Circle of Control for Preschooler

Things I can and things I can’t control

Holding onto things we cannot control can cause us a great deal of stress and tension. This is true for children too. When a situation isn’t ideal it is sometimes hard to stay positive and upbeat, but it is an important skill to learn.

As our children grow they bear witness to the reactions and actions of the adults around them. It is important to model acceptance and positive attitude. That being said this skill can be a hard one and adults just like children are allowed and will struggle at times. 

This activity is called the circle of control (introduced by author Steven Covey). This activity is simple and can be modified for younger children as well as older children. I introduced the circle of control to my 4 year old for the first time with pictures representing things we COULD and COULDN’T control. 

Using this is helpful for kids because it allows them to problem solve and take action on the things they can control, while encouraging them to let go of the things outside of their control. This can then be used as a tool for self control and help regulate strong emotions like anger, disappointment, etc.

How to:

  • Draw a big circle
  • Inside the Circle place you can write “THING I CAN CONTROL”
  • Then place ALL of the things you can control in the circle
  • On the outside of the circle write “THING OUT OF MY CONTROL” 
  • Then place all of the things you can’t control
  • Then you can have them come up with their own

PRINTABLE (for children as young as 5)

Things I can Control:

  • My ideas
  • My words
  • My behavior
  • My effort
  • My play 
  • When I ask for help
  • What I eat 

Things I can’t control:

  • Other people actions 
  • What other people say 
  • The weather
  • Time
  • Outside noise 

Make sure to subscribe to see more and receive my latest posts

Published by Christelle

Former Montessori School Teacher and Child Life Specialist. Specialize in early childhood education.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: