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Section 23
Sample Play Therapy Activities

Question 23 | Test | Table of Contents

Materials: None
Procedure: Group of children sit on floor at some distance from one another. Therapists sing "jazzy" song. When music stops, children gather together closer. Song resumes, then stops. Children gather until they have formed a small knot.

Queen (or King) for a Day
Materials: None
Procedure: As each child takes a turn to stand in front of the group, the others make up a song in which he or she stars.

Follow the Leader
Materials: inner tubes, pillows, boxes, and other objects large enough to jump into, climb over, walk on, and so on.
Procedure: Therapist (or child who has been appointed leader) leads the way. Other children follow. When leader says "freeze!" all stop dead in their tracks.

Materials: One lightweight blanket
Procedure: One of two therapists leaves room. Remaining therapist and group of children hide one child under blanket. First therapist returns and, knowing hidden child's identity, expresses longing for a child just like that one (for example, "I do so wish for a little girl with freckles and sparkly eyes and little ears on the sides of her head. Oh how I wish that I might find one just like that right inside this very blanket.") Therapist then "unwraps" the blanket. (This idea is thanks to Viola Brody.)

Leap Frog
Materials: None
Procedure: Children in group take turns "leaping" over crouched "frogs." As each child finishes leaping, he takes his place crouching at the front of the line of "frogs." The last child in the line becomes the new "leaper."

Materials: None
Procedure: Children in group "mold" one child into a statue of what they think "he or she would most like to be doing

Materials: None
Procedure: Children take different starting points for joining the singing of a song.

Simon Says
Materials: None
Procedure: Each child takes a turn to direct the group in what actions they should do in what sequence. Leader demonstrates; others follow.

Materials: One large, solidly constructed blanket
Procedure: One child at a time takes a turn to lie in the center of the blanket. Both therapists and two or three children hold corners of blanket, raise it gently off the ground, and softly swing it back and forth. Child lies quietly inside it. Maintaining maximum eye contact with him, the group sings a little song about the cradled child.
- Jernberg, Ann, Theraplay: A New Treatment Using Structured Play for Problem Children and Their Families, Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco: 1979.

Empowering Parents Through Filial Therapy

- Carol, Skinner, Empowering Parents through Filial Therapy. PUB DATE 1997-00-00 NOTE 8p.; Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (105th, Chicago, IL, August 15-19, 1997).

Personal Reflection Exercise #9
The preceding section contained information about sample play therapy activities. Write three case study examples regarding how you might use the content of this section in your practice.

Which play therapy activity involves each child standing in front of the group while the others make up a song in which he or she stars?
To select and enter your answer go to Test.

Section 24
Table of Contents