Zones of Regulation (The Curriculum Book)


by Leah Kuypers

Ages 4-18+

Item: 3162

New updated emotions illustrations!

“Zones” is a curriculum designed to help students identify their feelings and emotional reactions and learn sensory and perspective taking strategies that encourage better self-regulation. A simple colour coded, four zones format encourages learning. This is a classroom and family friendly tool with wide application across students of all ages, right into adulthood.

Buying Tip:  “Zones” is for anyone working to develop self-regulation skills in young children to young adults.  It’s an international best seller and our most popular resource.  Schools around Australia and around the world are embedding “The Zones” across the whole school curriculum.  The resource can be used with individuals or with groups, and can be implemented by parents, by schools and by therapists.  This book comes highly recommended.

All prices in Australian Dollars.

Information on Invoicing for Purchase Orders and NDIS plans here.


Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist


The Zones of Regulation® is a framework and easy-to-use curriculum for teaching students strategies for emotional and sensory self-management. Rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy, The Zones approach uses four colors to help students identify how they are feeling in the moment given their emotions and level of alertness as well as guide them to strategies to support regulation. By understanding how to notice their body’s signals, detect triggers, read social context and consider how their behavior impact those around them, students learn improved emotional control, sensory regulation, self-awareness, and problem-solving abilities. Learning activities and visual supports are included on a USB for easy printing.

Using a cognitive behavioral approach, the curriculum’s learning activities are designed to help students recognize when they are in different states or “zones,” with each of four zones represented by a different color:

The Red Zone is used to describe extremely heightened states of alertness and intense emotions. A person may be elated, euphoric, or experiencing anger, rage, explosive behavior, devastation, or terror when in the Red Zone.

The Yellow Zone is also used to describe a heightened state of alertness and elevated emotions, however individuals have more control when they are in the Yellow Zone. A person may be experiencing stress, frustration, anxiety, excitement, silliness, the wiggles, or nervousness when in the Yellow Zone.

The Green Zone is used to describe a calm state of alertness. A person may be described as happy, focused, content, or ready to learn when in the Green Zone. This is the zone where optimal learning occurs.

The Blue Zone is used to describe low states of alertness and down feelings such as when one feels sad, tired, sick, or bored.

All of the zones are natural to experience, but the framework focuses on teaching students how to recognize and manage their zone based on the demands of their environment and the people around them. Learn more in the article, All the Zones are OK! Tips for Managing the Zones You’re In.

The Zones of Regulation curriculum teaches students how to use calming techniques, cognitive strategies, and sensory supports to stay in a zone or move from one zone to another. Lessons touch on how to read others’ facial expressions and recognize a broader range of emotions in self and others, considering others’ perspectives and the impact our behaviors have on others, building greater insight into events that trigger our students’ less regulated states, and when and how to use tools and problem solving skills. Concepts from the Social Thinking Methodology are incorporated throughout the curriculum to help students develop awareness of how their behavior impacts the thoughts and feelings of others. By tying in Social Thinking concepts, the lessons on self-regulation become more meaningful to the students’ lives as they gain a deeper understanding of the impact their behavior has on their relationships.

In addition, there are three Zones of Regulation posters to support the concepts in the classroom. Posters can be found here: Zones of Regulation Poster,  Zones STOP, OPT and GO Poster and Zones Triggers Poster.  All three posters are Dry Erase, so you can write on them!

The curriculum also includes worksheets, other handouts, and visuals to display and share. These can be photocopied from this book or from the accompanying USB drive for easy printing.

The free “Zones of Regulation Implementation & Fidelity Checklist” can be found here.

Who can teach The Zones of Regulation?

The curriculum is designed to be taught by anyone who works with students who struggle with self-regulation. This can include, but is not limited to, special education and regular education teachers, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, psychologists, counselors, behaviourists, social workers, and parents. Throughout the text, the user is referred to as “teacher”; however, this does not mean you need to be a classroom teacher to teach the lessons.

Who can benefit from The Zones?

The Zones curriculum is designed for students who struggle with self-regulation, as described more fully in the next section. Sometimes deficits in regulation could be a manifestation of a neurobiological disorder and/or a social-learning challenge, but not everyone who has difficulty regulating has a diagnosis. Initially the curriculum was developed for students with neurobiological and mental health disorders, such as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), Tourette syndrome, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder, selective mutism, and anxiety disorders. However, it became apparent that the curriculum can reach a much broader population. All people in general can benefit from The Zones of Regulation, not just the students. When one student starts using The Zones, often parents and teachers find it helps the other children and even themselves. Adults who teach The Zones report better insight into their own states and become more aware of the tools they can use to regulate. Everyone experiences difficulties in regulation from time to time, prompting many regular education teachers to adopt it for use with their whole class.

