We classify feelings/emotions and how they can make our body feel into four zones:
Green Zone = when you are ready – “good to go.” You feel happy, calm, focused, ready to learn
Blue Zone = when your body is running slowly, such as when you are tired, sick, sad or bored.
Yellow Zone = when you feel your engine is running high, such as when you are frustrated, overwhelmed, silly, wiggly, excited, worried, anxious or surprised.
Red Zone = is when you have “flipped your lid.” You have extreme feelings such as panic, uncontrolled anger, aggression or elation.
We play games to familiarise ourselves with the language of feelings as children might only know the word happy and angry to express their feelings. Games such as Emotions Bingo or Let’s sort our feelings out
Why not have a go at the game below?
The answers are in this file:
Let’s look at ANXIETY more closely. How could it make our body feel? Which unexpected behaviours could anxiety lead us to display?
This cartoon explains how baffling feelings can be for children and adults. That is why it is very important to get to know our emotions and how they can affect our behaviour and self worth. Emotional literacy does not just happen, it is a skill which can be taught. Awareness is the first step on the road to emotional literacy.
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This analogy is one of my favourite ways to explain what anxiety/ worrying can feel like. The article above also gives 4 easy steps to use to train yourself to come out ( and stay out!) of the washing machine full of worries, negative thoughts and anxiety. Anxiety is part of a vast range of feelings we can all experience in our lives. When everything is well balanced, anxiety is actually a way to keep us safe and avoid taking unnecessary risks. It is an emotion that alerts us to danger. However, when anxiety and worry stop us to be content, happy, sociable then it is a bit like being stuck in a washing machine : very unpleasant! Children, teenagers, adults can all experience an overwhelming sense of worry and anxiety which, in turn, can affect one’s behaviour and self-esteem.
At Howard Primary we are very mindful in the way we teach children about feelings and how to detect overpowering emotions. We use a program called Zones of Regulation which teaches children how to put together a range of tools to support a good , healthy emotional balance.
One of the tools we practise is called mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the ability to know what’s happening in your head at any given moment without getting carried away by it. Mindfulness activities help us to:
- pay attention to the feelings we have
- process those feelings
- respond to the feelings in a controlled way
The video below goes through a range of benefits of mindfulness. In my next post I will talk about how we can pay attention to the feelings we have.
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Attention Bucket is a very useful programme to develop attention skills.
You can follow the programme as follows:
- Decide on the rules you want your child to follow e.g. 1. Stay seated OR 1.You can get up from the chair 2. You can not touch the screen 3. You have to watch the whole video
- Watch videos in order so start from Level 1
- You will see in the videos that clearing up is part of the programme. The intention is to help the children understanding the concepts of ‘Finished’ and ‘Next’.
The first video highlights useful strategies behind the programme:
These are a selection of Level 1 and 2 sessions for you to watch with your child: