Literacy Apps

Emotional Regulation

Children and teens with autism or Aspergers often struggle with understanding their emotions and adapting to changes in schedules or situations around them. The apps in this collection can help kids to gauge and manage their emotions, reduce anxiety, and deal with everyday life. For more quality apps, browse our full library of literacy apps.

Many of the reviews we link to are from Common Sense Education, a trusted resource for learning about apps and other edtech tools.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame

Grade level: Pre-K, K, 1st
Skill: Emotional Regulation

Kids and a blue monster together tackle everyday frustrations — like struggling to tie shoes, dealing with separation anxiety, taking turns, and going to bed — and learn how to deal with them. Students must work through one problem before unlocking the next. Animated video clips show the blue monster's problem, then kids tap his belly to help him breathe deeply and calm down. When the monster is calm, students tap thought bubbles, which produces three possible strategies. Students get to choose which strategy the monster will try and then see him do it in another animated video clip. The technique of breathing, thinking, and doing is reinforced throughout.

Calm

Grade level: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 4th and above
Skill: Emotional Regulation

Calm opens by instructing kids to take a deep breath before landing on the home screen. This home screen can be customized, and kids can choose from a range of more than 30 nature scenes and sounds to fit their preference. From this point, kids can either complete a daily meditation that's provided, choose a sleep meditation, or practice deep breathing. For teachers who have young students, Calm's Sleep Stories might be useful for rest time. Additionally, when teaching coping and calming skills, teachers could use this app to show students how to focus on slowing down their fight-or-flight responses by using the Breathe function.

Daniel Tiger's Grr-ific Feelings

Price: $2.99
Grade level: Pre-K, K
Skill: Emotional Regulation
Device: Android, iPad

An early-education social and emotional learning app for preschoolers and kindergarten-age kids. It can support teacher-led, general social and emotional skills lessons, or serve as a supplement to specific discussions about conflict resolution, anger management, or expressing and controlling emotions.

Mind Yeti

Grade level: K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 4th and above
Skill: Emotional Regulation

Min Yeti provides mindfulness instruction and meditative scripts for a variety of moods and needs. Fun visuals and characters help kids pick relaxation scripts to fit their needs. Teachers can begin by letting students watch the instructional video that introduces the Mind Yeti and the group of Hububbles, which are thoughts that can cloud the mind. After a few practice sessions, assign a weekly Mind Yeti leader who can take the app with a small group to a corner of the room to practice leadership and communication skills. Ask students to check in with a debriefing method after the session to encourage conversations about social and emotional well-being.

Mood Meter

Price: $0.99
Grade level: 4th and above
Skill: Emotional Regulation
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

A tool that encourages kids to reflect on and manage emotions. Users plot their moods on a color-coded chart filled with words describing feelings. After browsing the plot and selecting a mood, users describe, in 150 characters, what caused that mood. Next, they choose Stay Here, which records the feedback and ends the exercise, or Shift Here to browse strategies that might help shift their mood.

Stop, Breathe & Think

Price: $9.99
Grade level: 3rd, 4th, 4th and above
Skill: Emotional Regulation
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Offers brief meditations to address a range of emotional states. Kids click Check In to answer a few questions about their current state of mind -- how they're feeling both mentally and physically, on a scale from "great" to "rough." Kids can then select up to five emotions from more than 80, and the app presents a curated list of meditations especially suited to the emotions selected. Upon completing meditation sessions, kids can earn stickers for their achievements (like completing multiple meditations) and track their own user trends. 

The Zones of Regulation

Price: $5.99
Grade level: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 4th and above
Skill: Emotional Regulation
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Helps teach kids who struggle socially learn how to identify emotions and use strategies to deal with them. The app presents users with a variety of situations and circumstances; this practice helps them understand and define their feelings, consider behavior options, and develop strategies to maintain appropriate behavior. After selecting an avatar and identifying hot spots on the path, kids explore the four zones of emotions. As they play and answer questions, they'll earn tokens to exchange for rewards. 

Touch and Learn Emotions

Grade level: K, 1st, 2nd
Skill: Emotional Regulation
Device: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Helps kids identify and name emotions, facial expressions, and body language. Four images of real people appear on the screen and a voice says an emotion such as "frustrated." Kids tap on the image of the person they think looks frustrated.

Wisdom: Kingdom of Anger

Grade level: K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd
Skill: Emotional Regulation
Device: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Helps kids recognize anger cues in themselves and others. Consider using it as an activity for whole-group instruction with your younger students (such as kindergarten or first grade) or use as a station in a small group during social studies or social skills time too. Small groups could work together to select and play through mini-games. Consider incorporating the game into purposeful social and emotional learning time after a morning meeting or for soft landings in the morning. Place the device and app in a calming corner for students to engage with when they need a break. 

Space Rangers

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