Updated: Jul 18
Lego activities are plentiful and many can be used in counseling in various ways. They can be used to regulate emotions, communicate emotions, for interactive play, problem-solving, and simply playing. A child's creativity is a powerful way for them to process trauma, emotional struggles, and to make sense of the world.
Before diving into the creative ideas found on the world wide web, it is important to understand the power of play. Play is a child's native language. They explore the world and communicate through play. As therapists, we engage with them to help them explore, learn, and create. Simply playing is therapeutic. These activities are provided to give extra meaning and depth to explore with kids. If you are using play as a therapeutic tool with children, I strongly recommend play therapy training. There is so much to learn!
These activities can also be used with families to help teach parents how to enter their child's world through play. Play is a way to connect and engage on the child's level. It is a bridge that can help build attachment and connection.
by Pathways to Peace
This new counseling game is perfect for kids who love to play with Lego. It is full of building prompts to let them show off their Lego-building skills while also learning about emotional regulation, communicating emotions, family functioning, and more. This is a great game to play with families aiming to improve interactions and develop deeper attachment and connection. It can also be used to establish rapport between the child and therapist or in group counseling sessions to work on social skills.
by One Mama's Daily Drama
This website offers a printable PDF to convert your Guess Who? game. There is a subscription you can join to download the ready-made printable or she offers a template where you can drop your own pictures in.
by Homemaking Fun
Make concentric rings out of poster board and have children toss Lego into the rings. It reminds me of ski ball the way the rings are set up. It is a carnival-like game for kids to test their skills. This would be good for kids who struggle with moderation.
This is a group activity. Each member in the group will have a different role and to work together cooperatively to complete the construction of something together. She discusses the benefits with children with autism as well as with gifted and talented children.
This one could be used in a lot of different ways. Kids who are afraid of the dark may be willing to put on a blindfold for the sake of a game, which would allow for exposure therapy. It could be a trust-building game between parents and kids or between siblings. In this case, I would have one person give instructions and hand pieces to the child wearing the blindfold. There are options for this idea.
by Adventures in a Box
Charades is a fantastic game for therapy. Kids will learn body awareness, the ability to mirror others, watch for cues, and grow in their ability to use non-verbal communication. This game will draw in Lego-loving kids who might otherwise not be willing to play charades.
by Stir the Wonder
This game will provide big movement for little kids. It's handy to have some games that require kids to get up and use their whole bodies. You could color code it and each color would represent a different topic to discuss, such as telling about a memorable experience at school, telling about a favorite game, etc.
by Lemon Lime Adventures
This one is too cool to not share. It is the ultimate lego fidget cube. If you have the right parts, it would be awesome to have on hand. The page offers a step-by-step tutorial for how to make it as well as a list of parts needed. Following the instructions to put this together may be helpful for kids who struggle with following directions.
Lego for Telehealth
by Whole Child Counseling
Start this activity by making sure the counselor and the child have Lego that are the same shape. The child will build something and use voice instructions to tell the therapist how to build the same thing. The goal is to mirror what the child does.
The Lego website has quite a few online games and videos available to play for free. These could be utilized to enhance sessions, to open communication, and to process emotions.
Related Post: Creative Ways to Use Dinosaurs in Play Therapy
by Lego Librarian
This challenge has children make a creation with something hidden. It could be a secret door, a compartment, or a passageway. This opens the door to see what the kids choose to hide. Who are they hiding it from? What happens if it is discovered?
by Lego Librarian
This site is super cool. There are many challenges that provide avenues for children to communicate issues of the heart in a visual way. I love this mirror activity. It would be interesting to see what the kids come up with for this one.
by Lego Librarian
Kids will build an island and will add to it in response to the provided prompts. This could encourage problem-solving and responsiveness. This is a clever idea that could be replicated with various settings and prompts. This could turn into a storytelling activity and could get creative. Kids could tell a trauma story by externalizing it as a disaster island.
by Chaos and Quiet
This would be great for traveling therapists who don't have a lot of space for Lego gear. There are free printable instructions for children to build different things. Building simple Lego kits with kids can be therapeutic by the need to follow instructions, problem-solving skills, frustration tolerance, communication, etc. This allows you to create your own "kit", which is nice to save some cash.
by Artsy Fartsy Mama
This is a printable spinner with various Lego building challenges on it. This would be perfect for indecisive kiddos who need some direction in what to do. I love her idea of using Lego parts to put together the spinner.
by Mom Brite
This shows how to build a marble maze with Lego. This would be an engaging activity for puzzle-loving, problem-solving kids. The metaphors are pretty amazing. Life is like a maze, hitting roadblocks along the way and having to re-route when things aren't panning out.
by Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls
This one creates a perfect opportunity for storytelling. There is SO much information you can gather from kids from a story about crossing a bridge. Where were they? Where are they going? Ultimately they are processing an issue that is under the surface. The story helps bring it to awareness. The therapist can help add perspective and understanding.
Lego for Emotions
Kids can make Lego creations to symbolize various emotions. It could be feelings faces or it could be a sculpture of sorts showing a particular emotion. Instead of using a feelings chart kids could use these creations to communicate. You could also demonstrate scaling emotions by making the structure big for strong feelings or small for little feelings.
by Autism Parenting Magazine
This feelings chart is perfect for Lego-loving kiddos! This is an excellent article on the benefits of Lego Therapy and how it can be used for children with autism. For detailed information on using Lego in therapy, this is a must-read.
by Little Bins for Little Hands
Kids can draw the faces on the Lego characters with this free printable. Kids can explore different emotions with this activity. You could ask questions about what the emotion is, whether the child has experienced that emotion, or what triggered the emotion in the Lego person.
This is a cool alternative to a regular I-Spy bottle. The purpose of I-Spy is to get a child's thoughts off of a trigger to allow their body to calm down. It is an effective coping skill. I typically include I-spy bottles in all of the Coping Skill Toolboxes that I make with kids.
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 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.
by Life's a Carousel
Fidget spinners are the favorite coping skill options for kids. This shows how to make one out of Lego. This will combine two coping skills - building with Lego and fidget spinners. This website offers step-by-step instructions for how to put one together with common Lego parts.
Related Post: Counseling Games for Impulse Control
Lego storage can be a hassle. I am constantly battling the decision between keeping things sorted out or digging through a large container. I was excited to come across some helpful ideas for how to tackle the storage needs in a busy play therapy room.
by Little Bins for Little Hands
This site has ideas for storage in toolboxes, screw organizers, and 5-gallon buckets. These look like durable, long-lasting ideas that will stand the test of time.
by The Handyman's Daughter
I wish I had space in my office for this bad boy! It would be SO nice. Unfortunately, working in a school I never know where I will land. Some years I get a nice roomy area and sometimes I get a glorified storage closet. Sigh. Life in the schools, I suppose.
This article has instructions on how to put together this incredible setup.
by Jill Holtz
This article has a lot of ideas from converting an old coffee table into a Lego table to a floor mat that turns into a Lego storage bag. These are all big storage ideas and not really for sorting out different types of Lego parts.
This one offers ideas for sorting by color using a paper cart. There are some other ideas in this article, but mostly the same storage bin organizers.
by The Aloha Hut
I like the idea of using the organizer case for your bricks. You could organize them by color, types of pieces, or keep building kits separated with their instructions included.
I hope you are able to use some of these creative Lego ideas in your play therapy practice. I'd love to hear your favorite Lego interventions as well.