all of the slides, go to “history” on the top of the Google dashboard. You will be able to revert the slide to it’s original state using the history option, so all of the ice cubes go back to their original place. The history option is located on the top dashboard by clicking the link that says, “last edit was…”. When you click on that, you will see a list of edits made on the right side of your screen. Click on the edit titled, “New Game (Revert slides to their original state)”. This should move all of the movable ice cubes back to their original location on the slide deck. The typed in emotions on the text boxes will disappear as well. Note that you can delete edits from that list, so if several students are using the slides, you can keep the organization simple and delete edit versions that you no longer need.

      FREE Emotions Game -Penguin Theme!

        We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.

        Enjoy!

        Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

        Emotional Development Toys

        emotional development toy

        Today, I’m excited to share information on emotional development toys that you can add to your emotional skills toolbox! Toys and play are powerful tools to teach children about emotions. Add these emotional skills toys to support social emotional learning in kids.

        emotional development toys

        Emotional Development Toys

        When you take a look at social emotional skills, there is a lot to it! Emotional development contributes to one’s ability to regulate behaviors, participate in learning or social situations, make and keep friends, and management of emotions in everyday situations. Also, social emotional development is a precursor to learning and has been linked to academic performance.

        Here are more friendship activities to use as well in promoting development of these skills.

        Emotional development occurs from a very young age. In fact, social emotional learning develops from infancy!

        This site has some great graphics that break down development of emotional skills by age.

        Social Emotional Development Examples

        When you think of emotional development, you probably think about a child’s ability to react and respond to situations with emotional maturity. But, in fact, that part of emotional development occurs much later in childhood. Social emotional development looks like many things leading up to emotional maturity!

        Emotional development examples include things such as:

        • Facial expressions in response to interactions
        • Positive attachments at the infants and toddler stage
        • Eye contact (but not always an indicator for all children)
        • Identifying different expressions in others
        • Identifying and labeling emotions based on words, expressions, actions in others
        • Identifying emotions and feelings in self based on situations or responses to situation
        • Paying attention and using self-control
        • Expression of a variety of emotions
        • Copying facial expressions
        • Uses words to express feelings
        • Empathy for others
        • Having and recovering from temper tantrums
        • Pretend play with emotions
        • Using and identifying a variety of emotions
        • Making friends
        • Social awareness
        • Positive self-image
        • Healthy self-talk or inner voice
        • Managing emotions
        • Emotional regulation
        • Asks for help when needed
        • Impulse control in social situations
        • Identifying emotions in the situation and responding with functional regulation strategies

        How to support emotional development

        There are many ways to support social emotional skills using emotional development toys and activities. Some examples include modeling emotional regulation and strategies a child can use. Using describing language to put words to emotions and feelings is another strategy parents can use to support emotional development.

        One important way to support a child’s social emotional skills is through play.

        Play and emotional development

        Through play, it is possible to identify emotions, practice emotions, model interactions, and show empathy. Play offers the chance for children to practice skills in a “safe” environment.

        Try this free social emotional learning worksheet with children to help them identify emotions.

        Children can learn so much about emotional development through play! Try these strategies to use play as a medium for developing social emotional skills:

        • Use imaginative play to practice emotions and responses- Imaginative play offers a variety of situations where emotions, feelings, empathy, and responses can be practiced. Practicing emotions, language, and regulation strategies by playing “house”, doctor, school, shopping, pretend kitchen, or pretend construction, or any other pretend play environment offers so many opportunities for development of skills.
        • Play games to build emotional skills- Games offer children the chance to win or lose, where they can respond to that status in different ways. This offers a great opportunity to talk about expectations, impulse control, attention, turn-taking, expectations, and responding to other’s wins or losses.
        • Read books to support emotional development- Books offer a chance to put yourself in another’s place. Reading books with children offers an opportunity to open up conversations on how a character acted in a situation and what the child might have done in that situation. It’s a great way to practice social responses, empathy, and self-regulation strategies. Here are great children’s books (and fun activities based on the books) related to social emotional learning:

        Exploring Books Through Play uses children’s literature as a theme to engage in fun, hands-on activities that help children and adults delve deeper into the characters and lessons, bringing the stories to life and falling further in love with literature. Read a story and then bring the characters to life while learning and building skills. Each story offers unique activities designed around central themes of friendship, empathy, and compassion.

        Each chapter in Exploring Books through Play includes 5 activities for each of the 10 children’s books. The activities are perfect for children ages 3-8, can be used in small groups or as a whole class, and are easily adapted to a home or classroom setting.

        • Talk about choices, emotions, and responses in play- Using play as a means to work on development of these skills. Play offers a chance for children to make choices and opens opportunities to practice sensory regulation strategies for emotional responses.
        • Use emotional development toys– Toys that offer a way for children to identify facial expressions, practice empathy in imaginative play, and the opportunity to practice regulation are powerful tools.

        Want to help kids learn more about complex concepts such emotions, empathy, compassion, and differences?

        Whatsitsface Emotional Development Toy

        Recently, I came across the Whatsitsface plush toy on Instagram. This emotional development toy helps children develop emotions through imaginative play. Kids can adjust the moveable parts to change the toy’s facial expression and practice emotional development skills through play.

        Kids can practice their understanding of emotions in a safe and interactive way. Whatsitsface allows children to put emotions into a language they understand and provides a chance to practice management of emotions.

        The plush emotional development toy has 6 different facial expressions that children can easily change themselves in two different ways.

        Check out the blog comments below to learn about reader strategies for teaching children about emotions and emotional development.

        Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

        Gratitude Activities

        gratitude activities

        Gratitude activities and specific ways to teach gratitude is an important part of child development. But gratitude can be a complex and abstract topic for kids. Sometimes, putting together a few hands-on activities can be a helpful way to show children how to express gratitude for the people, things, and places in their lives that they are thankful for. There’s more; Gratitude is an early social-emotional skill that fosters children’s social emotional learning as well as a core skill that relates to successes and relationship skills later in life. Use the gratitude ideas described here to help children build this essential soft skill while targeting motor development, making activities for gratitude development fun and functional.

        Gratitude activities for children and families

        Gratitude Activities

        These gratitude games, activities, and hands-on play ideas help children foster this soft skill.

        I’ve tried to pull together several activities and ideas that help children understand thankfulness and see that feeling in action through play and activities.

        You’ll find book-related thankfulness activities, gratitude games, thankfulness crafts, and other gratefulness activities to teach gratitude to children and even adults.

        You’ll find a teaching gratitude therapy slide deck that occupational therapists and other child professionals can use in teletherapy to teach this skill, while targeting other areas like fine motor skills, gross motor, mindfulness, and even handwriting.

        There’s more to it, though. Helping children foster gratitude helps them later in life.

        Gratitude Activities Foster Social Emotional Learning

        I mentioned in the first paragraph, the significance of teaching gratitude to children. This soft skill is a powerful one to start early with toddlers and preschoolers. But, teaching the ability to be self-aware, and cognizant of one’s well-being, even in difficult times is a powerful instrument in fostering grit and resilience.

        More so, teaching gratitude to children allows them to build essential roadmaps to social emotional learning and prepares them for successes later in their life.

        Social and emotional skills are founded on self-awareness, emotions, and the connection between the emotions, thoughts, actions that we see in children. The ability for children to manage their behaviors, thoughts, and actions (or behaviors) rests in perspective, impulse control, and self-awareness.

        When children can connect the dots between other people’s perspectives and having empathy for others, they are able to maintain and build relationships. And, when children are in that mindset of being mindful of others and how their own actions, thoughts, behaviors, and actions impact others, social emotional awareness takes place. That ability to make responsible decisions about their choices can flourish when a child is grateful for what the have and their ownership in any given situation.

        Gratitude leads to self-awareness, perspective of others, kindness, and empathy.

        For children, having and expressing gratitude helps them to recognize the tools they have already as a way to be resilient against obstacles and challenges. When kids are aware of the things they have, the special skills they posses, or people they have in their corner, they can use those things so they are empowered, and not overwhelmed.

        These are big concepts and deep connections for children!

        Many adults struggle with these very same concepts. But, to say that these ideas are too deep or advanced for children doesn’t mean that we can’t work on gratitude as a building block for social emotional awareness and development. Instead, we can provide gratitude activities that help children build and establish these skills.

