Interactive Activities for Setting &
Maintaining Boundaries with Children
Using items you likely already have on hand, you can teach children about personal space and boundaries! These fundamental skills are pillars for body safety education. They instill in children that it is okay and important to set boundaries and maintain personal space with others.
A hula hoop is a great tool to talk about the various sizes of personal space we have with different people in our lives. Sitting in the middle of a hula hoop on the floor, ask your child to sit on the outside of the hula hoop. Talk with them about how there are times where our personal space will be big, like the space between you now. When we are at a new place or with people we don’t know well, we have a large area of personal space that helps make us feel comfortable. Yet, when we are with people we know really well, our personal space might be smaller. Ask the child to sit in the hula hoop with you. With people we know well and trust, we might feel comfortable sitting closer to them. Together you can write down or call out people who they feel most comfortable with, those with whom they feel comfortable having a small personal space. Then repeat with people they do not know well, have the child sit outside of the hula hoop to remind them visually these are the people we have larger personal space with.
Another interactive way to talk about boundaries is with bubbles. As you blow bubbles together, talk with them about how not all bubbles are the same size – some of the bubbles are large, some medium, and some small. These bubbles are like our personal space – sometimes it is big. Ask your child who their personal space would be large with? Repeat this question for medium and small, listening for who they share with you fits in these categories.
Showing children we are comfortable discussing topics such as boundaries, personal space, and body safety show them we are safe adults they can come to!