3 Fun Ways to Use Dinosaurs in Child Therapy

Dinosaurs will never go out of style!


I think they're especially intriguing to young children due to them being so dangerous, fierce, and almost mythological since they lived millions and millions of years ago!


Since they are so well loved by children, why not integrate them into therapy?!?


Today's post will identify multiple ways to integrate dinosaurs into your child therapy and play therapy work!



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Puppets


I LOVE using puppets in child therapy! It makes difficult topics that much easier to touch on by puppets being a safer avenue for expression and communication versus solely verbally communicating. My dinosaur puppet is by far one of the most popular puppets in my playroom!


In non-directive or Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT), my dinosaur puppet can lead into play surrounding the themes of safety, fear, protection, and even confidence!


Puppets can additionally be a great way for children to easily digest nearly any topic that you are working on in directive play therapy, such as the cognitive triad, listening skills, communication skills, and coping skills.



Coping Strategies


Dinosaurs feel big feelings just like kids do! That's why they are a great way to teach and have child therapy clients practice coping skills.


You can have clients:

  • Stomp their anger out like a T-Rex

  • Claw a stress ball like a Raptor

  • Imagine flying like a Pterodactyl to their safe place

  • Eat a healthy snack like a Apatosaurus


Bibliotherapy


The Mine-o-saur is a silly little book that I love to use when teaching children about sharing.


It's about a dinosaur who has a really difficult time sharing, which makes none of the other dinosaurs want to play with him.


Luckily, in the end he is able to learn how to share and becomes friends with all of the other dinosaurs!






Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug is another absolutely adorable book about friendship, feelings, and problem solving.


The book focuses on Tiny T. Rex and his friend Pointy. Pointy is feeling sad and wants a hug, but Tiny T. Rex can't give hugs!


Whatever shall they do?!?





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Movie Clips


The Good Dinosaur is a Disney movie that has a song about facing your fears! Check it out here to help teach your clients about getting through their fears in order to "see the beauty on the other side."


Lastly, Rex from Disney Pixar's Toy Story is an anxious dinosaur! Rex is always worrying about things throughout the Toy Story movies and most of the time the worries are completely unrealistic! Here is a compilation of Rex clips from the Toy Story movies.


Play the clips with your anxious clients and process with them Rex's various anxieties, if they are realistic, and what coping skills he could use to feel more regulated.


Until next time, Play On!










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Schedule a FREE Playful Private Practice Strategy Session with me today to get you support and strategy you need to have a playful and prosperous child therapy private practice