Procedure: Group of children sit on
floor at some distance from one another. Therapists sing "jazzy" song.
When music stops, children gather together closer. Song resumes, then stops. Children
gather until they have formed a small knot.
Queen (or King)
for a Day
Procedure: As each child takes a turn to stand
in front of the group, the others make up a song in which he or she stars.
Materials: inner tubes, pillows, boxes, and other objects large
enough to jump into, climb over, walk on, and so on.
Procedure: Therapist (or
child who has been appointed leader) leads the way. Other children follow. When
leader says "freeze!" all stop dead in their tracks.
One lightweight blanket
Procedure: One of two therapists leaves room. Remaining
therapist and group of children hide one child under blanket. First therapist
returns and, knowing hidden child's identity, expresses longing for a child just
like that one (for example, "I do so wish for a little girl with freckles
and sparkly eyes and little ears on the sides of her head. Oh how I wish that
I might find one just like that right inside this very blanket.") Therapist
then "unwraps" the blanket. (This idea is thanks to Viola Brody.)
Procedure: Children in group take turns "leaping"
over crouched "frogs." As each child finishes leaping, he takes his
place crouching at the front of the line of "frogs." The last child
in the line becomes the new "leaper."
Procedure: Children in group "mold" one child into a statue
of what they think "he or she would most like to be doing
Procedure: Children take different starting points for joining the singing
of a song.
Each child takes a turn to direct the group in what actions they should do in
what sequence. Leader demonstrates; others follow.
Materials: One large, solidly constructed blanket
Procedure: One child
at a time takes a turn to lie in the center of the blanket. Both therapists and
two or three children hold corners of blanket, raise it gently off the ground,
and softly swing it back and forth. Child lies quietly inside it. Maintaining
maximum eye contact with him, the group sings a little song about the cradled
- Jernberg, Ann, Theraplay: A New Treatment Using Structured Play for
Problem Children and Their Families, Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco: 1979.
Empowering Parents Through Filial Therapy
- Carol, Skinner, Empowering Parents through Filial Therapy. PUB DATE 1997-00-00 NOTE 8p.; Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (105th, Chicago, IL, August 15-19, 1997).
Reflection Exercise #9
The preceding section contained information
about sample play therapy activities. Write three case study examples regarding
how you might use the content of this section in your practice.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
D'Souza, A. A., & Wiseheart, M. (2018). Cognitive effects of music and dance training in children.Archives of Scientific Psychology, 6(1), 178–192.
Gavin, S., Meany-Walen, K. K., Murray, M., Christians, A., Barrett, M., & Kottman, T. (2020). Play therapists’ attitudes toward using technology in the playroom.International Journal of Play Therapy, 29(1), 1–8.
Goicoechea, J., & Fitzpatrick, T. (2019). To know or not to know: Empathic use of client background information in child-centered play therapy.International Journal of Play Therapy, 28(1), 22–33.
Online Continuing Education QUESTION
23 Which play therapy activity involves each child standing in front
of the group while the others make up a song in which he or she stars? Record
the letter of the correct answer the CEU Test.