Updating your Play Therapy gear and toolbox can be expensive. The trainings. The toys….So. Many. Toys. EEEK!
BUT I wanted to give you some inspiration and tools that are totally, completely, 100% free. Okay not completely free - they will cost you some printer paper and ink. But beyond that - totally free!
Sometimes we hit a wall as therapists and want to mix up our old standbys. I think that is what makes me so excited to create worksheets, develop and tweak techniques, and always put myself in the role of a learner.
When we feel burnt out or a little stale because we have taught emotional regulation with UNO all week - kids feel that. AND when we get excited about a new technique, toy, or way to help move them towards their goals - well, they feel that too!
I wanted to give you my top 5 downloaded resources this year that thousands of therapists have integrated into their practice! And chances are, your clients might like them too!
Therapeutic Scavenger Hunt Pack
This Scavenger Hunt pack is FULL of creative ideas to get young people moving, and having fun! The bundle includes scavenger hunts for Mindfulness, Gratitude, Self Esteem, Nature and Emotions. I originally developed these hunts when I was in an all virtual practice, and now that I am hybrid (some in office, some virtual) I still find such value in scavenger hunts.
Some tweaks for in person? Do a gratitude walk from the waiting room to your office to see how many things you can find gratitude in! Give hunts as homework to bring into the next session or take a picture of the object to share!
The Color Monster Worksheet Set
Who can resist The Color Monster by Anna Llenas! It is such a wonderful overview of emotions, how they can get tangled up, and the gentle ways we can untangle and make sense of the big feelings we might have.
This worksheet set comes with a Color Monster that young people can color in to talk about their day or week and jars to help them “untangle” the big feelings!
Giraffes CAN Dance Worksheet Set
Okay, so if you came up to me and said “Ann, what is your favorite book for kids?”...well...it would be such a HARD question for me (because books are my favorite) BUT Giraffes Can’t Dance would be in the top 3.
This book has it all! Growth mindset, shifting thoughts from maladaptive to adaptive, and relying on the support of others. This worksheet bundle captures all those topics AND a little bit of empathy and social skills with a worksheet targeted at how the young people in our office help and support others!
Child and Adolescent Interactive Goal Setting Worksheet
Have you ever asked a child or adolescent what they wanted to work on in therapy and you are met with a blank stare? I mean…. I would really question you if you said it hadn’t! That’s just how kids brains are wired. They are not “mini-adults” and let’s face it - most adults need a little coaching with goal development too!
This worksheet set is super interactive, fun, reflective and of course involves coloring!
15 Calming Affirmations for Kids
Sometimes we have things that we know are backed by science that really helps move client’s towards emotional wellness. And a lot of the time (children and adults alike) have a hard time adding something or changing something about their routine that they know will be good for them.
This is why if I can give my clients a take away, handout, printable, fidget, journal, etc. that goes with what we are working at - I jump at the chance! When there is a physical object that they can connect with the activity and leave out for themselves to see it increases the chance they will act!
These affirmation cards are some of the most common affirmations I have developed with young people such as “I can do hard things” and “I am loved”. And re-wiring thinking patterns never looked so pretty!
There you have it! My top 5 download FREE resources. And did you know - it doesn’t stop there? I have 29+ FREE downloadable resources for both client work, paperwork, and therapy practice elevating! Check out all the resources HERE!
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I'm Ann Meehan, an LPCC, RPT-S, and EMDR Consultant. I help other therapists grow in their passions as play therapists, trauma therapists,and child and adolescent therapists.