In this video you will find information about what play therapy is and how this form of psychotherapy can benefit children. I also describe some of the elements that can be included in a playroom and some examples of how play therapy can become a healing avenue that can alleviate the problems that bring children to therapy.
Continue reading PLAY THERAPY
This video includes playful strategies that you can use to help children cooperate with you. You will have the opportunity to learn different ways to incorporate play in your life with children so that daily activities can be full of joy and free of power struggles. You will also be able to watch demonstrations of some of the strategies.
Continue reading Playful Activities To Help Children Cooperate
In this video you will find information about strategies to help children calm down when they are experiencing an intense emotion, such as anger or frustration. You will learn about an empathetic model that promotes the acceptance and validation of the child’s feelings while also providing guidance and redirecting the child’s behavior.
1. “No-Drama Discipline” (Siegel & Payne Bryson, 2015): https://amzn.to/3rhapu2
2. “Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child” (Gottman, 1998): https://amzn.to/3K1s2Xc
3. “Emotional Agility” (David, 2016): https://amzn.to/3K5lxCA
4. “What I’m Feeling Is Ok” (Shiff, 2021): https://amzn.to/3r8Ugqq
5. “When Sadness Is At Your Door” (Eland, 2019): https://amzn.to/3K6UkQe
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This video is part of the series “Developing Self-regulation Skills”. In this video I will talk about the importance of helping children name their emotions, and how this helps integrate both sides of the brain in order to develop a more self-regulated response. I will describe how to use “The Color Monster” book and game from the author Anna Llenas to help children learn about feelings, and different free printables that you can use to explore the content of the book and to help children learn more about emotions.
Continue reading Helping Children Name Their Feelings
In this video you will find playful activities to encourage children to practice gratitude. It also includes some information about research that has shown the benefits of practicing gratitude, including how this impacts joyfulness in people’s lives. At the end, you will find a short video clip demonstrating one of the activities.
PLAYFUL ACTIVITIES TO TEACH CHILDREN ABOUT GRATITUDE:
- Choose a rock that you can call “The Magic Rock” and have the children say something that they are grateful for at the end of each day. This can be something that you do at the dinner table. You can word the question in several ways:
- What is something that happened today that you are grateful for?
- What was the best thing about your day that made you feel grateful?
- Make a Gratitude Wheel with your children: For younger children, you can use this printable where children name things that they feel grateful for in different areas of their life. You can have them put toys that represent those things that they are grateful for or you can just use the wheel to assist the children in thinking and sharing. And for older children and teens, you can make an art project where they include all these elements inside a circle. Whether you are a professional working with children or a parent or family member, this can be an activity that helps in identifying positive things in the child’s life. If the child is going through a hard time emotionally for whatever reason or if they are low income, this can be a great opportunity to identify things that money can’t buy and that are important or it can also be eye-opening to the child to see that there are things to be grateful for even in the midst of a hard time or a lack of wealth. If they can’t find anything that they are grateful for, then it could be a good opportunity to help the child express how they are hurting and accompanying them in their pain.
Continue reading Playful Activities to Teach Children About Gratitude
- Play “The Thanksgiving Game”: I created this game to help my children learn about the feeling of gratitude and I have updated it this year to make it more reflective. You give each person a few charms or it can be game chips, and you put a set of charms or chips next to the turkey found on the board game (I bought a separate turkey but you definitely don’t have to do that). Each person takes a turn rolling the die, moving through the board game and drawing a card to talk about different things that they are grateful for. Each person gets a charm or chip each time they answer a question. The winner is the one who makes it first to the finish star. If the game goes too fast, you can play it again as many times as you would like. I included things in the game cards that are related to hugging and giving kisses but you can leave those out depending on what is appropriate in your context. So definitely go through the cards and choose the ones you want to include.
In this video, you will find ideas that can help you promote problem solving skills in the children that are part of your life. You will find 6 specific tools that can help you deal with common day to day problems that arise in young children’s interactions such as not wanting to share. It includes a short video clip demonstrating using one of these strategies and it provides free printables that can assist you in this process.
These are the strategies discussed in the video:
Continue reading Helping Children Become Problem Solvers
- Give the child or children time to solve their problems on their own. As long as they are safe, just wait and see if they are able to reach a solution. If they are being aggressive, intervene to stop the aggression and assist accordingly.
- Ask the child how they want to be helped: “Do you want me to follow your directions or do you want me to give you ideas? This provides the child with a chance to continue to lead the problem solving process. This can be a collaboration instead of you solving everything for them.
- Ask questions that encourage the child to find their own solutions: If they climbed somewhere and don’t know how to get down, you could ask: “where do you think you could put your foot first?” or, if he is building a tower and wants help you could say: “what do you think you could do next”.
- Teach your children to ask for help by providing this option as a choice: If your child is struggling with something, for example: they are not being able to zip their jacket, instead of jumping in an saying, “let me help you”; you can say: “it looks like you are trying very hard to zip your jacket and something is not working. I will be here near you and if you decide that you want help, let me know. And if they ask for help, go back to strategy number 2 and ask them how they want to be helped: “Do you want me to follow your directions or do you want me to give you ideas?
- Offer a visual aid to assist the child in learning possible solutions: This is a set of solutions that you can print as a guide to help children learn different ways to solve problems. It’s called the solution kit and it comes in two sets: one for solutions at school, and one for solutions at home. The set of solutions are slightly different. I cut them out, laminated them and put velcro behind them so that my children could interact with the solutions when thinking about their problems. I think that when children have the chance to move the solutions and hold them, it empowers them more and it provides an extra layer of learning as they are interacting with the images. So when they encounter a problem that they are having a hard time figuring out, I take out the solution board and assist them in problem solving. I also created a set to put in my purse.
- Read the story “We can be problem solvers”: This story explains 4 steps to solve problems and it gives you an opportunity to talk about feelings that arise when children have problems, and it introduces the different solutions to common problems to children. At the end of the story it has images of common problems that children encounter and you can practice helping them figure out what solution could be good for each situation. Just like the solution kit, there is a story for home and another for school. It is the same story, but the solutions and problem situation change slightly.
In this video you will find information about why play is important during the lifespan, including the benefits of play for children’s cognitive, emotional, social, motor and language development. You will also find ideas on how to incorporate play into your life and some reflections about how to think about play in the life of children.
Continue reading Why is Play Important?
In this video you will learn three visual aids that can help children in paying attention and following instructions. You will also see a demo of these strategies.
This information could be helpful for parents and caregivers, and it could also assist professionals working with these children, such as teachers, mental health, speech and occupational therapists; among others.
Continue reading Helping Children Focus and Follow Instructions