Friday, April 28, 2017

Puzzling it Out - Families Working Together For Individual Success

I bought these 24 piece puzzles in Target's dollar isle a while ago and just got inspiration for how to use them.

I gave a box to each member of a family to put together, but earlier I exchanged pieces between boxes (I was only using 4 boxes and moved 2 pieces from each box into other boxes).
Then we processed the exercise. Some points that can be discussed are how they needed each other to complete their personal puzzle, how competition impacts the exercise if they decided to race, what did each person do when they realized they didn't have the right pieces, etc.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Lying Worksheet

Sometimes people are unaware of lies they tell or how they came to telling the lie.  This worksheet dissects a lie.  The worksheet could also be used to look at a behavior, perhaps with someone who bullies others.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Coping Skills Treasure Hunt

This is a fun activity for a group - especially of young kids.  I used business cards and printed a treasure chest on one side and a gem with a coping skill on the other.  Then I "hid" them in the room.  As individuals searched and found them, they did the action on the card.

Examples of card actions:
  • Blow bubbles.
  • Do a finger maze.
  • Fill your cheeks with air, hold for 5 seconds, exhale.
  • Place your hands on opposite shoulders and squeeze.
  • Get a fly off your nose without using your hands.
  • Stand in a circle. Going around the circle, each person says "When I feel ____, I do ____." Everyone follows the action.
  • Do a guided meditation.
  • Draw an emotion.
  • Crumple paper and throw it into a basket.
  • Compliment someone.
I'm sure you can think of others.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Sandtray alternatives 2

This is a lazy Susan with cloth and figures. What I like about this alternative is the circular shape and the turning.  The circle allows for a mandala effect and all that goes with that. Turning allows a child to easily get around their "sandtray" and view or build it from multiple perspectives. It is not messy and is easy to clean. Fabric is also a good way to introduce color in a flexible way.
On the down side, it is large and figures must be packed separately. In addition, if you have figures which lack stability there is no support for them.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Chinese New Year Intervention

Here is an activity for a family or group.  The purpose is to build relationships and connections.  Each person receives a red envelope and puts their name on the back.  Everyone in the group is given a variety of slips of paper to put in the envelopes of others.  Depending on group size, you may choose to have them put in two slips of paper instead of one.  If doing this with a couple, they should do all four for each other.  The four slips of paper say:
  • I think you're beautiful because ...
  • You make me happy when ...
  • My hope for you is ...
  • I love you because ...
Envelopes are passed around and slips of paper added.  You can choose to have them read them in session, however, I usually ask them to read them in a quiet place alone after session.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Four Types of Anger Matching Activity

This activity is an adjustment to one from "How to Be Angry" pgs. 45-46.

I laminated each behavior for Assertive, Aggressive, Passive, and Passive-Aggressive.  I then took some angry bird graphics to represent each style.  The clients then place the appropriate behaviors under the correct bird.

There is an extra bird, different than these five for the client to place in the category they do the most.  Then you can talk about how to change columns.

Test Yourself: Can you tell which bird is which in the picture below?

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Sandtray alternatives

Here is an alternative to the usual sandtray. A small dish with a cover and dried beans makes a way for clients to do sandtray at s desk in school or at home. 

Pros: Small, portable, colorful, lightweight, easy to clean, easy to store
Cons: Could become messy with water, some sensitive children find it smelly, the colors soon mix together

Another way to fill this tray is with small rocks or beads to avoid smell.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Sandtray Stories - Otter and Wolf - Part 3

Part 3

One day a squirrel came to the water.  He asked why Otter was crying.  When Otter told him, Squirrel was sad, too. 

Then Squirrel told Otter how he was sad when his brother died.  He showed Otter a special box that he made to keep his brother's favorite acorns in, so he'd always be close.  Squirrel and Otter thought about Wolf and what might help Otter remember him. 

They made a dream catcher to keep all the positive memories from floating away and hung it in a tree.  It helped Otter feel better.  Whenever he felt sad, he would look up and see the dream catcher and remember the fun he had with Wolf.  Sometimes he talked to Squirrel, too.  They became friends and Otter began to play again. 

Although Wolf was gone and things would never be the same, Otter learned that Wolf would always be in his heart.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Sandtray Stories - Otter and Wolf - Part 2

Part 2
One day a hunter came to the pond.  Otter was alone.   

The hunter threw a net over Otter.  Poor Otter was helpless - he couldn't get out of the net.

As he was struggling, Wolf arrived.  Wolf was angry.  He wanted to protect his friend.  He pounced on the hunter and they fought. 

While they were fighting, Otter escaped and hid.  Suddenly, Otter heard a loud bang.  He looked out from his hiding place and saw the hunter limping away. 

Wolf was laying on the ground and bleeding.  Otter ran to Wolf, but there was nothing he could do.  Wolf was dying. 

"It's all my fault," said Otter. 

"No," said Wolf, "it's not.  I don't want you to blame yourself.  Remember I love you and remember to play." 

Otter hugged Wolf until he died.  Then he buried his friend and cried all day long.  He missed Wolf.  He no longer felt like playing. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sandtray Stories - Otter and Wolf - Part 1

I put my stories in a box specific to them.
This is the story of Otter and Wolf

Part 1:
Near a pond lived an otter.  He loved to play. 

Every day his friend Wolf would come to the pond to drink and play. 

They splashed in the water until they were tired and then they would curl up together and sleep.