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Play Therapist Recommended Games

5 Games to Encourage Social/Emotional Health & Connection

As a parent, I often wonder how I can create situations to teach my kids the social/emotional skills they need while helping them to integrate the information in a meaningful way. After speaking with all four of our play therapist practitioners, these were the games suggested to parents and caregivers to help children overcome challenges and foster meaningful connection:

 

Elefun

This game is for children who struggle with feeling overwhelmed or are experiencing loss of control. Our practitioners use this game to specifically to facilitate what to do with anxious thoughts.

Ideal for ages 3-12

Find it here

 

Mirror Mirror

Set a timer for anywhere between 1-3 minutes and have the child lead with body movements, postures, faces of their choice and you (the caregiver or parent) is the mirror. When the timer runs out, switch roles and have the child be the mirror to the caregiver. This game is great for building attunement and attachment. Also a playful way to practice following directions.

Ideal for ages 2-8

DYI

 

Ghost Blitz

This is an interactive game that supports the development of flexible brain patterns in a fun way with family. Building mental dexterity is foundational for behavioral flexibility – adapting to daily changes and resiliently responding to challenges.

Ideal for ages 5-13

Find it here

 

Emotional Treasure Hunt

Ask your child find 3 things in the house that bring up a specific feeling for them. For example, find 3 things in the house that remind the child of feeling happy, proud, frustrated, young, silly, etc. Get creative! You can also participate in this with your child and share why you picked each thing.

Ideal for ages 4-18

DIY

 

Monkey Around

This is a game for 2+ year olds to facilitate connection with caregivers and to practice social/emotional skills. This game is unique because there are not a lot of board games specifically made for this younger age group.

Ideal for ages 2-5

Find it here

 

Uninterrupted Time

While this last suggestion is not a “game,” we always recommend that parents and caregivers set aside 10 minutes of daily, uninterrupted play as a time to connect and be totally present with your child(ren).

2 thoughts on “Play Therapist Recommended Games”

  1. Mindi says:

    These are great suggestions. I love the emotional treasure hunt.

  2. Sharlyn says:

    Thanks, Mindy! We love that one too. I’m glad you found these helpful, let us know which ones you try!

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