10 Games to Teach Self Control

I do self control groups every year. It’s always a need. And we wrap up each session with a game to practice self control in different ways. Kids love to play the games and I love to see them practice their impulse control strategies – win win! Check out these 10 games to teach kids self control!

Running a self control group counseling program? Your students will love these 10 games to teach kids self control skills!

Games to Teach Self Control

1 – Balloon Tap

All you need for this fun game are balloons and an open space. Arrange students in a circle and assign alternating students to 2 teams (one student is team 1, the next student is team 2, next student is team 1, and so forth). Fill the circle with balloons. Call “Team 1!” Only students on team 1 should tap the balloons. Switch to Team 2, and only students on Team 2 should tap the balloons. Continue switching on a 20-30 second interval. Students will really have to listen for the auditory cue to signify that it’s their team’s turn to tap.

Want to get everyone in on the fun? Use multicolored balloons. Call out the “off-limits color” and no one should tap any balloon of that color. Then switch colors! Students will have to listen for the auditory cue and inhibit impulses when the off-limits color comes closeby.

Running a self control group counseling program? Your students will love these 10 games to teach kids self control skills!

2 – Jenga

The slow, controlled movements needed for Jenga are great for practicing self control! Move too fast the tower will topple. Forget to pay attention to balance and the tower will come crashing down! Students will have to slow down and focus on the task to play.

3 – Don’t Break the Ice

Much like Jenga, students have to be very mindful of their movements and practice body control in Don’t Break the Ice. Using too much force can cause all of the ice to break! Practice this one with students who a little extra time to learn how to be mindful of their bodies.

4 – Freeze Dance

No materials needed for this game! In an open space, play music. Students will dance while the music plays, and when the music stops, students will freeze! If you want to add a layer of difficulty, when students freeze, have them strike a yoga pose.

5 – Red Light Green Light

This is another game that doesn’t require any materials! All students stand on one side of the space. The counselor or leader stands on the other side of the space. When the counselor says, “Green light,” students may begin moving forward toward the counseling. When the counselor says, “Red light,” students must freeze. Add a level of difficulty by changing the required movements – students could hop, crab walk, or bear crawl on a green light!

6 – Garage Band

For this activity, you’ll need instruments for each student. Students will take turns being the garage band leader. The leader will set the beat, and the other students will follow the beat. Students will really have to tune and listen and then activate body control to follow the beat.

Running a self control group counseling program? Your students will love these 10 games to teach kids self control skills!

7 – Simon Says

I like to call this activity Counselor Says, but the rules are the same! The counselor gives an instruction like, “Touch your nose,” but students only follow the directive if the directive begins with, “Counselor says.” For example, students would not touch their noses if the counselor says, “Touch your nose,” but they would touch their noses if the counselor said, “Counselor says touch your nose.”

8 – Clap Pattern

This is a fun activity for a group warm up or closing out a session. The counselor starts a clapping pattern. All students follow the pattern, and then one student adds to the pattern. Students must follow the pattern with the new additions. See how many changes you can add to the pattern!

9 – Statue

For this game, the counselor stands on one side of the room and the students stand on the other. The counselor turns their back to the students. The students begin silently moving toward the counselor. The counselor can then turn around, but when the counselor turns around, all students must freeze in a statue position and hold it until the counselor turns around again! Anyone the counselor sees moving is out of the game.

10 – Mirror

Pair students up for this activity. One student will be the person and one will be the mirror. The student that is the mirror should mimic the other student’s movements, facial expressions, etc. just as if they were a mirror. They’ll really have to pay close attention and be aware of their body movements!


Games to Teach Kids Self Control

What other games do you love for teaching self control? Let me know below! And enter your email below to be notified of new posts, fun ideas, and awesome resources for counseling:

Running a self control group counseling program? Your students will love these 10 games to teach kids self control skills! Use these games to teach self control in your small group counseling program, classroom guidance lessons or classroom activities. These are great for first grade, second grade, third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade activities!

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