Dr. Gary’s Candy Land “Therapy” Game

What you need: One Candy Land game, and a collection of prompts (see below)

Players move their pawn around the Candy Land board the standard way. Whenever the players land
on a square that is the same color as their pawn, they respond to a statement or question from the list.

The therapist should have about 10-15 prompts prepared in advance. Lists can be made for children
with cooperation and compliance issues, anxiety, depression, social issues, etc.

Below are some sample prompts.

Cooperation and Compliance
1. Name one rule you really don’t like. Can you think of a good reason for that rule?
2. When is it hard to share or take turns? What would make it easier?
3. Give an example of when you listened the first time. Tell yourself “good job!”
4. Pretend you’re the boss. Tell the other player a good way to be cooperative with Mom or Dad.
5. Do your parents ask you to try new things? Tell about a time you tried something new and you
liked it.
6. Pretend you’re helping somebody. What are you doing for them?
7. Why don’t children want to play with someone who is bossy?
8. What are the rules for playing outside at school?
9. What are the rules when a friend comes to your house?
10. What gets your mom mad?
11. What gets your dad mad?
12. Say one thing you don’t like to be told to do. Ask the other person to say that thing, and pretend
you are doing it.
13. Say why children don’t like having their toys grabbed.
14. What does cooperation mean?

Anxiety
1. Name something you are afraid of. Is that real or pretend?
2. Who can you talk to when you are scared?
3. Who keeps us safe in the community (outside our house)?
4. What is something an adult told you when you were afraid? Will it help to say that to yourself
next time you are afraid?
5. Some people think you have to practice being brave to get over your fears. What is something
you did, even though you were afraid?
6. Think of a time you were really happy. Talk about it. Pretend you are afraid and talk about the time you were really happy. Do you think that will help next time you’re afraid?
7. Draw a picture of something you’re afraid of. Now say why you shouldn’t be afraid of that thing.
8. Sing the happiest or silliest song you know. Do you think you can be scared and sing that song?
9. Say something you are afraid of. How could you practice being brave when you are afraid of that
thing?
10. Pretend you are afraid. Take a big breath. Blow the fear out S-L-O-W-L-Y.
11. What is the safest place in your house? If you close your eyes can you imagine that place?
12. A boy did not like it when his mother went out or left him at school. She gave him something
special, which belonged to her. He was able to hold on to it until she came back. Guess what it
was?
13. Being scared may be a clue that you are in danger. Remember the last time you were scared.
Were you in danger?

Depression
1. Name something that makes you feel happy. Is that something you can do when you are sad?
2. Who helps you when you feel sad? What do they say?
3. Sing a silly or happy song. When you sing that song, do you feel sad, glad, mad, or scared?
4. Name something that you really like about your life?
5. Did you ever try something, over and over, and finally do it (like write your name or remember
how to count)?
6. Is it OK to make mistakes?
7. Say “I feel good me!” three times. What do you like about yourself?
8. A boy thought going to school was no fun. Tell him what you do at school that is fun.
9. A girl did not like to play alone. Tell her what you like to do when you play alone.
10. A boy was sad so he asked his family members to give him hugs. Who can you ask for hugs?
11. What could you make for a parent? How would you feel when you gave it to a parent? Sad,
Glad, Mad, or Afraid?
12. What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
13. Pretend you just got sent to time out. Say “I can handle this. I’m a good person and I’ll stay out
of trouble next time.”

Social Skills
1. Cooperate means share, take turns, and doing what the other person wants. When do you
cooperate?
2. When is it hard to cooperate? What would make it easier?
3. What are some words you can use when you want to play with someone?
4. What is a good way to decide who goes first?
5. When is a good idea to take turns?
6. Pretend you’re helping somebody. What are you doing for them?
7. Ask the other player to tell you about their favorite meal. Listen carefully, and then tell them
what they said.
8. Pretend you’re talking to a new student. What are some polite and friendly things you can say?
9. Ask the other player to tell you about a worry or a problem. Tell them what they said, and one thing they can do about their problem.
10. What are the rules for playing outside at school?
11. What are the rules when a friend comes to your house?
12. Ask the other person to stare at your nose. Does it look like they are making eye contact?
13. Some people divide things when they want to share. What are some things that can be divided?
14. Some people trade when they want to share things. What are some things that can be traded?
15. In a nice way ask the other player to play Candy Land with you.
16. What is something that is hard to do? Ask the other player for help you do that thing.
17. Grab the other player’s piece. Now give it back and say “I’m sorry, I won’t do that again.”

Low Frustration Tolerance
1. What makes you really mad? When you feel that mad, where can you go so you don’t get into
trouble?
2. When something gets too hard some people get mad. Pretend you’re telling a mad person
to “Take a break, and calm down.” How long should their break be?
3. Pretend you’re mad. Now do a mad dance and shake it all out!
4. Some people like to laugh at other people. Say, “Please stop laughing at me that hurts my
feelings.”
5. Pretend someone is laughing at you and they won’t stop. Name an adult who can help you.
6. Pretend you’re going to hit someone. Say “no hitting,” and walk to the other side of the room.
7. Pretend you are really mad. Take a big breath and blow the anger out S-L-O-W-L-Y.
8. Name one thing you don’t like to be told to do. Ask the other person to tell you to do that thing,
and pretend you are doing it.
9. Say “I can wait my turn.” When do you have to wait your turn?
10. Pretend someone pushed you. Say “Stop.” What would you tell an adult if they asked “what is
going on?”
11. Pretend you are in the bathroom. Now say all your “potty” words, or words you’re not allowed
to say.
12. Say why children don’t like having their toys grabbed.
13. Some adults say hit something soft when you’re mad. What is something soft that you can hit.
14. What is something that is hard to do? Ask the other player for help doing that thing.
15. Think of something mean to say and tell the other player. Ask the other player to say those
words and pretend you are ignoring them.
16. Pretend you just turned over the gingerbread man card and you have to go all the way back.
Pretend you’re going to lose the game now. Show a good way to handle this.

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