There were a few posts this week on some forums about how to engage children in an online therapeutic delivery. Following lots of interests in this space as many are preparing to work online, in this text, I provide links to different resources and online tools in the reference/links section. I have provided some therapy online and also lots of supervision, but I felt I needed to equip myself so I did some research as well as reflecting on different activities I already do in professional practice and how I can adapt these in an online platform. Here are 10 therapeutic activities with children when working online.
10 Therapeutic Activities With Children when Working Online
- Mindfulness/check in activities – start the session with gaining the attention of the child by playing a game requiring them to engage like counting fingers, singing a song, showing where they are
- Psychoeducation about COVID-19 – why are we online, big problem, small problem, factual and simple information. Lots of information at these two posts. https://3ppsychologies.com/2020/03/21/resources-50-covid-19-information-and-additional-links/ https://3ppsychologies.com/2020/03/15/resources-49-covid-19-psychologists-preparing-to-work-online/
- A scavenger hunt – find something that makes you happy, sad, angry or find 5 objects you would like to show me. Name something that makes you happy, sad, angry. Draw these emotions on the whiteboard.
- Games – naughts and crosses, Simon Says, I Spy, Charades, detective games. This link provides ideas for games when having a conversation online (it is not recommended to use FaceTime or Skype for Therapy – see post #49) https://freeappsforme.com/games-to-play-over-skype/?fbclid=IwAR0OUhcKwJfXfzT8hL34GYH8UFi8KYUbecisyQTbFNCKAc5zz7sb8Kw5y8I
- Tour of the house – make sure all is fine with that before doing that. Fridge/bedroom wall to show where posters/activities we do together are put up.
- Therapeutic Storytelling – reading a book together either from a YouTube video, their favourite book or one you read
- Let’s Draw Together – joint drawing – let’s create something together using the Zoom whiteboard
- Draw me a picture – see whiteboard on Zoom – ideal school, ideal family, ideal home, a family doing something, a person, a tree, a house
- Person-centred tools – There are lots of person-centred that can be found online. These can be great to gain a better understanding of the child’s experience of home, school and life, and elicit their needs and their strengths. About Me Poster, PATHS, Bad/Good Day, Relationship Circles, One Page Profile – see links https://www.google.com/search?q=person-centred+tools&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwjip6mysaroAhU45jgGHYEWAXoQ2-cCegQIABAA&oq=person-centred+tools&gs_l=img.12…0.0..27084…0.0..0.0.0…….0……gws-wiz-img.M_uNNj_XWZQ&ei=12l1XqLgNbjM4-EPga2E0Ac&bih=1310&biw=2231&client=safari
- Blobs – The Blobs are great and can be found for free in Google Images. This is a great activity to do with children to try to elicit how they represent themselves in different activities such as reading, maths, writing, or at home, in sports, etc. You can also ask questions about the character representing Mum or Dad the most, or their family the most. The activity is aimed to elicit their views of the world and their sense of self. https://www.google.com/search?q=blob+tree&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwjy0ojEtKroAhVkwnMBHdnoDNsQ2-cCegQIABAA&oq=blob+tree&gs_l=img.12…0.0..6538…0.0..0.0.0…….0……gws-wiz-img.WSjNnUGiLFQ&ei=Im11XvK5GOSEz7sP2dGz2A0&bih=1310&biw=2231&client=safari
Virtual Therapy Rooms
To store all online resources in one place
Create engaging sessions
Communicate with parents effectively
How amazing is that!
THE THERAPIST BACKPACK
Interested in building amazing resources for online and face to face therapeutic work with children, visit the 3P page for a backpack with lots of resources, book and activities.
Support for Building Resources
A few Facebook groups have evolved in the last few days. These may be helpful to network with many.
You can also find a few videos that have been developed by professionals working in the field.
As you are working from home, you may not have all access to your office typical tools, so you may need to be a little more creative about finding different resources and/or using specific screeners. I add below a number of links that may help you with that.
FREE Mindfulness and relaxation exercises and stories for younger children(primary age). https://www.mindfulschools.org/free-online-mindfulness-class-for-kids/
Calm have provided lots of free resources. https://www.calm.com/blog/take-a-deep-breath
A story to help young children manage their thoughts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xd7Cr265zgc
A short meditation for young children to help them manage their emotions by cosmic kids https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf5K3pP2IUQ
A movement meditation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buPuB4Sa0zU
Thank you for sharing and all the lovely feedback we received as a result of this text.
Pascale is an educational and child psychologist (UK)/educational and developmental psychologist (AU) working in private practice, a university clinic and doing online supervision for professionals via individual, group, webinars and training.
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You may also want to consult this text…
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