5 Everyday Outdoor Activities To Practice Self-Regulation Skills

Updated: Oct 4, 2018

by Your Therapy Source |



Self regulation is the ability of a person to tolerate sensations, situations and distress and form appropriate responses to that sensory input. Simply stated, it is the ability to control behavior. The ability to self regulate in children is a predictor for academic abilities. 


Here are 5 everyday outdoor activities to practice self-regulation skills in children:


1.  Outdoor free play with a group of children without much adult interaction is an excellent self regulation activity.  A game of tag, kick ball or hide and go seek will certainly require self regulation.  Kids will argue and fight and try to work it out. Many children may tend to lose it in situations where adults don’t intervene to keep it “cordial”.  But in the end it is these situations were children really gain the self-regulation skills because they’ve used their own coping mechanisms to problem solve.


2.  Recess also requires self regulation.  Children may come out of school bursting with energy and need to control it outdoors to remain safe.


3.  Walking to school requires self-control.  For younger children, the child needs to stay with an adult when walking and must control the desire to run ahead.  For older children, they must exhibit self control to avoid other pedestrians and traffic.  Waiting for the school bus requires a significant amount of self-regulation especially when children have to wait for long periods of time.


4.  Be mindful of the beauty of the outdoors.  Teach children to slow down and appreciate the outdoors.  Practice deep breathing and and just relax.  This models a calm body for children.  In order to remain in control in difficult situations children need to have calming experiences.

5.  On the playground, children to need to exhibit self regulation to follow the rules, wait on line to use different equipment and to exhibit safety awareness.  Without self regulation, the child and others are at risk for injury.


The more practice children have to develop self regulation skills, the more children will be better able to think before they act.  


About The Author

This article was originally published on Your Therapy Source. Read the original article.

10910 E. State Road 28-67

Albany, Indiana 47320

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