        Research tells us that positive emotions, including gratitude, promote happiness and flourishing, creating an upward spiral (Fredrickson, 2009Seligman, 2011). This upward spiral is a tool in a child (or adult’s) toolbox for learning, development, interaction with others, and day to day success.

        Gratitude Activities for Children

        So, how can we foster this appreciation for the world around us? Below, you’ll find gratitude activities and gratefulness activities to help children become genuinely more thankful for people, things, and their own self-awareness.

        Discuss thankfulness- Talk with children about the things, people, situations, and skills they have available to them which are things to be thankful for. Expressing gratitude for the smallest gifts that we have in our lives, of any kind, helps children communicate and establish gratitude. Try this gratitude craft to help children count their blessings and to create a physical reminder of all that they have to be thankful for.

        Model gratitude- Parents can express their gratitude and be a visible example to children so they can be thankful in any given situation, even when things seem difficult or challenging. Parental examples of thankfulness despite challenging situations is a powerful reinforcement that allows children to learn gratitude by “seeing” and “doing” as they learn to use the skills and “tools” they have available to them. In this way, kids learn in the moment and see gratitude in action. This can be shown in many ways:

        • Parents can tackle difficult situations with positivity.
        • By saying thank you to others, kids see an example of gratitude in action.
        • Say things like, “I’m so grateful for…”
        • Put a positive spin on difficult situations as an example of a positive mindset: “this is hard, but I am thankful I can…”

        Express gratitude on a daily basis- Being consistent with thankfulness can help children learn this abstract concepts in very concrete ways. These gratitude printable worksheets and activities can be part of a daily gratitude exercise, as a family.

        Incorporate books- This Bear Says Thanks activity helps children to see gratitude in action in a childhood book and then pair the book with a fine motor activity that allows them to count their blessings.

        Make gratitude part of the home- Make a gratitude tree as a way to express family gratitude. The daily reminder will become part of the home and is a reminder of all the things in life that there are to be thankful for.

        Teach gratitude- Helping kids to understand what gratitude means and looks like can involve the whole body. This teaching gratitude slide deck targets fine and gross motor skills, mindfulness, and even handwriting.

        Journal gratitude- We know that writing down the things that we are thankful for promotes a better mindset and overall wellbeing.  Keeping a daily journal with children can be a way wot foster the positive impact of daily gratitude. Ask children to write down just one or two things each day that they are thankful for. What would you add to that list for today?

        The Impulse Control Journal is a child-friendly way to write down gratitude and to use that journaling to foster mindset and self-awareness through quick checklists where kids can write out their strengths, qualities, supports, and insights.

        Impulse Control Journal the OT Toolbox
        • Fredrickson B.L. Crown; New York: 2009. Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace The Hidden Strength Of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, And Thrive. [Google Scholar]

        Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.

        Coping Strategies for Kids

        Coping strategies for kids

        Whether it’s the classroom, home, or day to day life…coping strategies for kids are needed. Coping strategies are mechanisms or tools to adjust and respond to emotions, stressors, and unbalance so that one can function and complete daily occupations, or everyday tasks. Coping tools help to balance and regulate a person. Coping strategies can look different for every individual and that’s why this giant list of coping skills will be powerful in building a toolbox of strategies for kids (or teens and adults!)

        Coping strategies for kids that help kids with regulation, emotions, stress, worries.

        We all need coping strategies! It can be difficult to cope with stress or worries as a child.  Most of the time, it can be hard to just figure out what is going on with the mood swings, frustration, behaviors, and lack of focus.  Most of these problems can be a result of a multitude of problems!  From emotional regulation concerns, to sensory processing issues, to executive functioning struggles, to anxiety, communication issues, or cognitive levels–ALL of the resulting behaviors can benefit from coping strategies. Here on The OT Toolbox, I’ve shared sensory coping strategies for anxiety or worries. These can be used for so many other underlying concerns as well.
        It’s not just anxiety or worries that causes a need for sensory-based coping strategies. Emotional regulation, an unbalanced sense of being, stress, situational or environmental issues…the list of concerns that would benefit from sensory coping tools could go on and on.

        Incorporating sensory strategies and sensory play into a coping toolbox can help kids with a multitude of difficulties.  Try using some of these ideas in isolation and use others in combination with one or two others.  The thing about coping strategies is that one thing might help with issues one time, but not another.

