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Angry Birds Meet CBT

Updated: Dec 10, 2022

Use Angry Birds to teach cognitive behavioral therapy skills to children.

Angry Birds lend themselves nicely to counseling. I think kids identify with the anger that the birds have and the desire for justice when they feel mistreated. And the game is fun!

I have incorporated Angry Birds ideas into counseling for years now. One of my favorites is this free download I found to make a plan of action to address anger. It’s a cute little take-home printable they can put in their coping skill toolbox. I have also used some video clips from the movies to drive home points on occasion.

However, the best Angry Birds intervention I have found is the Knock-On Wood game. The Angry Birds Knock on Wood game allows kids to make the Angry Bird towers in person and then use the sling to launch the birds toward the tower. The game comes with rules for how to gather points and play against others. However, my kiddos typically enjoy doing their own thing. We rarely play by the rules with this game.

What I like to do is hold up a pig and tell the child that the pig represents negative self-talk. Then I say something like, “This mean pig says that you are ugly! Is that true?” Regardless of how they answer the question I respond with, “Of course it is not true! How do we defeat this mean pig? We need to hit it with a truth bomb.”

I would then pick up an angry bird and introduce it as a truth bomb. I would then say, “This Angry Bird truth bomb says you are handsome/pretty.” Then I would take the angry bird and knock over the pig. It is easier for kids to grasp the idea of how to reject negative statements coming from a bully, but it is harder when it is self-talk. I then would explain how sometimes people have self-talk that sounds a lot like a bully. Truth bombs can defeat those negative self-talk statements.

Now, every time the kids see Angry Birds, they will remember to pay attention to their self-talk!


HUGE NEWS! This post has inspired a new game that is FREE for all! Get your copy of the Angry Birds Truth Bombs card game here.


Other CBT Resources:

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