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Creative Intervention Round-Up: Cheap and Easy

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

Creative Intervention Round-Up: Cheap and Easy Counseling Ideas

I have found some fantastic, creative ideas lately and wanted to share them. These are cheap and easy and could be done with little cost. I have almost all of the supplies I'd need to make these in my counseling office. I'd love to hear your ideas of additional ways to use these interventions.

Story Stones can be used to identify emotions and to aid in communication.

by Kristina Sargent

These story stones look pretty amazing. I have been using Story Cubes for years to work on storytelling. I love how versatile these stones look. You could draw your own images on stones or use other ways to create them. I saw someone cutting images from magazines and mod-podging them onto stones.

Make  a sensory notebook by putting water, glitter, and some coloring in a plastic bag.  The bag is then glued on the inside of the cover of the notebook.


This little video shows how to make a sensory cover for a diy notebook. I know some little girls who would love this! Instead of glitter maybe some little dinosaur confetti for the boys. I think this would make a handy dandy little coping tool.

Have a child reach into a box and try to identify the object without seeing it.

This game could be used in many ways. I love the interaction between the boy and his dad. It could be used in individual sessions, group sessions, or family sessions. Maybe guess the coping object? It could be used to introduce grounding techniques and focus on touch. There are a lot of ways to use the idea to meet the needs of kids. You could maybe work on some sensory triggers with this one as well.

Make sensory balloons and glitter.

How cute are these? It looks like they would be pretty easy to make. The inside balloon could be filled with many different objects. I've made orbeez balloons before, but we couldn't see the orbeez. This is a much better way of making them. I like that with 2 stacked balloons it would give extra protection. Busted orbeez balloons can make a big mess.

Have children draw the face of someone through a clear piece of plastic. Great for identifying emotions and could be an attunement game.

This game also opens up a lot of possibilities. The activity of creating the face frame looks fun on its own, but you could also process the differences between how a person really looks and how the face frame turns out. Maybe leading into a discussion of cognitive distortions?? Realistic vs unrealistic expectations? Maybe kids could process what it was like to draw someone else and what it is like to have someone draw you. Great resource!

This is a super cute pop up face using a glove, a cup, and a straw.

This one could be used as a deep breathing exercise. You could put numbers on the fingers of the glove instead of eyeballs to help them remember to take 5 breaths. Or you could make a monster on the glove. Maybe turn it into a flower and discuss how thoughts can pop up. Negative thoughts need to be pulled and positive thoughts need nurturing. There are possibilities for this one as well.

Let's tell a story bag filled with small random objects.

by Nicole Ciaffone

This intervention is similar to story cubes but better! I've been using story cubes for years to help kids use creativity to tell stories. The stories typically have a theme, often related to unresolved emotional issues or a traumatic event. With story cubes you are limited to the pictures that come on the cubes. This idea opens new possibilities. You could fill it will small items you know will open discussion for the specific kid you have in mind. I'm gonna be making a story bag for sure!

make a ping pong ball launcher out of a cup and a balloon.

This game looks easy enough and could be easily assembled with materials we normally have in our playrooms. Boys are always down for a ball game and enjoy a challenge. It could be used to symbolically knock down obstacles in life that are standing in their way or maybe destructive patterns of behavior. The ball could represent a tool or action they could take to overcome the struggle.

Adorable little Inside Out stress balls made from balloons.

by Mum in the Madhouse

There are a ton of tutorials on how to make stress balls out of balloons, but this one is super cute with the inside out colors and characters. I also like how she cuts off the end of the balloon so that you don't have a nub sticking out of your stress ball. And, the ball is "double-bagged" in 2 balloons. This would be a very inexpensive activity to do with while discussing emotions.


Helpful Resources:

Creative Therapy interventions: Free and cheap

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