        Coping Strategies for Kids 

        One thing to remember is that every child is vastly different. What helps one child cope may not help another child in the same class or grade.  Children struggle with issues and need an answer for their troubles for many different reasons.  The underlying issues like auditory processing issues or low frustration tolerance are all part of the extremely complex puzzle.

        Other contributions to using coping strategies include a child’s self-regulation, executive functioning skills, self-esteem, emotional regulation, and frustration tolerance. That makes sense, right? It’s all connected!

        Coping Skills for Kids meet needs

        Coping skills are the tools that a person can use to deal with stressful situations. Coping strategies help a us deal with occupational unbalance, so that we can be flexible and persistent in addressing those needs.

        Coping skills in children can be used based on the needs of the individual child.  Also, there is a lot to consider about the influence of factors that affect the person’s ability to cope with areas of difficulty.  Likewise, feedback from precious coping efforts relates to the efficacy of a coping plan. (Gage, 1992).

        Coping skills in kids depends on many things: wellness, self-regulation, emotional development, sensory processing, and more.

        Having a set of coping skills benefit children and adults!  Every one of us has stress or worries in some manner or another.  Children with sensory processing issues, anxiety, or social emotional struggles know the stress of frustration to situations.  It’s no surprise that some of these issues like sensory processing disorder and anxiety are linked.

        Research on wellness tells us that child well being is dependent on various factors, including parental resources, parental mental health, parental relationship quality, parenting quality, father involvement, family types, and family stability. What’s more is that taking a look at the overall balance in a family and the child can provide understanding into things like stress, frustration, anxiety, and overwhelming feelings. The wellness wheel can help with getting a big picture look at various components of overall well-being.

        In fact, studies tell us that coping flexibility may be an important way to investigate coping. Coping flexibility, or an individual’s ability to modify and change coping strategies depending on the context, can be impacted by executive functioning difficulties including flexible thinking, working memory, impulse control, emotional control, and self-monitoring.

        And, having more coping strategies in one’s toolbox coping may be an important precursor to coping flexibility, especially because having flexibility in coping abilities can only be obtained if an individual is able to access and use different coping strategies. It’s the chicken or the egg concept!

        Another study found that children who used problem solving or constructive communication were better able to manage stress and that those who used maladaptive strategies like suppressing, avoiding or denying their feelings, had higher levels of problems related to stress. It makes sense. The most effective coping strategies are ones that adapting to the stressors rather than trying to change the stressors.

        So, how can we help with stress and frustrations?  One tool is having a set of sensory coping strategies available to use in these situations.    

        Types of coping skills

        All of this said, we can break down coping skills for kids into different types of coping strategies that can be added to a coping toolbox:

        Physical- exercise, movement, brain breaks, heavy work are some examples. Physical coping strategies might include pounding a pillow in frustration, using a fidget toy, running, yoga.

        Sensory- While there is a physical component to sensory coping strategies (proprioception and vestibular input are just that: physical movement…and the act of participating in sensory coping strategies involves movement and physical action of the body’s sensory systems) this type of coping tool is separated for it’s uniqueness. Examples include aromatherapy, listening to music, mindfulness (interoception), and sensory play.

        Sensory strategies that are motivating can be a big help for some kids. Try these train themed sensory activity ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

        Emotional- Thinking about one’s feelings and emotions is the start of emotional regulation and social development. Acting out feelings, talking to a friend or teacher…communication is huge!

        These social skills activities are a great way to build awareness of self and others and can double as coping tools too.

        Communication- Talking about feelings, talking to others, writing in a journal, singing. Have you ever just had to “vent” your feelings about a situation? That ability to “let it all out” is a way to process a situation and talk through solutions, or find common ground in a situation.

        Use this list of coping skills to help kids build a coping skills toolbox.

        List of Coping skills

        1. Move- Get up and run in place, jog, do jumping jacks, or hop in place.

        2. Fidget tools in school– Use learning-friendly fidget tools, perfect for the classroom or at-home learning space. Here is one desk fidget tool that kids can use while learning.


