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How to Pop Negative Thoughts

Updated: Feb 26, 2022

It's October and the weather has been beautiful!  One nice days I find myself looking for reasons to take kids outside to enjoy the day and break out of the monotony of everyday life.  This week I brought a bubble blower and told my clients to imagine that the bubbles were negative thoughts.  They had a great time "popping" negative thoughts and ridding themselves from upsetting feelings.

After a few minutes of popping bubbles, we sat down and made some cards with various thoughts.  We wrote things like:

  • "I can't do anything right." 

  • "I don't have any friends."

  • "I am great at math." 

  • "I'm going to fail my spelling test."

  • "I am able to do great things if I try."

I encouraged the children to come up with new ideas to put on the cards.  Some children really struggled with this and others were writing down ideas faster that I could!  For those who struggled, I took some extra time to help them grasp the concepts.

I made one index card that said "Keep" and one that said "Pop."  I had the kids sort through the stack of cards into the two piles.  Once they were sorted, we worked on changing the "pop" stack into healthy self-talk.   They were able to identify that the best way to get rid of negative thoughts is to fill their minds with positive thoughts.  I also had the kids process how they would feel thinking the various thoughts and how the positive thoughts change their mood.


Related Post: Angry Birds Meet CBT


I love activities like this because children will forget the things I tell them, but when they see bubbles, they will remember to pop negative thoughts!  I want to them to always have triggers to carry with them to help them to remember to use the coping skills they have learned in counseling.  I hope this intervention works in your practice as well!


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