Emotional Learning Activities
Fun Games To Teach Kids Self Regulation

Fun Games To Teach Kids Self Regulation

How can we teach children self-control? The capacity to regulate one’s emotions and actions is referred to as self-regulation. Children do not have this capacity from birth, but it develops as they grow. These ten entertaining games can help children learn about impulse control and improve (growth mindset) these abilities via play. If you’re locked inside, these games will come in handy.

Some of the things we say as parents sound like a broken record…

  • Please place your dirty clothing in the washing basket.
  • We need to take turns, remember we swap after five minutes?
  • Please switch off your bedroom light when you leave your room. We do not leap off the couch.
  • Please do not sit on the dog with your hands in your pockets.
  • There is no jogging in the home because you may injure yourself… and the list goes on and on…
  • These day-to-day (or minute-to-minute) situations with little children can easily develop into irritation.

When you’ve asked your child to assist or stop doing something for what feels like the 2 millionth time and they still do it, your blood starts to boil or you run away to the cupboard, where your hidden chocolate stash resides on the top shelf.

But here’s the catch… Until the age of 3.5 – 4, children lack self-control, which is why they appear to be constantly “breaking the rules” and testing limits.

Kids’ brains are still developing, and their impulses and emotional state will stay immature until this cortex of their brain grows, which should happen around the age of 3.5 to 4 years old.

This is why you see children acting on their impulses and reacting impulsively rather than thinking things through. They just cannot evaluate the consequences of their behaviour before doing or reacting.

Kids will master… by the age of 3.5 – 4 years.

  • Self-control and the ability to apply restraint in a variety of situations
  • Impulse-control
  • Sharing without causing conflict
  • alternating turns

For more information on self-regulation and emotional regulation:

  1. How To Teach Kids Self-Regulation Skills
  2. What Is Emotional Regulation in Children
  3. The Early Years of Child Brain Development
  4. The Key to Raising a Self-Disciplined Child
  5. How To Teach Kids Self-Control

Meanwhile, as your baby’s brain continues to absorb information and expand, you may help your child learn about self-discipline and impulse control in a roundabout and enjoyable way.

Fun Games to Teach Children Self-Control and Impulse Control

Your child is still learning, and it is your responsibility to be patient with them and teach them when they leave their clothes on the floor or forget to turn off the bedroom light.

They won’t be able to grasp something or understand norms and expectations until the cortex of their brain reaches a particular level of development, but you can continue to educate them about self-control and impulse control by playing these entertaining games. Keep in mind, sensory issues can seem like your child lacks self-control, but that is not the case.

Most of them are classic games you’ve probably played a hundred times in your youth, but you didn’t realize they did more than simply entertain you.

Simon Says

The goal of the game is to be the last person standing after everyone else has been eliminated for failing to listen to and obey Simon’s instructions.

How to Play: One person is selected as Simon, while the rest are all game players. Simon must instruct the players what to do, but they must only obey directions that begin with the phrase “Simon Says…”

For instance, if Simon says to pat your head, the players should do it. If Simon says “jump in place” without first stating “Simon Says,” the players should not follow these instructions otherwise they will be sent out.

Red Light, Green Light

The goal of the game is to cross the finish line before the other players.

How to Play: One player stands at the finish line and yells out to the other players on the field. The players stand on the other side of the field or area, and when the announcer says “green light,” they all sprint as fast as they can.

When the announcer says “red light,” everyone must stop, and anyone who does not stop at that time must return to the starting line.


The goal of the game is to sneak up on the It guy when his back is turned while avoiding being caught in the act. The first Statue to tag the It person is the new It person, and the game begins all over again.

How to play: Choose one player to be the It person, who stands on the other end of the field or play area from the other Statues. They try to run across the field and tag the It guy when he has his back to the Statues. When the It person turns to face the Statues, however, they must freeze in place and maintain the stance for as long as the chosen It person is gazing at them.

Though the It person is free to approach and study the statues, he must be cautious since they may move toward him if he turns his back on them. A Statue must return to the starting line if it is discovered moving while the It person is facing it.

Hide N’ Seek

The goal of the game is to find the greatest hiding location while avoiding getting discovered. (The one who is the last to hide wins!)

How to play: One person closes their eyes and counts to 20 (or another specified number) while the others rush about looking for a hiding location. When the person finishes counting, he or she yells, “Ready or Not, Here I Come!” to signal the start of the search for the other players.

When all of the players have been located, the game is over. You set the rules, so the next person could be the first or last person discovered.


The goal of the game is to locate the hider before the rest of the group, hide with him, and avoid being the last one standing.

