I love using easy to find products as a child therapist! There are so many interventions that I have seen for play therapy that include expensive, difficult to find, and unsustainable objects. I try my best to provide you all (my wonderful play readers!) with interventions that are inexpensive and able to be used over and over again with many clients! This interventions is definitely one of those!
Beach balls are a great product to have in child therapy. It’s easy to find them at the dollar store and I would highly recommend buying a bunch to use in your therapy practice.
Today’s post will give you four different ways to use beach balls in your work as a child therapist! The great thing about this intervention is that you can create a couple beach balls and use them again…..and Again…..and AGAIN in your work! (NICE!!!)
Here is what you need for ALL of these interventions:
-Permanent Writing Utensil (I used Sharpies because they are better able to stay on the beach balls as compared to a washable marker or pen)
1. Rapport Building
One of the best ways to use a beach ball is for ice breakers in therapy, be it individual or group therapy. These kinds of questions help build the therapeutic relationship, which is truly the agent of change!
Relationship building questions can be helpful in many different circumstances, even outside of therapy!
Not sure what kind of questions to use? Click below to get a free handout of questions to write on the beach ball!
2. Developing Empathy
It’s a tough concept for me to imagine not being empathic. It’s kind of like a prerequisite to being a counselor!
However, there are (and will be) clients that we work with as clinicians that will display a lack of empathy, or the ability to be aware of others’ feelings and emotions.
One thing that you can do with the beach ball is write questions and statements that help your client develop a stronger ability to be empathetic. Empathy is important because it allows us to connect with others and develop strong and meaningful relationships.
Not sure what kind of questions to write on an empathy beach ball? Click below for a free handout of questions!
3. Conflict Resolution
Many kids who come into therapy come with issues related to anger. They might hit, kick, bite, and/or talk back to adult or their peers. So many of the kids that we work with can really benefit from conflict resolution skills!
Simply write questions or statements related to conflict resolution and anger management on the beach ball and you have yourself a simple and re-usable intervention to use with a majority of your clients!
Want some free questions to use for conflict resolution? Click below for a FREE handout!
4. Coping Skills
Coping skills are essential for kids who are in therapy. Coping skills help children who come into therapy with all difficulties, including anger, depression, anxiety, trauma, ASD, ADHD and much much more!
Coping skills assist kids in becoming regulated. If they aren’t already, you should consider making them a huge part of your therapeutic work with children.
Integrating coping skills with a beach ball is easy! Simply write the coping skills on the beach ball and work with your client to learn and practice the skill.
Need some ideas for what coping skills to work on? Click below to get your FREE coping skills handout.
5. Building Strong Attachment Relationships
The last way that we’ll discuss in how to use beach balls in child therapy is using them to build strong, secure attachment relationships.
I frequently work with children in the foster care system who do not have a secure attachment relationship. One way to assist these children in building that relationship is by creating strong experiences with attachment figures. A great way to do foster these experiences is by using the beach ball (sounds a little weird, but trust me!).
Here are some ways you can do this:
-Have the child and parent play catch with one another using the beach ball
-Have the child and parent play peek a boo using the beach ball
-Have the child and parent lay on the ground and blow the beach ball to one another
-Have the child and parent decorate the beach ball together
Do you have other ways that you use beach balls in your work? Tell me about it in the comments below!
Until next time, Play On!