Double Mirror Doodle

    • Using a large piece of paper and 2 crayons, have the student doodle a mirror image design. This helps with grounding, focus, and clarity through bilateral integration of both hemispheres of the brain.
      • Materials
        • Large Paper
        • 2 crayons

What Happened Next

    • Using a large piece of paper and something to write with, have the student sequentially tell the story of what happened from beginning to the end.  This narrative supports “top-down” processing of the event.
      • Materials
        • Large Paper
        • Pen, Pencil, or Crayons

Tumbling Blocks Conversation Prompts

    • Using a Jenga (or generic version) game, the child and the counselor will pull a block and respond to the prompt on the block.  This can be used for a variety of topics to include coping skills, social situations, icebreaker, friendship skills, etc.

Pick-Up Straws

    • Using straws, students will pick up a straw and respond to a prompt coordinated with the color-coded prompts on a list of prompts in variety of areas.
      • Materials
        • Package of Straws with a Variety of Colors

Career Charades

    • In this activity, the child(re) will act out a carreer while the others guess.  It can be an ice breaker or connecting activity as well for groups.
      • Slips of paper with careers or modified prompts to direct the child on what to act out in charades style.

Career Creation

Through clay creations, the child or teen will mold the dough or clay to form a symbolic representation of the career.  For example, they may create a toothbrush for a dentist.  This can be modified to fit the topic of the area in need of supporting, such as emotional literacy and expression, family system support, and much more.

Social / Emotional/Friendship Thumballs

    • In this activity, the ball is tossed to each player.   The person catching the ball will respond to the word, statement, response closest to the player’s right thumb.  Write words, statements, responses on the ball with a permanent marker.  Themes could be “Ice Breaker”, “Social Situations”, “Emotional Literacy”, etc…
      • Materials
        • Large Air Filled Ball
        • Black Permanent Marker

Fishing for Solutions

    • In this activity, each child “fishes” for a statement or a question.  Once the child “catches’ a fish, he/she responds to the group. 
      • Materials
        • Foam Sheets (variety of colors)
        • Permanent Black Marker
        • Small Round Magnets
        • ½ “ x 2’ Dowel Rod
        • 1’ of Twine
        • Large Metal Bucket
        • Large Blue Cloth
        • (Cut foam pieces in the shape of a fish.  Glue a round magnet on the fish shape for the eye.  Create a fishing pole by tying and gluing the twine to the end of the string.  At the end of the string, glue a round magnet.)


    • In this activity, each person creates a design in the circle.  This art therapy directive can differ based on goals for the activity (team building, expression, calming, etc…).  After completion, a group discussion can be initiated to explore the process and any feelings that surface…
      • Materials
        • Large Sheet of Paper
        • Round Object for Circle Shape to Trace on the Paper
        • Crayons, Markers, and/or Paint


Therapeutic Books with Activities to Address Various Issues

  • “Have You Filled Your Bucket Today” (Relationships)  In this activity, the child(ren) will write down positive, helpful statements to others on the slips of paper, then place in others’ “bucket” to symbolize kind acts.
      • Bucket(s)
      • Small Slips of Paper
      • Writing Instruments
  • “Invisible String” (Grief and Loss)  In this activity, the child will illustrate pictorially the people that they feel connected as in the metaphor of the invisible string that is represented with clear glue.
      • Paper
      • Glue
      • Crayons
  • “Personal Space Camp” (Social Appropriateness)  In this activity, the child learns about the appropriate amount of space to allow for peers and others in their familiarity with the visual aid  of a hula hoop. The child is to be directed to notice the distance as it is an appropriate for personal space.
    • Hula Hoop

Positive Belief “I am…” Activity

In this activity, the child “ranks” each statement depending on feelings of accuracy.  Statements can be adapted to individual / group.  The final rank of statements could then be discussed for self-awareness and a starting point for self-image concerns

  • Materials
    • Printed sheet with the following statements, cut into strips.
      • I am CONFIDENT
      • I am INTELLIGENT
      • I am CREATIVE
      • I am HUMOROUS
      • I am KIND
      • I am CONFIDENT
      • I am GOOD
      • I am CAPABLE

Self-Talk Thought Bubble

  • This activity is most effective when it is frontloaded with psychoeducation to teach the child about self-talk and how it impacts various situations such as test anxiety, social situations, etc….  To create the dialogue bubble, cut the poster board in the desired shape with a head shaped hole in the middle.  Instruct the child to write some positive and negative self-talk statements on the board.  Each statement can be used as a participatory discussion starter to strengthen the child’s understanding of the importance of using positive self-talk to better situations.
    • Materials
      • Large Posterboard
      • Sharpie Marker
      • Scissors