Play Therapy Interventions

3 Ways to Use Emojis in Child Therapy

Emojis are so fun! I’ve worked with kids who come in with emoji leggings, poop emoji pillows, and more! Kids connect to emojis, which makes them great to use in child therapy interventions. In this post, I’ll talk about 3 ways that I use emojis from my little kiddos to adolescents.


Emoji Bowling

Emoji Bowling

This is an intervention that I love to use with my early childhood clients. To create the intervention, I bought a bowling set at a dollar store and used some stickers that I bought on Amazon. I simply placed the stickers on the pins and VOILA the intervention is ready for action!

When I’m doing this intervention with a client, I set up the bowling pins and have them knock over as many as they can. I then encourage the client to identify the emojis and, a time they felt that way, or a time someone else experienced that feeling. It’s as simple as rinse and repeat!


Emoji Connect 4

Emoji Connect 4

This is a great intervention to do with tweens or teens. A lot of adolescents that I work with act “too cool for school” in general, but I find that they become really engaged with this activity.

For Emoji Connect 4, you’ll first need a game of Connect 4. I actually found an off-brand version of Connect 4 at my local thrift shop. I additionally used emoji stickers from Amazon. I personally chose to place the face stickers on the blue chips and the more general emojis (high-5, thumbs up, heart, poop emoji) on the yellow chips. Now, you’re ready to play!
In the Emoji therapeutic version of Connect 4, I play the same as the traditional Connect 4. The rules of the game are to connect four pieces in a row. During the game, I occasionally say “time out” and encourage the client to reflect on an emoji. I ask them what they think it means, a time they felt that way, or a time someone else felt that way. I’ve found that this intervention makes it easy to discuss how certain emojis can be interpreted in different ways, similar to how people’s body language and facial expressions can be interpreted in different ways.


Emoji Mancala

Emoji Mancala

The third and final intervention is Emoji Mancala. For this intervention, you will need a mandala board and emoji stickers. Similar to the previous interventions, I found my mandala board for a few dollars at a local thrift store and used emoji stickers bought on Amazon. Simply choose what emojis you would like on the board and stick em on!

For this intervention, I use the traditional rules of mandala. To set up, place four stones should be placed in each in each hole, excluding the mancalas. This should total 48 stones. During a turn, a player grabs all of the stones in a hole on their side and drops them, one by one, in succeeding holes in a counter-clockwise direction. Players can place stones in their own mancala, but they have to skip over their opponent’s mancala. This continues until the player has no more stones in his hand. It is then their opponents turn. The game is over when a player doesn’t have any more stones on their side.

To include the emojis, I have the client reflect on the last emoji they land on during their turn. I have them identify the emoji, a time they felt that way, or a time that someone else felt that way.

There it is! Three interventions with emojis! Comment below with any ways that you use emojis in child counseling. Until next time, Play On!




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