When undertaking counseling sessions with children, the most crucial element is to ensure that the child looks forward to them. You'll need to hold their attention with engaging them in activities that also calm and soothe. Whether they are individual or group counseling sessions, try these 15 activities to help the kids relax and manage their negative thoughts, impulses, and frustrations.
1. Bubble Breathing
This mindfulness exercise introduces calming breathing to young children in a fun way. It reduces stress and helps alleviate anxiety and depression. However, it won't come naturally, and most youngsters will require practice. Ask the children to blow larger bubbles as they focus on their exhalation.
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2. Dancing Games
Dancing games that require kids to copy dance steps help them improve their motor skills and concentration. It is a fun activity that they'll all love! You can also try a dance routine that requires a partner to inculcate teamwork.
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Give the kids a sheet of paper and ask them to draw anything they choose. It improves their ability to focus and encourages them to be creative. You can even challenge the kids to close their eyes while drawing. They'll open their eyes to see what they have created and roll over with laughter.
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4. Fire Breathing Dragon
5. In My Control Activity
This is a simple activity where kids write down the things that are and are not in their control. It helps them realize that they do not hold power over certain things. For instance, they learn that they are not responsible for their parent’s divorce.
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7. Kim’s Game
For this game, show the kids ten objects. Make them memorize the objects and then cover them. Ask the child to recollect them and see how many they remember. Alternatively, you can hide one object and ask the child to spot what's missing. The activity helps develop concentration and memory skills.
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8. Mini Hand Shredder
9. Puzzles Where the Child Has to Find Something
Puzzles like "finding the panda" and the like help develop a child's concentration. Print out a few easy puzzles to begin with and then increase the difficulty as the child's concentration increases.
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10. Red Light Green Light
This classic outdoor game helps kids develop self-control. The counselor acts as a traffic cop, and all the kids stand at the starting line. When the cop says, "green light", the kids must start running toward the finish line, and when the cop says red light, the kids must stop.
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11. Self-Control Bubbles
Ask the kids to sit in a circle and blow bubbles over them. The first time, they can pop the bubbles to their heart's content. The next time, you must instruct them to pop the bubbles only if it is right in front of them. The activity helps them develop self-control and patience.
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12. Snowball Fight
Give all the kids one sheet of paper and ask them to write what they like, what they hate, and so on. Now, the kids can roll up the papers and play snowball fights with them. When the balls are all mixed up, ask each child to pick up one. Make them open, read, and guess whose it is.
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13. Spot the Difference
The activity involves two similar drawings with some minute differences, which the child needs to spot. The activity is designed to improve a child’s concentration and get them to notice small details. You can tailor the activity according to your child’s age.
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14. The Freeze Game
Dancing is fun activity kids love. Ask the kids to dance when the music is on and stop dancing as the music pauses. You can add variations, like fast dancing for fast-tempo songs and slow dancing for slow-tempo songs, or vice versa. The activity helps control urges and break bad habits.
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15. Wacky Relay
Two children carry an object between their body parts without using their hands. The smaller the object, the more complex the activity. You can try head-to-head, elbow-to-elbow, chin-to-chin, and so on. It helps build teamwork and helps kids who find it hard to make friends.
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