Thursday, November 22, 2012

I am so thankful for family today, Thanksgiving.  I wanted to put this up on my blog to let them know.  Here is a free printable from a lovely blog site:

I can see a great many purposes for this printable in therapy.  I am envisioning printing the statement, then adding the client's description in their own writing to the printable.  This would be a nice way to repair a relationship between child and parent.  You could also do it as a filial therapy assignment where the two talk to each other through their entries on the printable.  Such as "you make my day!" and "you are so kind to me!".  I often make suggestions to get this kind of assignment started.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Hope your day is fun and filled with memories and family moments!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

it's a great party...only more fun...many ideas for great plans for kids!

I've been really super busy.  I did get my job back in the school...It has been amazing moving back in.  I'm in a different school now.
The kids may need me more here, as there seems to be a great interest in the social work aspects of my position. I will be able to use those networking and problem solving skills I have developed in my studies and research.
But also, I am excited about the space that I will have to do some of the activities. I have begun to look again at how other blogs can lend themselves to great ideas for child therapy and play therapy, not to mention filial therapy!  Hope you enjoy this link, and that you join me in this research.  Comments anyone on the ideas found here? or other ideas found at other sites?  Let's share, or let's party!
God's blessings on your work and your play!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

I have been super inspired about the options for sensory play in the  blogs I have been reading.
I created this idea to use popcorn and measuring cups and spoons for the kids to play with.  I just happened to have a popcorn bucket.  A happy accident.  My youngest, B, was not so excited about the sensory bucket at first.  But then, he was all about it.  Using a spoon to make the popcorn fall into the bucket and make a sound became his favorite activity in the end.  It made a sound like rain fall.  So, of course, I had to sing “Rain, rain, go away, come again another day.  Barney’s friends all want to play.  Rain, rain go away.”  The kids, my older daughter, J, nine years of age, play with the bucket for 45 minutes.  They added B’s cars at last, and created their own play.

Another idea I found in a blog includes the light tray made in from a clear storage container.  I used this inspiration to expand the play with an booster tray simply because I had no clear container.  Battery operated lights showed the shapes of the items on the tray.  First I utilized some magnet shapes but the shapes were not new in our play.  The nature items found outside were more interesting, but some were a little ‘prickly’ so they were maybe not as exciting to my older, more sensitive, daughter, J.  Due to her Down Syndrome, she is sometimes too cautious.  But the stencil and crayon play excited her.  We also drew some freehand flowers which she also enjoyed. 
Given more time, I think we can find even more things to use for a light tray, like a house key, feather, kitchen utensils.  You tell me what you think!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wow!  So inspired by this blog to create a light table.

The pictures of the children's play are incredible.  I will be going to put ours together for home this evening.  But, the uses for counseling and therapy will also be immense.  So thank you, Timeless Adventures!!!

I've been busy preparing interview materials for a hopeful position in a school.  God may have that in store for me again!  Anyway, if so, this light table will lend itself to free expression and some beginning house, person, tree drawings.  Use the idea with the salt and straws to draw with, and your directives to begin drawing should be so easily accepted!

Happy light box drawing!  Three wishes that my favorite school position occurs for me again soon!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom: ♥ Enchanted Thursdays Blog Hop #27 ♥

Another helpful resource as you look at how to get your homeschooler or school aged child ready!  Life is interesting.  I am looking for a position with a school system as the position I was employed in while beginning this journey is over. 
I am excited as to where my life is headed, and will keep you bloggers updated.  This may give me more time to homeschool my toddler:) and scrapbook.  The journey is heading in a different direction.  Keep you posted:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom: ♥ Enchanted Thursdays Blog Hop #27 ♥: Welcome to my Enchanted Thursdays Blog Hop. A big THANK YOU to everyone who linked up or "clicked" the last week. I feel like the kids ...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Here is another idea for our resource collection.  You can do it simply...or more complicated.  Let me explain.  The tissue paper craft allows you to discuss feelings as well as you do with spin art (previous post).  In the blog that follows, you will see how to make it more complicated with the use of contact paper.  I should think you could try it both ways.  Here is the link:

In a more simple way, use a shape such as a heart, rainbow, or even just a star or oval to contain the craft.  Either draw it freehand on a piece of construction paper or cut the shape from construction paper.  Then, either cut tissue paper into squares or tear into any shape.  Using glue sticks or liquid glue (a preferred method), cover the shape with the glue.  Place the tissue paper into the glue.  With use of liquid glue, the paper colors will meld together.  This helps in the discussion of how feelings sometimes blend together. 

Anyone have other ideas on how to explain how feelings sometimes blend together making them difficult to explain?  I would love for us to share these and gain a great toolkit for use in our treatment!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Well blog readers,
I am wondering how to work out summer organizing of your resources.  Checking in with God every day is the key to making this treatment thing work.  God uses resources to guide us.  So, the best we can do is to organize these so that God can bring them to the forefront just when needed. 
When you look at your calendar for the day, you should be able to recognize the student's primary needs following your intake of course.  The needs might include a long list:  self esteem, poor impulse control, lying, hyperactivity, etc.  But you have to focus on the most important for the time or the child's circumstances.  If the child is facing problems due to their lying at school or at home, then the activity of the day should focus on this problem.
If the child has had problems with impulsivity, such as touching others in line at school or invading other's space, then that would be the treatment concern.
Forgive me for being elemental in this discussion.  I know there are others out there new to the field or unclear of how to begin in this position in a school setting.  
Blessings on how the Lord uses you and your resources to make the student more aware of the appropriateness of their behavior.  Success will come!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Here is a great resource for you:

The link provides a collaborative effort from many clinicians to a booklet designed for interventions at each step in the therapeutic process.
How about you?  Do you have any magical resources?  Share them here in the comment section.  We can start a revolution of counseling tried and true techniques.

