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Top 15 Therapeutic Play Based Ways To Talk to Children About Emotions 

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With Coronavirus becoming more and more rampant in our world, this week has stirred a lot of different emotions for children (and adults) of all ages. We are living in a world of uncertainty and many of us are confused, scared, and worried about how to navigate the flood of emotions with our children.

Well that's why I am here to help! I am going to share some of the tools I use in my therapy room so you can help your children at home while we wait this virus out! But honestly, these tools can help you in any time during childhood distress or emotional dysregulation. I am including toys, books, games, and other tools to help you!

Remember to try and take this time with your children as a blessing and a time to slow down and learn from them, teach them, bond with them, and play with them. They might feel sadness, grief, confusion, frustration, boredom, anger, worry, or other core emotions. It is most important to stay calm and patient with them and listen, empathize, and validate!

Play Based Ways To Discuss Emotions

Dr. Kim's DIY Emotional Hopscotch

Materials: Parent, Child, Paper, Colorful Markers

Time Commitment: 30 minutes

What To Do: Write one emotion (and draw a face of the emotion if your child can't read yet) on one on side of each paper. I recommend the core six including mad, sad, happy, scared, worried, confused. But you can always add as many as you want and also include bored, excited, frustrated, and more. Once your paper emotions are done, turn them over and place them on the ground face down. Make sure they are spread out so there is some space in between. Then ask your child to jump on one of the pieces of paper. They will then flip over the paper they jumped on and tell you the emotion out loud (you can help them if they don't know). Then ask them to tell you one thing that makes them feel this emotion and process it with them. Listen, empathize, and validate. And then you, the parent, can share one thing that makes you feel that emotion as well. Reciprocate with them and grow your emotional attachment.

Play Flip Flop Faces Emotions in Motion Game!

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Play "You Can Control Your Worries Game!"

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Whatsitsface Stuffed Animal with 6 Different Faces, Plush Toy for Boys Or Girls, Shows Its Emotions - Puppy Dog, Kitty Cat, and Bear

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Games

Emotional Bingo for Children

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Coping Skills Bingo

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Open Spaces Totika Self Esteem Game With 48 Question Card Deck - A Game of Fun, Skill and Communication

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Babies and Toddlers: Mega Bloks Building Basics Build & Learn Emotions

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Conversation Starters

The Anxiety Thumball: The Fun Group Activity for Learning to Cope with Anxiety and Worry

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The Original Mood Flipbook for Kids; 20 Different Moods/Emotions; Help Kids Identify Feelings and Make Positive Choices; Laminated Pages (Monster Flipbook)

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Little Renegades: Mindfulness Cards for Kids

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Conversation Starters: How I'm Feeling - 52 Sentence Completion Cards to Get Children Talking About Their Feelings

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Physical Expression

Express Yourself: Big Time Toys Socker Bopper Power Bag Standing Inflatable Punching Bag for Kids

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Sensory Fidget Toys Set, 22 Pcs., Stress Relief and Anti-Anxiety Tools Bundle for Kids and Adults, Marble and Mesh, Pack of Squeeze Balls, Soybean Squeeze, Flippy Chain, Liquid Motion Timer & More

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Book Resources

What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (What-to-Do Guides for Kids)

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Worry Says What?

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Breathe Like a Bear: 30 Mindful Moments for Kids to Feel Calm and Focused Anytime, Anywhere

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Good Morning Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Wake Up Story

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Good Night Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story

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