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Counseling Games to Promote Social Skills

Updated: Jul 14, 2023


Almost all kids need help with social skills. Kids with anger issues often alienate themselves due to aggression or anger outbursts. Kids with anxiety tend to be slow to engage or overthink social situations leading to distress. A hallmark of depression is loss of interest. You also have impulsive behavior and social needs for kids with autism. These games each have a different flavor and ways to help kids thrive in social situations. Best of all, they are inexpensive! They are all under $20 and most under $10.


Baking Up Friendships Game


by Mental Fills

I love this one. I've been using it for years. It has so many handouts that go along with it that can be used for other counseling needs as well. It has handouts for a proper apology, assertive communication, and many others. It's well put together and has tons of cards with short social scenarios so you can role-play appropriate responses. You can't beat the price for $5 at TPT.


House of Boundaries Social Game

by Pathways to Peace

This game plays like Clue having players guess who killed the friendship, which weapon they used, and in which room. The house represents different levels of relationships with different expectations and levels of trust. The weapons are unhealthy relational issues such as lying, stealing, gossiping, etc. There are different characters in the game, each with positive and negative traits. Kids will also have to answer trivia cards before making an accusation, helping them learn more about relationships, expectations, and boundaries. You can get either the PDF download or the telehealth version for $7.50, or a hard copy for $12.50


Conflict resolution card game

by Counselor Keri

I really like this one. It plays like UNO, making it easy to learn and play. There are so many cards I usually don't lay them all out when we play this one! I printed it on paper then laminated it. If I were to do it over again I would print it on cardstock and not mess with lamination. The lamination makes the cards slippery. Kids really enjoy playing this one and there is a lot of good information and relatable scenarios. This one is $5 on Teachers Pay Teachers.


Katie's Fortress: A Story and Game about Overcoming Social Anxiety

by Pathways to Peace

This is a short story and a game about a girl with social anxiety. She hides away in her fortress where she feels safe and always wears her armor when going into town. She eventually recognizes the freedom that other children experience playing together and longs for connection. She faces her fears and leaves her armor behind so she can make friends, learning that there is also security within relationships. The game allows children to process their fears, worries, and hangups holding them back from engaging with others. It is full of coping skills and CBT skills to help kids overcome their anxiety. It is available as a hard copy and an online version for telehealth.

 

Creative Ways to use cars in play therapy
 
Hoot owl hoot! as a social skills game for autism

Hoot Owl Hoot!

video by Dr. Robert Jason Grant

Dr. Grant explains how to use Hoot Owl Hoot! to help children with autism work on social skills. You can purchase the game online or in most stores that sell games. You might even find it at a resale shop or garage sale to save a few bucks. See the video below for details.




spirit of the tribe social skills game

by Pathways to Peace

This game is aimed at helping children find their "tribe." The cards challenge kids to consider their interests, hobbies, beliefs, goals, and other sources of connection to others. It also addresses barriers to building relationships such as social anxiety, negative self-esteem, and irrational beliefs. Cards will also offer scenarios to help kids identify how to approach others and take action to connect with others. It also highlights the need for boundaries with people with unhealthy patterns of behavior. It is $7.50 for the PDF download and telehealth version. It is $12.50 for a hard copy.


the crazy train: a book and game for conflict resolution

by Pathways to Peace

The Crazy Train is a book and game addressing conflict resolution. It discusses the "crazy cycle" people get on where they disrespect each other and act in unloving ways, triggering a revenge response. The goal is to turn the cycle around to show loving, respectful actions to encourage peace in the relationship. Pick up the telehealth version for $7.50.


Stand Up Gainst Bullying game

by The Savvy School Counselor

This one is cute and easy to play. It helps children consider ways to stand up against bullies without getting hurt or in trouble. The cards help kids think about what they would do if a friend was bullied, if someone was bullying them, and what to do if they see a child being bullied. Kids will grow in confidence by learning many ways to stand up. This one is $5 on TPT.