        3. Talk- Talk about it to a friend, talk to an adult, or talk to a teacher.


        4. Snuggle- Grab a big cozy blanket and pile pillows around you to build a fort of comfort!  The pressure from the blanket and pillows provides proprioceptive input.


        5. Take a bath or hot shower.


        6. Blow bubbles.  The oral sensory input is organizing.


        7. Sensory water play.


        8. Scream into a pillow.


        9. Pound play dough.  Try a heavy work dough like this DIY marshmallow proprioception dough.

        10. Use a keychain fidget tool. This is a DIY fidget tool that kids can make while building fine motor skills. Attach it to a belt loop, backpack, or even shoe laces for circle time attention.

        11. Exercise. This alphabet exercise activities can be helpful in coming up with exercises for kids. Use the printable sheet to spell words, the child’s name, etc. This alphabet slide deck for teletherapy uses the same letter exercises and offers exercises for each letter of the alphabet. Use it in teletherapy or face-to-face sessions or learning.


        12. Look at the clouds and find shapes.


        13. Deep breathing. Deep breathing exercise are a mindfulness activity for kids with benefits… Try these themed deep breathing printable sheets: pumpkin deep breathing, clover deep breathing, Thanksgiving deep breathing, and Christmas mindfulness activity.


        14. Take a walk in nature.

        15. Play a game.


        16.  Build with LEGOS.


        17. Listen to the sounds of the ocean on a soothing sounds app or sound machine.


        18. Count backwards.  Try walking in a circle while counting or other movements such as jumping, skipping, or hopping.


        19. Drink a cold drink.


        20. Drink a smoothie. There are proprioceptive and oral motor benefits to drinking a smoothie through a straw. Here are rainbow smoothie recipes for each color of the rainbow.

        21. Squeeze a stuffed animal.

        22. Listen to music.

        23. Hum a favorite song.

        24. Blow bubbles.

        25. Chew gum.

        27. Tear paper for fine motor benefits and heavy work for the fingers and hands.

        28. Smash and jump on ice cubes outdoors.  Jumping on ice is a great activity for incorporating prioprioceptive sensory input.


        29. Journal.  The Impulse Control Journal is an excellent tool for self-awareness and coming up with a game plan that works…and then keeping track of how it all works together in daily tasks.

        30. Guided imagery.

        31. Think of consequences.

        32. Stretch.

        33.  Go for a walk.

        34.  Write a story or draw a picture. Sometimes it helps to crumble it up and throw it away!


        35.  Blow up balloons and then pop them.

        36. Take a time out.

        37. Animal walks.

        38. Imagine the best day ever.

        39.  Swing on swings.

        40.  Name 5 positive things about yourself.

        41. Draw with sidewalk chalk. Drawing can relieve stress.

        42. Try a pencil topper fidget tool for focus during written work.

        43. Add movement- This monster movements slide deck uses a monster theme for core strength, mobility and movement breaks. It’s perfect for teletherapy and using as a coping strategy.

        44. Try this easy coping strategy that only uses your hands.

        45. Take a nap.

        46. Sensory-based tricks and tips that help with meltdowns.

        HEAVY WORK coping skills

        Brain breaks are a powerful and effective way to address regulation needs, help with attention, and impact learning into the classroom or at home as part of distance learning.

        The impact of emotions and changes to routines can be big stressors in kids. They are struggling through the day’s activities while sometimes striving to pay attention through sensory processing issues or executive functioning needs. Brain breaks, or movement breaks can be used as part of a sensory diet or in a whole-classroom activity between classroom tasks. 

        This collection of 11 pages of heavy work activity cards are combined into themed cards so you can add heavy work to everyday play.

        heavy work cards for regulation, attention, and themed brain breaks

        Coping strategies for kids printable

        Want a printable list of coping tools for kids? This list of coping skills can be printed off and used as a checklist for building a toolbox of strategies.

        Get the printable version of this list.  It’s free! Click HERE to get the printable

        Try these sensory coping strategies to help kids with anxiety, stress, worries, or other issues.
        Printable list of sensory coping strategies for helping kids cope.

