The Water Lily Way

A school counselor's story of how to live, work and play…the water lily way


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Tuesday Thoughts: The Power of Playdoh!

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Happy rainy Tuesday! The perfect day for playdoh! ūüôā

Who doesn’t LOVE playdoh?? Kid’s ESPECIALLY love squeezing and smashing this miracle¬†substance in their hands! Playdoh can be used in so many different ways when working with kids. Playdoh¬†encourages children to tap into their unconscious mind as it is used as an art¬†expression.¬†Just as well, when engaging in more of a nondirective style of play with children,¬†play-doh allows children to be in control (something they often don’t experience in their world!). Playdoh can support children in building self-esteem, express their emotions and help them¬† sharing happenings in their lives. Here are some different activities that¬†incorporate using¬†playdoh when working with your kiddos:

  • ¬†Expressing Emotions: Have children create a person out of playdoh. Talk about different emotions such as anger, fear, frustration, anxiousness, sadness, etc.¬† Ask children to think of a time when you felt a certain feeling. For each feeling, have the student place a different color of playdoh on the place in their body where they felt that emotion (ex. placing blue playdoh on the figure’s stomach if the child’s stomach hurts when they were anxious). Once done discussing different emotions, reflect on importance of expressing these emotions and not letting them bottle up inside to a point of where our bodies ache. Talk about healthy ways to express these emotions while at school, home, out with friends, etc.
  • Playdoh Personalities: Have children create an animal that they believe has the same “personality” as their own. After child has created the animal, discuss why they think the animal’s personality is like their personality.
  • Relaxation: Giving kiddo’s playdoh to fidget with can help them relax! Playdoh can also help kids to “open up” and feel more comfortable to talk! Playdoh is something that most kids are familiar with, and can help them feel safe and in control.
  • Anger release: Anger can help children release built up anger. Like the “importance of expressing emotions” activity, you can talk with a child about the significance in expressing emotions in healthy ways. You can encourage the child to say something he/she is angry about and then allow them to “smash” the playdoh as a way to release their anger. It may be beneficial to talk about the difference in “hitting” playdoh versus hitting others so that the child understands appropriate and inappropriate behaviors when expressing emotions. Another activity I found¬†on “Creativity in Therapy”¬†involves taping a target on a wall. The child can then throw the playdog at the target as another way to express and release anger in a healthy manner.
  • Control: Here is a cute activity to teach kids about things we can and can not control using playdoh and a rock. Yes, a rock! Find it on¬†Callie’s School Counseling¬†Website¬†by simply scrolling down to the activity that says Playdoh.
  • Positive Self Talk: Your mind is playdoh! Check it out on Kids Relaxation.
  • Clay sculpture and poem
  • Playdoh stress balls
  • Playdoh printable mats
  • Creativity with Playdoh: This is a fun website that talks about the benefits of using playdoh w/kids & also different materials you can combine with playdoh to get creative with playdoh play. Check it out at Imagination Tree.com

 

 

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