You're a Hoot! a counseling game to keep humor respectful

by Pathways to Peace

Kids love to tell jokes and be funny, but many fail to recognize when they are being inappropriate or disrespectful. This game will help them consider times it is ok to joke and times it is not appropriate. They will also learn to not make their friends the punchline of their joke. The goal is to find healthy outlets for humor and avoid hurting or disrespecting others with thier humor. It is available as a hard copy for $12.50 or $7.50 for the PDF download or the telehealth version.


social safari game

by Marco Products

I love this game! It is covers a lot of different topics including social interactions and behavior at school. It has spaces that move you forward and some that make you move back, giving a good combination of challenge and thrill. The art is super cute and best of all, the kids love it. It is listed on playtherapysupply.com for $16.95.

 

 

the comparison game, a social skills counseling game

by Pathways to Peace

The comparison game is the game you can never win. When you compare yourself to others you either feel superior and arrogant or inferior, feeling less than. Either way, you lose. Kids will learn to be thankful for what they have and the good things in their life and to also consider the feelings and needs of others. It uses CBT to help children challenge irrational thoughts and coping skills to manage disappointment. It is $7.50 for the PDF download or the telehealth version or $12.50 for the hard copy.


social skill scripted scoops: social skills matching and role plays

by Mental Fills

This is a matching and role-playing game to help children work on developing healthy social skills. It also includes incentive cards to motivate behavior. This resource is $4 on TPT.


tend the garden of your heart: a CBT counseling game

by Pathways to Peace

People come in all different shapes and sizes with different temperments and personalities. This game highlights the beautiful differences that make us unique and special. The game helps kids grow in confidence and embrace their indivdual qualities. The game also paints the picture of your heart being a garden that must be tended to bloom. Weeds of irrational thoughts will grow wild if allowed to run rampant. You uproot these "weeds" by challenging and rescrpting the thoughts. This game is accompanied by a free E-book you can find here. It is $7.50 for the PDF download or the telehealth version or $12.50 for the hard copy.


conflict resolution vocabulary game

by Mr. Elementary

This is a simple, easy game to help children learn different types of conflict resolution skills. One thing I like about it is that players will spin the wheel to act it out, use the word in a sentence, define it, or draw it. I've had to choose what to do with certain words, as not all of them are easy to draw or act out. But, there are some good aspects to this game and it's worth it to me for $3.


share your heart with those you love counseling game

by Pathways to Peace

This game focuses on communication and connection with loved ones. It helps kids recognize the need to pour into their friendships and nurture relationships. This game encourages positive communication and conflict resolution skills. It also introduces the 5 love languages to help them understand that there are different ways of giving and receiving love. It is $7.50 for the PDF download or the telehealth version or $12.50 for the hard copy.

 

Counseling interventions for brain education
 
connect 4 conflict resolution prompts

by Mental Fills

Turn your Connect 4 game into a conflict resolution game by adding these prompts. I love finding ways to adapt normal games for counseling. Adding prompts is a great way to make it happen. It is only $2 to download this resources from TPT.


Personality zoo book and game

by Pathways to Peace

Understanding personality types is an important aspect of connecting in a meaningful way. This book and game helps kids recognize the four personality types with the strengths and weakness of each type. It also discusses introverts vs. extraverts and those who like physical touch vs. those who need more personal space. Kids will better understand why others behave in different ways and have different prefercnes when they grasp the concept of personality types. It is available as a hard copy and an online telehealth version.


school zone: a counseling game to cope with school stressors

by Pathways to Peace

Some kids do NOT want to go to school or have significant challenges at school. This game helps identify the source of the struggles allowing problem-sovling to overcome the challenges. It addresses social anxiety, bullying, and various social issues related to the school environment. It is $7.50 for the PDF download or the telehealth version or $12.50 for the hard copy.


treasures of the heart book and game about intrinsic value

by Pathways to Peace

Everyone has hidden treasure in their heart - personality styles, character traits, gifts and talents, and unique skills. This is a short story and a game about discovering those unique traits to grow in confidence and find strength in individuality. The game allows children to treasure hunt in their own hearts to discover the valuable traits inside. It is available as a hard copy and an online telehealth version.


Don't miss the other posts in this series:

 

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