• Whole Child Counseling

More Fun, Games, and Telehealth!

Updated: Jul 13, 2021

In May I put out this blog post about some of the creative, playful ways I was working with kids and using telehealth. I wanted to update you with some more ideas. The 20-21 school year is markedly different because the children are on screens much more than in the spring and summer, so I need to find new creative ways to engage them!

I will discuss some ideas that will work for 1:1 work or small groups, and even some ideas for pushing into classrooms virtually. I also collected a lot of fun games for lunch bunch and some “non-therapeutic” games and activities, because you can make any game therapeutic! I haven’t tried out every single link yet, so please make sure you try them yourself first before trying with your kids, to ensure they are appropriate for your setting. Of course you'll want to make sure you are using sites that adhere to the rules where you work, and you are protecting PPI.

Skills for Big Feelings Telehealth Bonus Bundle and Growing Game Bundle!

If you are looking for interactive activities and games to do on telehealth, check out my new program, Skills for Big Feelings, the Bonus Bundle comes with 12 FUN Digital Interactive Notebooks, trauma-informed guided relaxation MP3s and so much more which was made especially made for telehealth!

Plus, the growing game bundle comes with everything in the bonus bundle plus 40 coping skills craft projects and tons of printable and digital counseling games!

And one more video about this awesome program to help you save time and engage your children with online counseling games and fun social-emotional learning activities. If you have any questions, please read more here.

Solving Remote Problems and Setting Expectations

I created this fun self-correcting digital game to review online learning expectations. There are some silly answers, which got the kids laughing. I also like to be really expressive when I read these, and give them the choices! This was a really fun way to start off the year while also pre-teaching some of the expected online learning behavior, and how to solve problems that kids may run into with distance learning.

Games to work on Impulse Control and Listening

Some classic games that can be easily done on telehealth to work on impulse control and listening are:

  • Freeze dance

  • Simon Says

  • Red Light, Green Light

  • Pretending you are doing certain activities in slow motion (running, climbing, swimming, etc.)

  • Guess the Sound Quizzes

Find the difference games are also helpful for focusing, paying attention, and visual discrimination.

Social and Communication Skills

I love any activity where I can get the kids UP and MOVING, so I did a lot of scavenger hunts in the spring but kids always love the good old classic “Show-and-Tell” and then having their peers listen and ask on-topic follow-up questions is a good one - especially if you just have a few minutes left! My favorite is when the pets are featured on show-and-tell!

I am finding that my students don’t have a lot of down-time to socialize, so for my small groups I have been starting each group with a “Question of the Week” which is just an open-ended question to get them to start conversing more with each other.

If you have kids who are inhibited, or need to work on self-advocacy or are just looking to get your kids talking more, check out these free printable expressing opinion cards.

Using Your Social Filter

Do you have kids that need to work on using their social filter, and not blurting out whatever they are thinking? Well, this idea worked very well on zoom so I thought I'd share! First, we read I Can't Believe You Said That!" by Julia Cook and learned about social filters. I made a simple memory match game for free at https://matchthememory.com/

Each time it was their turn, the child had to answer whether a statement I said was something they should say aloud, or just keep the thought in their head. These Self-Control Think It or Say It Cards from the Sunny Sunshine Student Support Store are the perfect companion for this activity. After they said their answer, they then got a turn to pick 2 cards to flip (I had it on screen share - you need to press the button to allow the cards to have the letter/number so they can direct you which ones to click, otherwise you can share your remote control.)

I did this with several groups with kids who were usually having trouble attending but since they had to look at the screen for memory (even when it wasn't their turn) to play the game, they were very attentive and engaged with this activity! It also allowed me to gather data on some IEP objectives. Did you know I wrote a book on social-emotional IEP and treatment plan objectives (also available in kindle here)?

Creative Games and Activities Related to Drawing

Guided Drawing

I’ve been doing a LOT of guided drawing with the kids! They LOVE it! If you don’t feel like leading them yourself, you can stream something from Art for Kids Hub on youtube.

I like to do a lesson and then tie in a guided drawing with it. For example, we learned about growth mindset and the power of yet by reading Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andrede and Guy Parker-Rees, then we danced to the upbeat Power of Yet song by Janelle Monae. Next, we did this a giraffe guided drawing, similar to this one by Art for Kids Hub, and then the kids each wrote down 2 things they can do now and 1 thing they can’t do YET. We had some fabulous conversations with this!

With my upper-elementary students, we did some simple origami. This can be hard to facilitate online if you aren't experienced with it but it is soo satisfying to