Feelings Darts

Thanks to Kristie Cain for contributing this great play therapy activity:

Feelings Darts is played with a Feelings Chart (or the cards placed individually on the walls around the room) and Nerf Guns (or any toy dart gun – http://www.childtherapytoys.com/store/foam_toys.html ). Often, I use it as an intro activity to therapy, with individuals and families, to help them begin to talk about feelings. It also helps kids orient themselves to therapy and what “this place is for.”

With families, each family member gets a Dart Gun, or they share if there are not enough, and they take a turn targeting and shooting a feeling card. Sometimes, families will target a feeling they want to talk about. Other times, everyone in the family will share a time they have experienced the feeling. The cards are great because the pictures are vibrant, fun and help little ones, who do not read yet, understand the emotion represented. Fantastic conversations and shared information have come from the use of this activity. “Hard stuff” has proved easier to bring up and talk about with this “game.”

This activity is also very popular with tween/teen boys and girls. With teens, I usually post the flashcards individually around the room with Poster Putty. Then, they can move around the room, target and shoot an emotion they want to share. Some kids like to throw play-doh or clay at an emotion/card. All ages love this activity. I have used it with four-year-olds through seventy-year-olds. 

You can make the chart with poster board, Todd Parr Feelings Flash Cards (feelings posters work very well – http://www.childtherapytoys.com/store/Play_therapy4.html ), and I used clear contact paper to laminate, and keep the whole thing together. To make a whole chart, you need to purchase two Todd Parr packs, as they are double sided.

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