Traffic light toolkit for emotional regulation - Elsa Support

Traffic light toolkit for emotional regulation

Here are some ideas on how to use the Traffic light toolkit for emotional regulation

Some children need help to regulate their emotions, to turn the red emotions into green emotions. Red being the unpleasant emotions and green being the more pleasant emotions. This toolkit helps them to find strategies to help them go from red to green by using a ‘tool’ which is the yellow card.

Traffic light 1

Items included in the pack

Look at the base board together and discuss traffic lights. Red means you stop, amber means you can get ready to go and green means you can go. Explain how sometimes our emotions are red and we should stop and think. Emotions such as ‘anger, fear, worry’ are emotions where we should stop, think and try and work out how we can cope with these emotions. To get ready to go we need to do something to help us feel better. If you were driving and you stopped at a traffic light you would put your car into gear and take the handbrake off if you saw the amber light appear. When the green light appears you can go. In emotional terms that is the emotion that makes us feel better in ourselves such as being calm, relaxed, happy, ok.

Traffic light 7

When a child feels an emotion such as anger they need reminding on how to deal with it. This base board will help them to do that. Choose the emotion that is a problem for the child. In this case it is anger. Put the emotion that the child is aiming for into the green light. Now talk to the child about the different strategies that could be used to help them get from anger to calm. Go through those yellow cards and choose 5 things to try. Practise those activities with the child. Ask the child which one they will try next time they are angry. Stick this yellow card into the yellow light.

The child will need this traffic light close to them at all times as a visual reminder of what to do when they are angry.

Other uses for this pack

traffic light 2

Print out the emotion cards (2 copies of each). Use one as a baseboard and cut up the others. Play bingo or match the emotion. Print out two copies and cut them all up. Turn them all face down and play matching pairs.

There are 24 strategies here to try but the child may come up with another strategy that they would like to try. Cut up some yellow card into squares and allow the child to write or draw their own strategy.

For older children allow them to use the base board with a dry wipe pen. They can write the emotion words in the red and green circles and think of a strategy they could use to help them get from red to green.


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