The Zones lessons are designed to be used with students as young as preschool age (around four years old) if cognitively they are at or above average intellect, elementary students, secondary students, and adults. Where relevant, the lessons suggest ways to do the activities with younger students (preschool to early elementary years) and older students (upper primary or middle school through high school or adulthood). More mature secondary age students and adults may feel that some of the activities are too “childish” for them but can still benefit from the discussions laid out in the lessons. The depth of understanding will vary depending on the students’ age and grade level, cognition, and maturity, and teaching expectations need to be tailored for specific students and groups. For example, you would rarely set a goal for a preschool student to independently regulate by using a tool when facing a stressful situation. You will want to customise how concepts are presented depending on the age and grade level of the students; with younger students, you’ll need to simplify some of the discussions.

Although the majority of the lessons are targeted toward students with average to above-average intelligence, some accommodations are provided to allow you to adapt activities for more cognitively involved students or those with less language. Students with lower cognition may not develop as deep an understanding of The Zones, but with consistent exposure, many are able to gain awareness of their zones and follow visual supports to guide them to activities that aid in self-regulation. You may need to further adapt the concepts presented when you teach students with cognitive impairments.

The rest of this chapter explores the components of self-regulation, explains how the curriculum developed, and describes The Zones themselves and related vocabulary. In Chapter 2, you’ll learn what you need to do to begin using the lessons with your students. The curriculum’s lessons are presented in Chapters 3, 4, and 5. Chapter 6 includes additional background information about the conceptual basis for The Zones. The Appendix includes frequently asked questions, a set of goals that can be used for IEP documents, recommended resources, footnotes, and the bibliography.

About the Author

Leah Kuypers, MA Ed., OTR/L, is the creator of The Zones of Regulation®, a framework designed to teach self-regulation. She is the author of the book and two apps by the same name. In addition to working with students, Leah provides trainings and consultation to parents and professionals on self-regulation and challenging behavior, and conducts workshops on The Zones framework to groups around the world. Explore her webinars and trainings on her website, She resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her husband, son, daughter, and their dog.

Training in the “Zones”

The Social Mind regularly hosts Leah Kuypers in Australia to conduct her very popular one-day training program on the “Zones”.  Join our mailing list via the slot at the bottom of our Home page and you will receive notification about the next training opportunity.

Extension Products

You can extend learning by using the following extension products Navigating The Zones and the Advanced Extension Pack and Game Cards.

In addition, there are three Zones of Regulation posters to support the concepts in the classroom. Posters can be found here: Zones of Regulation Poster,  Zones STOP, OPT and GO Poster and Zones Triggers Poster.  All three posters are Dry Erase, so you can write on them!

If your child or client is a visual learner, using YouTube clips and movies is a really accessible and fun way to teach about the social world.  YouCue Feelings and Movie Time Social Learning by Dr Anna Vagin are great companions to The Zones of Regulation.

Leah Kuypers, says of YouCue Feelings: “This is a must have resource for teachers, therapists and parents supporting the development of social emotional skills. Through the use of engaging videos, YouCue Feelings provides learning activities that appeal to students, making learning fun and builds fundamental skills in emotional recognition in self and others, social cognition and contextual awareness.”

How Do I Feel – Interactive Reading Book of Emotions by Joan Green.  Due to popular demand we have imported copies of this book recommended by Leah Kuypers in The Zones of Regulation.  Professor Tony Atwood also recommends this book.  Lot’s of people put pressure on us to import it so it’s now available!

Publishing Information

  • Ages: 4-18+
  • Author: Leah Kuypers
  • Published: 2011
  • Publisher: Think Social Publishing
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 200
  • USB/Thumb Drive: All handouts included on a USB/Thumb Drive, Mac & PC compatible
  • Item: 3162

Additional information

Weight 0.70 g
Dimensions 5 × 5 × 5 cm

Young Children, Primary School, High School, Young Adult, Adult, Parents & Professionals


Leah Kuypers, MA, OT, Autism Specialist

Send Browsed Product Autoresponder



There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Zones of Regulation (The Curriculum Book)”

You may also like…