July 30, 2011

Is It Time for School Already?

It won't be long and school will soon be back in session. If you're a parent it's not too soon to start reestablishing a regular routine, especially at bedtime. If you start easing back into it now it's much easier than trying to make a total change the week before school starts.

What will you do to help your child get back into a school frame of mind?

July 18, 2011

Feelings Bucket Toss

Here's a fun way to teach children about feelings.

I drew four different feeling faces, happy, sad, mad and scared, onto colored paper and taped them onto the sides of one gallon buckets I found at a dollar store.

Children toss a ball (or a bean bag) into the bucket, identify the feeling and share a time that experienced that feeling. I also found the balls at the dollar store. They're splash bombs for pool use.

July 1, 2011

My Parenting Tip of the Month

In my work as a play therapist I use traditional games that children and families are familiar with. Inspired by my colleagues I often adapt them so they have therapeutic value. Most of the games are affordable and easy to find so I suggest parents purchase one or two and play them at home with their children. It's a fun way for them to spend time together and it's an opportunity for parents to encourage their children to talk about feelings.

One of those games is Feelings Pick-Up-Sticks.

Children are very visual so when it's time to talk about feelings it's helpful to assign a color to a specific feeling word. For this particular version of Pick-Up-Sticks you can use the following color code or you can create your own.

Yellow - Happy Blue - Sad

Red - Angry Green - Scared

Black - Lonely

One player holds the sticks in their fist and drops them onto the table. Players take turns picking up a stick without moving any of the other sticks. Each time a stick is removed from the pile the player shares a time they experienced the feeling that's associated with the color of the stick.

Young children may find removing a stick difficult. They could play the game by sorting the sticks by color and then sharing experiences connected to the different feelings.