How to play: This is a fresh twist on the classic game of hide-and-seek. One participant will leave and hide while the rest of the players close their eyes and count to 20 or a predefined number. The hunt begins after the gang has finished counting.

The seekers dispersed in an attempt to locate the lone player’s hiding place. If they locate him, they will join him in the hiding location until all of the seekers have discovered it (packed in like sardines.)

The player who was the last to locate the hiding place is the next to hide!

Freeze Tag

The goal of the game is to avoid getting frozen while also assisting others in escaping the deep freeze.

How to play: In this variant of tag, players who are tagged become “frozen” and must remain in the middle of the field motionless until they are “unfrozen.” They could be “unfrozen” by tagging or crawling between the legs of other players who are not frozen.

When everyone has been marked and frozen, the game is ended. Two taggers can work together to freeze players in a large group.

Duck Duck Goose

The goal of the game is to have a good time while getting some exercise and to make sure that everyone gets a turn as a goose and as IT.

How to play: Everyone sits in a circle, save one person who will start the game as IT. It travels around the circle, softly tapping each player on the head while saying “duck,” until he decides to tap one player on the head while saying “goose.”

Before It may sit down in his seat, the person he names “goose” must stand up and chase It around the circle, attempting to tag him.

It stays the tagger if the player tags it before he sits down, but if the player doesn’t reach him in time, he is replaced by a new person who walks around the circle yelling “duck, duck, goose”

Motor Skills Game

The goal of motor games is to follow orders and listen to what you’re taught to do, which will change from time to time.

How to play: The players who follow the guidelines will have their motor abilities called out by one announcer.

Run rapidly, crawl slowly, walk backward, leap, halt, hop like a frog, jump on one foot, roll over, jumping jacks, flap arms, and so on are all examples of motor abilities.


The goal of the game is to copy the beat and patterns of the lead drummer.

How to play: A lead drummer takes the group through a sequence of beats, rhythms, and noises utilizing drums, boxes, pots, and pans, or anything else that produces noise.

Slow, rapid, halting, and various beats and cadences will be led by the drummer.

Follow The Leader

The goal of the game is to replicate the leader’s emotions by listening and observing them.

How to play: The leader moves their body first, and the rest of the participants must follow suit. Motor abilities such as moving quickly, slowly, up, down, backward, jumping, and so on could be incorporated by the leader.

The leader may act like an animal, scratch his head, or do somersaults, but whatever he or she does, the others must imitate his or her emotions. Any players who do not keep up or fall behind are removed from the game.

The new leader is the last person standing.

How to Develop Age-Appropriate Self-Regulating Skills

While your children are at this exciting age, here are some things to keep in mind if you find yourself repeatedly repeating requests:

Set suitable boundaries with natural consequences – nothing that has too many repercussions or is not in line with the limit. As an example,

If you toss your toys, I will have to take them away, and if you choose to hit someone, you will have to go to a quiet area and play by yourself. Maintain open channels of communication and often address emotions and feelings in order to develop emotional intelligence.

Learn how to encourage your kids to listen the first time, as well as how to create appropriate and fair punishment (fear conditioning)s.

What You Should Do Next:

1. Subscribe To My Parenting Newsletter

Sign Up For My Parenting Newsletter for tips on creating a happier home and becoming a more positive parent. As a bonus when you subscribe you’ll get a copy of my FREE Growth Mindset Printout For Kids which is the KEY to raising resilient kids with a growth mindset.

2. Register For A Pretty Awesome FREE 60-Minute Class:

Register for a free class called GET KIDS TO LISTEN THE RIGHT WAY; an exclusive FREE class from nationally recognized parenting coach, Amy McCready.

3. Sign Up For A 7 Step Positive Parenting Course

Enroll now in the most in-depth parenting class. After discovering these common sense, easy-to-implement, research-based tools you can learn how to:
  • Easily get kids to listen – the FIRST time. No yelling or reminding…not even once!
  • Put an end to daily power struggles. Bedtime became a breeze, and all the dawdling, chore wars, sibling rivalry, and mealtime meltdowns disappeared.
  • Reduce backtalk by HALF! It’s simple once you know the secrets of these two ‘buckets.’
  • Say goodbye to punishments that DON’T work. There’s a 5-step formula that works WAYYY better than time-outs.
  • Feel amazing, confident, and empowered as a parent, every day. I NEVER go to bed feeling guilty anymore! (Okay, well maybe sometimes…’ mom guilt’ is still a thing.)
Got a threenager? You want this class. Got an actual tween or teen? Then what are you waiting for? Sign up for the webinar right NOW and watch the BEST, most life-changing parenting video ever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.