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How to Teach Preschoolers to Handle Change

Teaching self-regulation skills to preschoolers is an important aspect of their emotional and social development. Children who learn self-regulation are better equipped to handle change and manage their emotions, leading to increased success in both school and life. Use this lesson plan and downloadable worksheet to teach your students with the strategies they need to begin to develop their self-regulation skills.

How to Teach Self-Regulation

In this blog post, we will provide you with a lesson plan that you can use to teach preschoolers to use self-regulation skills to better handle change.

Objective: Students will learn self-regulation skills to better handle change.


  • Picture book about change (such as “When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry” by Molly Bang)
  • Everyday Speech “I Can Handle Change” Worksheet

1. Have a Discussion About ‘Change

Begin the lesson by asking your students what they think the word “change” means. Allow them to share their ideas, and then read a picture book about change. After reading, ask your students how the main character in the book handled the change. Did they use any strategies to help them?

2. Review Different Self-Regulation Strategies

Explain to your students that change can be difficult for anyone, but there are things we can do to help ourselves feel better when change happens. Introduce the idea of self-regulation and explain that it means being able to manage our emotions and actions. Review the strategies highlighted in the downloadable worksheet, and explain what each one means. For example, pressing pause means to take a break, the deep breathing picture means to choose a calm down strategy, and naming my emotion means to talk to someone about how you feel.

3. Independent Practice

Ask your students to think of one change that they might experience in the next few days. Have them share their ideas with a partner and discuss strategies they could use to handle the change. Remind them of the visual aids you discussed earlier and encourage them to use these strategies if they need them.

Sample Video

Students learn best from watching real students their own age model skills. Try out this sample video-modeling lesson below. We offer our entire Social-Emotional Learning platform free for 30 days here!

Related Blog Posts:

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Free Preschool Self-Regulation Skills Material

Social Skills Video Lesson to Teach Pre-K and K Students to Communicate Feelings

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