Hope you are enjoying what  summer has to offer.  It is a wonderful time to reflect and acknowledge the power of God in our lives and the leading that he has in our ministries!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I have taken some time to reorganize this blog.  I am wondering how many of you might need to know more about art or play therapy.  I am considering making this a place in which I try out techniques on my own children....of course, they are fun, so it won't be torturous.  The techniques are out there, but it takes some time searching.
As an employee on a school calendar year, I have more time now then ever to work out the kinks, and even create some scripts.  My objective is to create a toolbag.  I have some go to ideas for kids with many problems, but could stand to expand my horizons also.
If any of you would like to post a link, do so.  I will comment on those as I have time.  So good to regroup once in a while.
Happy Summer!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Today, we finished a new family group that operated once a week for three weeks.  We had two separate groups running with first graders in one and fifth graders in the other.  The group utilized the Lowenstein's book Creative Interventions for Children of Divorce.  Here is a link:

It was an active group, but each of the activities were very helpful to keep this bunch busy and enjoying the discussion.  The first graders got different things from it then the fifth graders, I am sure.
In the last session, we used the activity called "Heads and Tails" for the first graders.  The activity had the group members flip a coin and use the head or tail to determine which activity they did, either an answer to a question or complete more active request.  Then the children completed an activity which answered 'How do my parents show their love'?  The children in the first grade group reminded each other with more standard concrete representations of their love.  They wrote 'buy me toys,' 'buy me food,' and 'buy me clothes.'  The group then discussed how they could show their love to their family.  This is a very useful book to address problems for children of separated families even if their parents were not 'divorced.'  There were many more activities than I could use in the six weeks of the group.  So many resources are available now then when I began to counsel young children.  So fun.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Today, I am hoping to tell you about a new discovery:  LEGOs.  Well, they are a new medium for me.  Due to my coworker's influence, I have incorporated LEGO play into my work with children.  It is so great to see the themes which arrive in our imaginative play.  I often guide the more violent images that these children want to work on with more heroic type play.  We work out solutions to the aggressive acts of the shark in the LEGO ocean, and design rescue scenarios.  I won't ever be the same for adding this element.  Why?  Well, I never played with LEGOs myself.  My imagination was shaped by the Barbies of my neighbors and friends (yeah, I had none myself).  I work with a male counselor who contributed a large LEGO collection to our materials. 
This, as I said, was life-changing.  Even when first working with the items, I felt that they could not be useful.  Maybe even used them as a reward for working hard during the counseling session.  Then, I realized the LEGOs were just the medium to reach my students, male and female alike.  Hope you discover something new today!
Today, I saw a student who I've seen for some time.  He asked if we could do a simple activity I’ve used in the past.  You use a bouncing ball to land in a basket.  The basket can be anything, but it is fun to use a round basket, as it will sometimes spin itself in or out.
So, the purpose is to have the ball bounce a number of times prior to landing in the basket.  I ask the child to fill in a sentence completion item prior to bouncing the ball.  I will often also fill in the statement.  Suggestions include:  “The last time I was angry was____________________.”  “I was angry at my_________________.”  “I solved the disagreement by__________________.”  “The last time I told a friend about my ‘sad’ was____________________.”  You can make the activity more interesting by placing the basket on a table top, desk top, or countertop.
This activity seems to break down a lot of barriers.  I enjoy it and so does the student.  Here is another chance to make the session about the child, giving them an outlet for fun but also reflection.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

This week, I saw a family needing help with discipline of their third grader.  This family has been willing to go through much of the Parenting with Love and Logic book with me.  I am very impressed with the techniques given to parents in this book.  It is a great way to introduce some key concepts necessary for any parent:  natural consequences and empathetic responses.  I can't say I always do it right with my parenting.  Each day, we have more of a chance to get it right.  God gives us the new day....and I try to use this new day to direct my life towards him.  At work and at home....but especially with kids who need a little God in their lives.
As a social worker in a school, I am able to use art and play to meet a child where they are emotionally.  This chance to just see them and their needs as a them a touch of God.  I don't have to share that is where my energy comes from.  That God tells me what they need.  I don't plan much, God does.  He prepares the counseling session.  Thank the Lord. I hope He meets you at work and home too.

Friday, May 25, 2012

As a social worker in a school setting, I see a lot of things.  The one thing I do see the most, though, is common 'anger.'  I am going to work on this problem of 'anger' with a third grader today.  I use the anger management program from Missouri Comprehensive Guidance Programs curriculum.  The program offers a wide range of activities and talks about 'taking care of your mad in healthy and safe ways'.  Cool that it is bringing some fun but also using casual language for a sometimes difficult subject.
I tend to do the lesson with an art technique as well, showing 'mixed up feelings'.  Our mad and sad sometimes get mixed up together.  I have done this with marbles/cardboard box or even with a spin art machine.  After rolling the marble in the box through two different colors of paint, the discussion turns to how this demonstrates our feelings becoming mixed up.  At the beginning of the art lesson, I discuss how the different colors of paint represent different feelings the child may have.  When the mad and sad feelings are mixed up, sometimes it is difficult to relay how you feel.  Your feeling of 'mad' might actually be more 'sad'.  This is a fun way to show how difficult it can be to accurately tell how we feel.  It is important in the end to identify the feelings and triggers to our anger.