Introduction to the Zones – Primary

Activities – Choose from any of the following activities:

Mindful Minute – Mindful Listening
Introduce the “Mindful Body” position with the following script:
“Lay on the floor or sit up tall in your own space. If you are in a chair, rest your hands on your lap and make sure your feet are resting on the floor. Relax. Close your eyes if you like or look down at your lap. When I ring the chime, I want you to listen to the sound and open your eyes when you can’t hear the chime sound anymore.”

* If you don’t have a chime, tell students, “Take 3 breaths, and begin.” (Using the same phrase each time helps students to get ready.)  
Materials needed:
*Optional – Chime, bell, or singing bowl (or a recording of one on YouTube)
Mindful Minute – “Flower & Candle Breathing”
Introduce “Mindful Breathing” with the following script:
“Put your hands on your chest or your belly. Imagine a flower and some candles. Imagine that your lungs are filling with air as you smell a flower, and the air is leaving your lungs when you blow out the candles. Breathe in through your nose, then breathe out through your mouth.”
Discuss how slow breathing can be a tool to help us become more calm or stay calm so that we are ready to learn or play. Talk about how breathing is one of the best “tools” we will be learning about to regulate our bodies.  
Materials needed: *Optional – flower & candle breathing image
*Optional –One minute sand timer (optional)
Movement Activity:
Introduce the idea that we use movement activities to get rid of any extra energy or to wake our bodies up if we have been sitting too long. Any big body movement activity. For example, Go Noodle: Pop See Ko  
Materials needed: -Go Noodle (on YouTube) or any other movement activity.
Partner Game – “Name That Zone!”  
Look at the “Emotion Photos” of children experiencing a variety of emotions. Ask students to decide which zone each person is in. Students can finish the sentence:  
“I think this person is in the _______ zone.”
Students can finish the sentence:      
“I remember feeling like this when….” (share a time/situation …. if they are comfortable doing so.)
*Make sure to display the zones slide or poster so that they can refer to it.
*Accept their interpretation of the photos, and their labeling of the zones. Instead of correcting them, you can always say something like, “That’s interesting. I think the person is in the _____ zone because ______ .”
It’s okay at this point if students can’t agree on the zone. We will get better at determining the zones as we move through the lessons.  
Materials needed:
Emotion Photos
-something that shows all the Zones (a page from the story or Zone poster or slide from the slideshow)
Zones Booklet:  
Students can make their own Zones Booklet.
-For page 1 today, brainstorm places, activities, or things that make them feel calm and relaxed.  
-Students can draw a picture and write a sentence to go with it.
-Ask them to make sure that their picture and sentence includes the following details: 
-Where they feel calm and relaxed.
-Who they are with (if anyone).
-What are they doing.
Materials needed:
-Paper or a drawing book
-colouring pencils or markers
-a safe place to store the page/book for next time
Like/Don’t Like Sort
Students draw a happy face and a sad face or a thumbs up and a thumbs down to make the category headings.
Students find pictures or photos in old magazines, newspapers, or calendars of thing that they like or don’t like.
Students sort them into the categories.
Keep them in an envelop to sort another day, or glue them onto a page, indicating which category each photo belongs in.
Materials needed:
– old magazines, newspapers, or calendars
-glue or envelop
-pictures of food are fun to sort
Zones Picture Sort
Students find pictures or photos in old magazines, newspapers, or calendars.
Students sort them into zones.
Keep them in an envelop to sort another day, or glue them onto a page, indicating which zone each photo demonstrates.  
Materials needed:
– old magazines, newspapers, or calendars
-glue or envelop
Calming and Relaxing Songs and Videos:
Song: “Take a Breath” by Raffi 
Mind Yeti short videos: “What is Mindfulness?” and “Finding Your Yeti Body”
Mindfulness YouTube videos, such as: “The Listening Game” by Cosmic Kids Zen Den (6 minutes, 30 seconds – for a shorter version, start at 2:05 or even 3:00)
Bring it Down” (Flow Channel YouTube)
Rainbow Breath” (Flow Channel on YouTube) – this one has some gentle movement as well (4 minutes) .
Materials needed:
-any song or video that is relaxing
-something to play the music on  
Make a “Looks Like, Sounds Like, Feels Like” Poster: Students can make a poster for the Green Zone. Include what the green zone might:
-Look like (How does their body look when they are calm?)
-Sound like (How do they sound when they are calm?)
-Feel like (How does their body feel when they are calm?)  
Materials needed:
-pencil or colouring pencils or markers
-a safe place to store the poster for next time
Online Mindfulness Resources List from U.S. Career Institute, Health and Wellness  
Information on:
-What is Mindfulness
-How to Practice Mindfulness for Beginners
-Overall Health and Wellness
-Fitness and Exercise at Home
Mindfulness Resources - USCI

Other Possible Activities & Resources:

  • Charades
  • Role Playing
  • Zones Bingo (bingo sheets are in the Zones of Regulation book by Leah Kuypers).
  • Apps (most have trial versions that are free)
    • Insight Timer
    • Calm (Calm Kids meditations ages 5-6: Intro, Blowing Candles, Warm Heart, Belly Breaths)
    • Smiling Mind: Classroom Programs: Primary Year 1, The Mindfulness Curriculum
    • Spotify: Kira Willey or search “mindfulness for kids”

For more lessons on self-regulation for parents to explore with their children, contact: