What are useful games and activities for therapists to do with kids via telehealth?
When conducting therapy sessions with children via telehealth, therapists can incorporate various games and activities to engage them and facilitate therapeutic progress. Here are some examples of games and activities that can be effective in a telehealth setting:
- Online Interactive Games: Many websites and platforms offer interactive games specifically designed for therapy purposes. These games can be used to address specific therapeutic goals, such as emotional regulation, social skills, or cognitive development. Examples include virtual board games, memory games, puzzles, and collaborative drawing activities.
- Show and Tell: Encourage children to choose an object or a favorite toy from their environment and share its significance or tell a story related to it. This activity promotes self-expression, creativity, and allows the therapist to gain insight into the child’s interests and experiences.
- Charades or Role-Playing: Engage children in charades or role-playing activities to explore emotions, social situations, or problem-solving scenarios. They can act out different characters or situations, fostering imagination, empathy, and communication skills.
- Scavenger Hunt: Create a virtual scavenger hunt where the child searches for specific items in their environment or on-screen. This activity promotes attention, focus, and observational skills. The therapist can provide a list of items or clues for the child to find.
- Art Therapy: Incorporate art-based activities using materials readily available at the child’s location. Encourage drawing, painting, or collage-making to express emotions, explore creativity, and promote self-reflection. The child can share their artwork with the therapist and discuss the thoughts and feelings behind it.
- Therapeutic Storytelling: Use age-appropriate stories or create personalized narratives to address therapeutic goals. The therapist can read a story or guide the child through creating their own story, incorporating characters, situations, or themes relevant to their therapeutic needs.
- Breathing Exercises and Mindfulness Activities: Teach children simple breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques to promote relaxation, emotional regulation, and stress reduction. Use visual cues, guided imagery, or interactive mindfulness apps designed for children.
- Virtual Board Games or Card Games: Play virtual versions of popular board games or card games with the child using online platforms or shared screens. This fosters engagement, cognitive skills, turn-taking, and social interaction.
Remember to adapt and customize activities based on the child’s age, developmental stage, and therapeutic goals. Parental involvement and support during telehealth sessions can also enhance the effectiveness of these activities. Additionally, ensure that any online platforms or tools used are secure, age-appropriate, and comply with privacy and confidentiality regulations.
Leanne Hopkins is an Occupational Therapist at Succeed Healthcare Solutions and is passionate about creating a world where families thrive. If you or someone you know is interested in undertaking therapy via telehealth with a team trained and experienced in telehealth for several years, please contact us and arrange a free 15-minute Discovery Interview to see how we can assist.