It’s amazing how playdough can get anxious kids talking!
We’ve all had them in our classrooms. Those children who clearly are upset, unsettled and generally not happy.
They may show it in anger, low-level disruption or even outright rudeness. They may also refuse to engage in anything no matter how whizzy you make it. Trying to get through the barrier they have put up can be really difficult. It may be a wall that it protecting them from really awful experiences and the last thing they want to do is to talk to anyone.
The fabulous Pooky Knightsmith, director at the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, has produced a great little video to show you how using Playdough could help get the conversation going or at least take out some of those bricks.
8 Playdough tricks
Playdough (play-doh) has been around for a long time. Those of us who are in later years will think of it as plasticine, although Playdough is more pliable and certainly smells better!
The areas to consider are:
- Basic respite where the young person can just play with it
- Use it to symbolise something that is painful to talk about
- Creating scenarios and stories
- It is very colourful so these can be used to describe emotions
- Smashing it
- Using it to distract
- Allowing the conversation to be had in the third person
- Using vocabulary of scale examples by balls of Playdough can put things into perspective
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