Therapeutic Puppet Play Activity 

Play is the language of children. Through play children can navigate and explore the world around them. Meeting children in their world is essential to understanding them, and play is the vehicle to gaining that insight.  The Fox and Cardinal puppets are an opportunity for children to play out fears, concerns, feelings, ask questions and an opportunity to clear up misconceptions.  When clearing up misconceptions is important to not try and fix their emotional state, but rather meet them where they are. It is natural to want to protect children from pain, and many times grief is associated with deep emotional pain. It is essential to give them chances to develop and strengthen their emotional and spiritual intelligence by helping them cope and navigate through emotions.  Have the child lead the play.  As the child initiates the play there will be many opportunities to meet the child in the experience and use creative avenues to expand on their understandings.  

Tips:

-Invite them play and give them choices or ask if you can join them in the play.

-It’s OK if the child does not want to participate or is not ready

-Assess if the play is developmentally appropriate

-Use developmentally appropriate language

-Validate feelings

-Use words and emotions that label feelings(try not to label for them, but enhance opportunities for the child to agree or disagree and respond to emotional concepts  

        -“It sounds like the Fox is angry.  The Cardinal seems to be sad.”

-Create a safe environment for the child express and use their imagination

-Use words like “death” and “died”

      -“The body is no longer working”

-The child may repeat concepts and themes  

-SEEK PROFFESIONAL HELP-Child Life Specialist, Therapist, Greif Support Groups

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