Some problems are really big, however most problems at school are little and can be fixed quickly. This social emotional learning, self regulation activity helps children identify their problems with the concept of ‘how important is it?’ and teaches children to consider the importance of their problem in contrast to the size of their reaction. It is an emotional regulation tool that can guide children to self regulate their emotions, in order to respond appropriately. It also guides children to develop better problem solving skills. This can be used as a SEL tool, as a CBT group therapy tool or in a class room calm down space.
Importance of the problem ball visual.
Kids are visual. They love to SEE things to process them. I used three balls and three jars to demonstrate the concept of how important is the problem. The jar represents the problem. Big, Medium, Small. The ball represents the reaction. If a big problem arises, a big reaction is warranted. It fits.
However, what happens if it’s a small problem, and you give it a big reaction. It doesn’t fit at all. The big reaction looks and feels too big on the small problem. What happens if you give a small reaction to the big problem. It’s too small, the problem still has all this space and room left to fill. Using the balls to demonstrate something along those lines, children can visualise the concept.
How can I solve a problem? Free Poster.
Think of this as a self regulation importance of the problem ‘thinking tool’ that helps children evaluate how big or small problems are. I made this traffic light Poster as it offers a good visual that guides children in problem solving. The poster reminds children to stop and consider how big the problem is, set some goals, think through it and work out some solutions.
Here is your free Poster.
This can also be used as an emotional regulation tool. When children are not in a calm mood, they can be prompted to read the poster and consider being ‘stuck at traffic lights’ as something they need to stop and think through to decide on an emotional regulation tool that can provide a solution to get back in the green – good to go!
By doing this, and using these problem solving palm cards in a calm down corner, children are being equipped with social emotional learning and life skills.
Calm zone to self regulation– importance of the problem Activities.
I made this poster with a set of activities. You can get it here. There are two activities addressing the size of a problem and a set of problem solving palm cards.
- One asks children to cut out problems, identify which level of severity they are and glue them next to the coloured arrow. They then match an appropriate solution and glue it on. This allows children to reflect on different levels of problems and teaches many problem solving options.
- The second is individualised so children can write in their own problem and identify which level they feel it is. They can then glue in an emoticon face of how they felt or reacted and reflect on whether their problem is in the correct level and whether their reaction matched the level.
- Problem Solving Palm cards. The problem solving cards can be cut out and used in a calm space, or zones of regulation corner. They offer children ideas to regulate their emotions and reaction when needing to solve a problem. They incorporate the size of the problem and can help children who struggle to self-regulate alone by giving them solutions to calm themselves.
Miss T cut these zones of regulation size of the problem palm cards out and put them in our chill out corner. If you missed it, check out our chill out corner here.
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