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Creative Ways to Use Monsters in Play Therapy

monster themed play therapy interventions

Fear of monsters is a hallmark of childhood. It is common for kids to have intrusive thoughts and worries. Sometimes kids who have had trauma associate their abuser with a monster, perhaps repressing the memories but having intrusive fears of monsters. Whether the fear is rational or not, the terror is real. The following are some ideas to use monsters in counseling to help children process fears and anxiety. If the child has experienced trauma, be sure to not minimize their experience. They need to do some deeper trauma work for healing.

Some of these activities make the monster appear friendly or welcoming, to help kids overcome their worries. It is a type of exposure therapy in a playful setting to help kids confront fears and worries. Some of these activities have nothing to do with a specific fear of monsters but are there to help children process anxiety.

Monster Stomp Game to stop out fears and phobias

by Talicor

This is a game about becoming aware of emotions and overcoming anxiety. It allows kids to form monsters from playdough then stomp them and put them in jail when they land on a monster stomp space. I love the concept! The metaphor lends itself nicely, as abusers are often viewed as monsters, making it beneficial for children who have experienced abuse.

Printable build a monster activity

by Itsy Bitsy Fun

This is a free printable to put together monsters. It is an eight-page download, offering several different options for monster combinations.

easing kids anxiety wiht the whatif monster

by Sunny Day Family

Kids can feed a monster their worries with this idea. There is a book, Jonathan James Whatif Monster, that goes along with the monster idea to help children calm their anxiety.

by Very Special Tales

Along the same line as the Whatif monster, worry monsters will eat the worries away so that kids don't have to think about them anymore. It is the same concept as using worry dolls.

Printable monster clothespin puppets

by The Printables Fairy

These are so cute. They are $2.97 on Etsy, but could very well be worth the investment. I have a similar idea of using clothespin puppets with dinosaurs here.


Sloan the thought slayer: a book and game ot overcome fears with CBT
watercolor blow art monsters

by Adventure in a Box

If you are brave enough to paint in your office, this could be a fun way to do it. I'm sure the kids would have a blast! Turning monsters into friendly creatures can help reduce anxiety related to monsters.

3d monster paper craft

by The Craft Train

These are pretty cool. You have to pay for the download, but the site has a tutorial for how to make them. You could pay a few bucks to save time or create your own.

ink blot monsters

by Our Little Acorns

Rorschach Inkblot Test for kids? Maybe not. This is a creative way to create monsters that could engage the kids.

Lego monsters

by Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

This could be a way to address fears, phobias, and anxiety. Monsters are often an issue with little ones. You could have kids create a Lego monster from their nightmares or create what they think a monster would look like. Likewise, you could have them create a superhero who would defeat monsters. This would be a great way to rescript nightmares. You can learn more about rescripting nightmares here.

pool noodle monsters for play therapy

by Arty Crafty Kids

These pool noodle monsters may work well if you are looking for a more substantial monster. Pool noodles are inexpensive and you could get several monsters from each noodle. The other supplies are also things you likely keep in your play therapy room.

monster bingo

by Kristen Duke Photography

Bingo is fun for groups. This is a low-key way to process monsters.

diy monster weighted plush toy

by Laura Kelly

Weighted vests and blankets are commonly used for anxiety and autism. This weighted monster is said to help provide pressure to help kids feel safe and secure. The site gives more information for uses and directions on how to make them.


Creative Intervention Roundup
Feelings monster stick puppets

by Twinkl

Help children develop an emotional vocabulary with these monster stick puppets. Each puppet represents a different emotion.

Free printable make your own monster kit

by PJs and Paint

This may be one of my favorite ideas. I love the idea of mixing different supplies to make a multisensory experience. I also like the idea of limiting the number of supplies to use on an activity as it can get costly. You can be creative when putting together kits. You could use flowers or leave, cereal or other food items, really anything that can be thrown together.

free printable monster play dough mats

by Pickle Bums

Kids can decorate monster bodies with play dough by using these free printable mats. If you enjoy using play dough in play therapy, check out this post with more ideas.


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