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March 31, 2023

Emotional Regulation Techniques For Children

Sammy Snowman is from the story, “Don’t Have a Meltdown”, from the book “Winter Friends Keep Their Cool: Three Emotional Regulation Stories” by Christie L Griffith. Sammy Snowman teaches us to Freeze, Squeeze, and Breathe when our emotions get the best of us. It can be used as an anger management and emotional regulation tool.

You can create your own Sammy Snowman with your child! Start with a piece of construction paper to build your snowman. Keeping it small will enable you to refer to it more frequently.

Work on motor skills by building Sammy:

  • Trace circular objects to form the snowballs and eyes.
  • Cut out the circles. You could fold the paper in half to make a semi-circle to make it easier to cut and unfold after cutting.
  • Cut out straight lines to form the arms.
  • Use the snowman to imitate different arm poses demonstrated by a parent or sibling. Reverse the roles so the child is imitating the snowman.
  • Use both hands to glue Sammy together

Go over scenarios with your child and come up with ways to “keep your cool.” For example, ask your child, “How do you think Sammy would feel if his friend left him to go play with someone else.” If your child responds that he might be mad, discuss how getting mad will make Sammy hot, which will make him melt…and we don’t want Sammy to melt!

Discuss different ways to Stop The Meltdown. Create snowflakes and write these ideas on them. Have the snowflakes falling from the sky and show that snow helps Sammy stop his meltdown, similar to how our coping skills can stop our meltdowns. Additionally, utilize the “Freeze, Squeeze, and Breathe” technique; prompting children to freeze or stop in the situation, squeeze their hands together or another object to release their emotions, and finally breathe to regulate and bring themselves back to baseline.

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