Last week I was able to attend the national Association for Play Therapy (APT) in Houston. It was awesome- so many cool people, topics, techniques, and toys all in one place! I came back tired but refreshed and ready to work with all of the new knowledge I gained during the week.
While at the APT conference, I learned about 3 awesome apps available for those working with kids. The first two have been been released fairly recently and are truly one-of-a-kind tools to work with kids in play therapy. These apps are especially cool for those who work with kids and don’t have the luxury of a traditional playroom setting.
Many kids, especially the little ones, have difficulty understanding the purpose of play therapy and what is to be expected. There are a few books written to help kids understand how play therapy is different and cool, but honestly, I haven’t been too jazzed with them in the past. They are too wordy or not really clear.
With this app, kids can enter information specific to them, such as name, age, and favorite color. The app will take this information and use it to tell a story about what happens in play therapy.
I’m thinking this would be most helpful to use after the intake for both the parents and kids to do together.
The app is FREE and can be used easily with many clients after just one download. *The app can only be used on your IPad as of now* I’ve already downloaded it for my IPad and am pumped about using with my intake next week.
For those of you who have worked with kids for any amount of time, you have likely used the volcano metaphor when talking with clients about feelings and anger. I even blogged about its use here for explaining to kids why therapy is so important.
This app uses this metaphor but allows kids to talk about their anger in an interactive format.
All of my kids LOVE technology so using it in the playroom scores me cool points every time.
The app was developed by a play therapist. She will likely have several new apps in the future dealing with other emotions, such as worry. I’d recommend checking out her website to get the latest info on when these will be released.
The app is $9.99 in the app store for IPad, which I personally think is a steal. For any of you who have bought specialty games and books for play therapy, you know they are usually MUCH more expensive than this (and then the pieces get lost or broken and you are just out of luck).
#3 3D Brain
I learned about this cool app from another participant at one of my workshops (which is often some of the best ways to find out cool tips and tricks). With so much research and emphasis on helping kids using brain-wise techniques, this app comes in very handy. It allows you to easily bring up 3D graphics of the brain, including specific regions and their purposes in the brain.
I’ve found over the years that teaching kids and parents about the brain gives them a greater feeling of understanding and power when using the therapeutic techniques. One of my favorite resources for parents about the brain and behavior is The Whole Brain Child.
I first thought there was no way kids could grasp the purpose and importance of the different parts of the brain. But, again and again, I’ve been happily proved wrong.
I’ve even had 1st and 2nd graders explain to their parents about the amygalda and its connection to anger and bad choices.
Again, anytime I can bring in cool technology and facilitate a feeling of understanding and greater control of the brain, it’s a double-win.
This app is FREE and can be used with both an IPad and IPhone.
So there ya go- 3 new ways to integrate technology into play therapy. I will be using all of these with both by kids and parents in our play therapy sessions. I will likely assign some as homework as well!
What are some of your favorite uses for technology in the playroom. Share the wealth! Comment below with some of your favs!