Daily Activity for Kids – Day 12 – Impulse Control Games

During this COVID-19 pandemic, many parents are home with their children and looking for things to do. This is a daily post to give you ideas of fun things to do. It comes from activities that we implement at our daycare centre using our Four Pillars of Learning curriculum. Since we are closed during this time, we are sharing the activity for you to implement in your own home. Enjoy!

Today’s Activity: Impulse Control Games

Self-regulation—or the ability to control your own emotions and behaviour—is an essential life skill for children: It helps with everything from social relationships to self-care to learning how to read and write. If a child can handle their feelings and choose to act in ways that help them achieve specific goals (such as ignoring distractions to focus on reading, or not melting down after losing at a game so other children will want to keep playing with them), they are off to a great start in life.

Any game that requires controlling impulses and movements can help children increase their control over their own thoughts, emotional responses and actions. Those games that involve winning or losing also help children practice being a good sport and tolerating discomfort, so they’re better equipped to deal when things don’t go the way they’d hoped.

Here are a couple of easy games to help your child to self-regulate by learning to control impulses.

  1. Freeze dance. Have a dance party with family members and tell everyone that when you stop the music, they must hold very still. The first person to move is eliminated for the next round. The winner is the last one dancing. Children tend to feel more comfortable in an environment that is familiar to them, like home. This is a great time to help children with their emotions by letting them see that eventually everyone gets out, that they will have another chance and that with practice they will get better.


  1. Simon says is another great option. One person is the leader and tells everyone else to do an action. If they say Simon Says and then the action, everyone follows. If not, they don’t. Children must follow rules and instructions. This means they have to listen, without distraction to make sure that they get it right.  Again, play with family and when you don’t follow what Simon says, you are out until the next round.

Although it can be tough to teach our children that it is okay to lose in a world where everyone gets a trophy, it is a valuable life lesson for when they are older and more difficult defeats will come. Self-regulation is the key to a successful future.

This daily kids activity incorporates many learning areas based on our Four Pillars of Learning curriculum including: Mindfulness through Self-regulation.