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THE SELF-CONTROL GAME FOR KIDS: Self-Regulation and Executive Functioning Skills




Looking for a fun SEL game to teach kids all about self-regulation skills that can help with self-control?  If so, you’ll  love The Self-Control Card Game!   The questions and prompts help students learn about and practice coping skills for times they feel antsy, agitated, or unfocused in school.  Can help support your trauma sensitive classroom management strategies, too!


Ways You Can Use The Self-Control Self-Talk Game:

  • Small Groups for Social Emotional Learning Support and Skills Practice
  • Individual counseling sessions as an assessment tool.
  • The actual act of playing the game provides insight into children’s social skills, decision-making process, frustration tolerance, level of respect for rules & boundaries, and problem-solving abilities.
  • Playing also builds social skills!
  • Fun for Family Game Night!
  • Community and relationship building classroom group activity


Now Available in Both Print and Digital Game Formats

You now get to choose between playing the printable card game format or the digital Google Slides™ version.  So whether you are in person or need an interactive self-regulation game for distance learning, teletherapy, or virtual small groups, we got you covered!


How to Play The Digital Self-Control Connect Game

Taking turns, players/teams choose a number based on the spot they would like to place their pawn. Then answer the corresponding self-control question/prompt. Move game pawn to cover the number just answered. Players continue to take turns answering questions/prompts and moving their pawn pieces until the first player/team has completed a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal line of either 4 or 5 in a row.

For a Free “Sample Example” of how the digital game works, please download my Conversation Starter Connect Game!


How to Play The Printable Self-Control Card Game

In the spirit of other popular shedding-type card games, the player to get rid of all their cards first by wins. Players try to “match” the top card in the discard pile, by either laying down the same number, color (or shape, if using the black & white set), or type of action card. If the card contains a question or prompt about self-regulation strategies, that player shares their response. The player may choose to decline responding by using 1 of their 2 Pass Tickets. Actions cards add fun twists and turns to the game. Actions include:

  •  TAKE 3: The next person in line must take 3 cards before taking their turn.
  • ROTATE RIGHT / ROTATE LEFT: All players pass on, or “rotate,” their cards to either the left or right, so that everyone exchanges hands with each other.
  • GO AGAIN: Player gets to “go again,” gaining an additional turn.
  • FREE!: Player who discards a FREE card is “free” to choose a new color (or shape) for the discard pile and then discard an additional card based on the color (or shape) they changed it to.
  • FREE + SPY!: Player who discards a FREE+SPY card can spy on one player by peeking at their cards and then is “free” to choose a new color (or shape) for the discard pile and then discard an additional card based on the color (or shape) they changed it to.


Make sure to check out our FREE Social Emotional Learning Resources!

Additional information

Product Categories

Coping Skills

File Type


Grade Level

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Used By

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✔ The Self-Control Connect Game on Google Slides™


✔ TWO sets of The Self-Control Card Game: in both color AND black and white! So if you don’t have access to a color printer, no problem! You can download and print in black and white too! Instead of color, players match up cards with shapes!

✔ Detailed Game Directions

✔ Tips on how to use the game as a Therapeutic Intervention

✔ Over 75 Questions & Prompts

✔ Action Cards

✔ Pass Tickets


The prep work for the cards in person is a lot more laborious than if you were to do screen shots of each card and complete them via distant learning. I do, however, really appreciate how interactive these cards are and they really do get teh attention of the students.

-Nancy N.

November 2, 2020, TPT Review



We used this with our small social skills group. The children like the game. There was a lot to cut out, but it was worth the work.

-Christy’s Creations (TPT Seller) 

April 14, 2020, TPT Review 



A little bit of work to get it ready to use, but my students found it fun as did my daughters at home! With some students, the game needed to be modified, or the cards just used as prompts without playing a game. Easily adaptable.

-Mix Mix Millan (TPT Seller) 

March 26, 2020, TPT Review 



Thank you for sharing this wonderful resource!

-Ellie M.

December 14, 2021, TPT Review



My kids love these games to practice talking about the skills we’re learning. Great reinforcement.

-The School Psych Spot (TPT Seller) 

December 13, 2021, TPT Review 

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