I don't think I've ever met a child who doesn't like to play with Sand (of course excluding children with sensory difficulties). Along with being fun and bringing enjoyment Sand Play can also be a valuable tool when working with emotionally traumatized children. For children who are scared or too damaged to speak the non verbal atmosphere surrounding sand play can be incredibly therapeutic. A non directive approach by the therapist is undertaken; Using small world figures, toy animals, objects and marbles the child is free to explore and develop their expression of situations. make assumptions and make behavioural changes all in a secure and comforting environment.
For this reason Sand Play is valuable when working with children who are victims of neglect, abuse or trauma. It can also be used as a form of family therapy and with adults alike.
If you think your child would benefit from Sand Play, or would like more information then please get in touch. Also keep a look out for my child workshop summer dates coming soon!
I often see Children who are suffering with emotion regulation and angry outbursts. This is a problem area for both typically and atypically children alike. There are many great strategies to help children develop their own coping mechanisms when dealing with anger and today I thought I would share a few!
This is a fantastic way to show children how anger and emotions can develop and explode using fun visual aids! It is so simple, using food colouring, bicarbonate soda and vinegar - and children love to watch their 'anger' pop fizzle and bubble over! I find this works very well with ASD children who are typically very visual learners.
Bubbles and Balloons:
I often use bubbles and balloons to teach children simple breathing exercises and self control. Blow bubbles and ask your child to pop as many as possible and don't let them touch the floor! Excite your child and praise them for great popping - and then ask children to stay very very still and not to move....then blow bubbles at your child, letting them pop on their clothes and face! Praise your child for staying still and practicing great SELF CONTROL.
Simply slowing up a balloon is a good way to teach your child breathing techniques - It also helps to tell children that blowing up a balloon is a way to get 'their angry thoughts out'!.
Stop, Think, Go Traffic Light System:
For children who enjoy art, spend some time developing a traffic light system to help them explore their negative feelings. Red; to verbalise what is making them angry, Amber; to take a few minutes and think about a more proactive way to deal with the situation; and Green for when they are calm!
Please keep a look out for my Anger workshops I will be holding through out the Summer, I will post more details and booking information soon!