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8 Games that Encourage Self-Regulation

Self-regulation is the ability to manage one’s own emotions, behavior, and body movements while still focusing and attending to a task at hand. Self-regulation involves being able to self-calm when anxious or upset, resist highly emotional reactions (crying, hitting, screaming, etc.) to stimuli, and adjust to changes in expectations/routines. Children who have difficulty with self-regulation may have difficulty identifying their feelings/emotions, have strong emotional outbursts, seem impulsive, and have difficulty attending and focusing. Self-regulation includes being able to identify feelings/emotions, identify what is causing that specific feeling, and how to appropriately manage those feelings while still being able to participate in and attend to activities. Research suggests that children make the most gains in their ability to self-regulate between the ages of 3 and 7. Children learn self-regulation through trial and error. The development of self-regulation skills in preschool and school age children is important for fostering success when learning and playing with peers!

Below are 8 common games that encourage the use of self-regulation skills:

1. Duck, Duck Goose

Challenges children to sit still until they are tagged as the “goose”, works on turn taking.

2. Simon Says

Challenges children to pay close attention to directions and follow movements, as well as learn how to cope when getting “out” if they don’t follow the directions.

3. Red light, Green light

Challenges children to listen to directions and control their body movements by “stopping and going.”

4. Freeze Tag

Challenges children to remain as still as possible until they are tagged again and able to move.

5. Whack-a-Mole, Stack-a-Mole

Works on visual memory and hand eye coordination while trying to stack the cups in order as fast as possible. It also teaches children to look and process information before acting.

6. Hide-and-Seek

Challenges children to not move and be as quiet as possible until the seeker finds them!

7. Jenga

Encourages slow, careful, and controlled movements when stacking the blocks.

8. Spot it!/ Spot it! Jr.

This game involves spotting the same picture on two different cards. The first one to spot the same image wins one of the two cards. This game encourages children to suppress impulses from the brain to shout out random images.

-Marla Griswold, OTR/L

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Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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