        Coping strategies can come in handy in many situations:

        When saying “calm down” just isn’t enough…

        When a child is easily “triggered” and seems to melt down at any sign of loud noises or excitement…

        When you need help or a starting point to teach kids self-regulation strategies…

        When you are struggling to motivate or redirect a child without causing a meltdown…

        When you’re struggling to help kids explore their emotions, develop self-regulation and coping skills, manage and reflect on their emotions, identify their emotions, and more as they grow…

        Gage, M. (1992). The Appraisal Model of Coping: An Assessment and Intervention Model for Occupational Therapy, American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 46, 353-362. Retrieved from : oi:10.5014/ajot.46.4.353 on 5-24-27.

        Emotional Regulation and Executive Function

        emotional regulation and executive functioning skills are connected.

        Emotional regulation and executive function are connected in more ways than one. Development of social emotional skills includes an awareness of self and self-monitoring skills, among other areas. The regulation of those emotions is critical for executive functioning cognitive tasks. When we regulate behavior, the frontal lobe is at work with it’s impulse control, initiation, self-monitoring, and other cognitive skills. Furthermore, emotional skill development includes the ability to self-regulate. These skills mature and develop throughout childhood and into adulthood.

        Emotional regulation and executive functioning are deeply connected and critical of each other in completion of most every task and childhood occupation.

        Emotional Regulation and Executive Function

        In a previous blog post, shared a little background information on social emotional learning and regulation. We’ll go more into this relationship below. We’ll also cover social emotional learning and occupations that our kids participate in each day…and how executive functioning skills and regulation impacts functioning at home, work, and school. You will also want to check out these social skills activities for interventions to build areas related to social-emotional skills.

        Here is a social emotional learning worksheet that can help kids identify emotions and begin to address emotional regulation needs.

        Emotional regulation is essentially a person’s ability to manage stress. This is not a skill we are born with.

        For children, particularly those who have anxiety, autism, ADHD, ASD, early childhood trauma, Sensory Processing Disorder, and other special needs, it can be especially challenging.

        Poor emotional regulation can lead to social issues, meltdowns, problems at home and school, negative behavior, anxiety, and later in life, even addictions and difficulty with relationships. 

        Sometimes, emotions become intense and out of control. They become dysregulated and impact the ability to manage behaviors and cognitive thought processes, or the executive functioning skills. Emotional dysregulation requires mental skills like focusing, following directions extremely difficult. When the emotions take over, our brain has trouble communicating between the limbic system and the frontal lobe.

        Executive Function and Emotions

        Let’s break this down even further. There is a connection between social emotional skills and executive functioning skills. Critical thinking is a huge part of this. When you consider the daily occupations of kids, many of the areas of struggle have a component related to impulse control, working memory, attention, focus, metacognition, and persistence, etc. Big emotions can impact task performance in each of these areas in different ways.

        • Play
        • Cleaning up after oneself
        • Social/family relationships
        • Learning
        • Chores
        • Homework
        • Schooling at home
        • Reading
        • Grooming/Hygiene
        • Dressing/Bathing
        • Caring for materials

        And, that is just some of the daily jobs that occupy a child or teen’s day. When we consider the connection of social/emotional skills and executive functioning skills in activities of daily living, social participation, learning, play, or chores, there is a lot going on!

        Self-regulation skills of both sensory regulation and emotional regulation depends on various subcategories of executive functioning skills, including inhibition/impulse control, task initiation, working memory, mental flexibility, and self-control. We know that all of these mental skills are deeply inter-connected and that executive functioning is like the air traffic control center of the brain…it keeps us operating as we should.

        Impulse Control– Attention and impulses are another set of executive functioning skills that are very closely related.  When the distracted child can not focus on a specific task or conversation, or situation, then the tendency to impulsively respond is quite likely.  A great tool for assessing and monitoring impulses in the child with attention struggles is the impulse control journal.

        Working memory– This executive functioning skill is the ability to act on past memories and manipulating the information in a new situation. Processing short term memories and using it allows us to respond in new situations. 

        Attention– Executive functions are heavily dependent on attention. Distractions can come in many forms. The child who is overly sensitive to sensory input may over respond to the slightest sounds, textures, sights, scents, tastes, or motions.  Children who are excessively distracted by their sensory needs will struggle to attend to simple commands. Other children are able to “keep it together” in a classroom or home setting yet their concentration is challenged. 

        Self-Monitoring– This executive functioning skill goes hand in hand with attention and focus. Self monitoring allows us to keep ourselves in check in a situation.  We need to stay on task and focus on that a person is saying and respond in appropriate ways.  If the child with attention issues can not focus on what a person is saying for more than a few minutes, than the ability to respond appropriately can be a real issue.

        Emotional Control- Kids with attention issues may not be able to attend for extended periods of time on a situation that enables them to control their emotions.  They can perseverate on the emotions of a specific situation or may not be “up to speed” on the situation at hand or be able to process their emotions as they attend to a different situation.  Issues with emotional control can then lead to behavioral responses as they struggle to keep their emotions in check.

        Prioritizing- Planning out and picking the most important tasks of a project can be a struggle for the child with attention issues.  It can be easy to become overwhelmed and distracted by the options for importance.

        Processing Speed- Processing speed refers to the ability to receive, understand, and process information in order to make a decision or response.  It also involves using working memory in a situation or experience.  Children who experience attention struggles may experience difficulty in retrieval of information (using working memory) and responding using that information (initiation). This carries over to missed information, difficulty keeping up with a conversation or lesson in school, or a fast-moving game or activity. 

        Task Initiation– Children with attention difficulties can be challenged to start tasks.  It can be difficult to pull out the starting point or the most important parts of a multi-step project so that just starting is a real struggle.

        Task Completion- Similar to the initiation of specific tasks, completing a task or project can be a real challenge for the child who is limited in attention.  Reading a multiple chapter book can seem overwhelming and quite difficult and just never is finished.  Cleaning a room can be a big challenge when there are visual, auditory, or other sensory-related distractions that make up the project.

        Emotional regulation is a topic that can get hairy, and fast. Emotional regulation is essentially a person’s ability to manage stress. This is not a skill we are born with. For children, particularly those who have anxiety, autism, ADHD, FASD, early childhood trauma, Sensory Processing Disorder, and other special needs, it can be especially challenging. Poor emotional regulation can lead to social issues, meltdowns, problems at home and school, negative behavior, anxiety, and later in life, even addictions and difficulty with relationships.

        >>When you’re a parent or teacher watching a child you care about struggle, it can be a helpless feeling. Some kids just don’t know what to do with their big emotions.

        >>Perhaps you’ve tried everything you can think of and you’re still being held hostage by your child’s emotional outbursts.

        >>Or, maybe you are a therapist working with dysregulated children having emotional meltdowns and a fixed mindset who really need the tools to manage overwhelming emotions.

        What we do know is that more and more research is showing that emotional regulation and learning are linked.

        • In 2007, researchers stated, “Our findings suggest that children who have difficulty regulating their emotions have trouble learning in the classroom and are less productive and accurate when completing assignments,” (Graziano, Reavis, Keane, & Calkins, 2007).
        • “The ability to regulate emotions is an essential prerequisite for adaptive development and behavior” (Sousa Machado & Pardal, 2013).
        Executive function and emotional regulation activities for kids

        Emotional Regulation and Executive Function Strategies

        Having a toolkit of ideas to pull from so you can change things as needed is why we created the Creating Connections Toolkit.

        Creating connections emotional regulation tools

        This collection of products is a huge resource of printable activities, movement cards, breathing information sheets, games, play mats, journals, and so much more. It’s a resource that covers all of the areas listed above…the areas that our kids struggle in!

        Myself along with other professionals have created this bundle of social emotional products. The Creating Connections Toolkit includes over 20 incredible social emotional and emotional regulation products that you can use every day in your therapy practice, in the classroom, and at home…for $19.

        The guides in this bundle will help to teach your child breathing exercises and help you tame tantrums. You’ll get a routine planner and visual chore chart. The resources will help you understand sensory in a whole new way, and have a wealth of sensory play ideas right at your fingertips!

        Get the Creating Connections social-emotional skills bundle here.

        P.S. This sale only goes through Friday the 10th!

        Further development of executive functioning and emotional regulation can be fostered by the methods described here, as well as by some basic strategies:

        Routines

        Modeling behavior

        Establishing a support system

        Creative play

        Opportunities for movement and motor skill developmnt

        Social networks and interactive play

        Coping tools for worries, stress, or changes to routines

        Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.