Navigating The Zones

Leah Kuypers Terri Rossman Elizabeth Sautter

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  • Ages: 8+
  • Format: Game
  • ISBN: 9781936943449
  • Published: 2018



The interventionist (adult facilitator) and social learners (players) need to be familiar with the core concepts and vocabulary taught in The Zones of Regulation curriculum to use this game. Navigating The Zones is not designed to be a stand-alone teaching tool.

About Navigating The Zones

Navigating The Zones is a cooperative game that expands on the teachings of The Zones of Regulation curriculum. It encourages students to collaboratively build different “Zones Pathways”—visual, sequential, and concrete road maps that help participants practice the process of social problem solving needed for emotional self-regulation. This three-step process involves thinking about a situation (where are we, who are we with?), exploring a feeling that may be experienced in response to the situation, and considering different tools or strategies that may be used when experiencing this situation and feeling.

Group collaboration is a significant part of the journey in Navigating The Zones. Players work together, under the guidance of the a facilitator, to support each other and reach a shared goal. The Players learn offer each other help, ask questions, suggests tools and strategies, and more—so that as a team, everyone is successful and the learning is rich! Navigating The Zones purposefully avoids competitive play. This flexible teaching tool can be used in a therapeutic or nontherapeutic setting, in a classroom or a living room, by parents, educators, aides, counselors, clinical therapists, behaviorists, psychologists, social workers, etc. Materials are adaptable to the learning needs of participants.

Targets for Learning

  • Reinforce teaching the Zones of Regulation framework to encourage the development of a self-regulation skill set
  • Use a system to categorize feelings and emotions into four colored zones for improved self-awareness
  • Recognize and communicate the internal feelings, levels of arousal, and sensory states that one experiences in different zones
  • Reflect on how various situations impact feelings and states
  • Practice identifying tools and strategies to regulate one’s internal feelings, states, and sensory needs within specific Zones
  • Reinforce a more concrete linear sequence (Zones Pathway) in thinking through and problem solving how to self-regulate in specific Zones and in given situation
  • Reinforce COLLABORATION: participants work together in a group to enhance and support each other’s learning experiences

What's in the Box

  • Zones Navigation Board—now made of a strong mousepad like material to reduce the weight and increase durability
  • Instructions booklet with tips to help the facilitator with adaptations and modifications
  • 320 Situation Cards: 100 each, organized in Home, School, and Community decks, plus 20 Blank Cards to create your own situations
  • 60 Feeling Cards, each with word and visual illustrations of emotions that span the four Zones (includes 10 Blank Cards to write additional feelings)
  • 40 Tool Cards (10 per Zone color)
  • 6 sets of Checkpoint Cards (each set includes a Proceed Ahead & Re-Route Card)
  • 15 Destination Regulation! sleeves
  • 6 Toolbox Visuals (Tools per Zone are listed on one side; the other is blank to add your own tools)
  • Plastic card deck tray and labels to keep the cards organized

The Next Step

Once participants understand how to navigate a Zones Pathway, the Advanced Pack offers additional cards to enable older, more sophisticated thinkers (ages 10+) to continue building their self-regulation. Add these advanced cards to the Navigating The Zones game to introduce three additional levels of play—including competitive game play! Interested in both products? Get the bundle!

Explore all the resources dedicated to The Zones of Regulation in one place

Browse our dedicated Zones of Regulation page to find everything you need to help you teach The Zones of Regulation and see why this social emotional learning curriculum has been adopted across thousands of classrooms worldwide.

Recommended Teaching & Learning Pathway

If you’re looking to implement the Social Thinking Methodology, teach the following materials alongside The Zones of Regulation to help individuals communicate more effectively, socially problem solve, and ultimately—build relationships. As with our products, this Teaching & Learning Pathway is relevant to clinicians, educators, parents—anyone helping a person develop their social competencies.

  • Across All Ages
  • Children
  • Tweens, Teens & Young Adult

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