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Play Interventions for Anger

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

Counseling interventions to help children manage and process anger via play therapy

This is a round-up of interventions I found online for anger. You will find craft activities, scripts, toys, games, and videos to help children manage anger. Important components of managing anger are understanding body responses, knowledge of the fight, flight, or freeze response, how the brain responds to anger, and appropriate coping responses to triggers. It is also helpful for kids to be aware of triggers and have plans in place to handle them as they arise.

Fire breathing dragon craft activity for slow deep breathing and calming anger

by Debbie Chapman

What a fun way to teach slow deep breathing! The dragon creates a symbol of anger and the breathing shows how to tame the dragon. This site offers a video tutorial and shows exactly how to assemble these cute little dragons.

Calming the anger dragon script

by Kids Relaxation

This would go nicely with the Fire Breathing Dragon craft shown above. This is a well-thought-out script with externalizing anger and defining it. It is designed to help kids dig deep to discover what is driving their anger, how they perceive it, and how to better understand it.

body responses to anger intervention

neurotransmitters responding to anger drawing

by Joyce Deuker

This is one of the best images I have found about describing body responses to anger. She also provides an additional image that is interesting. I like the steaming vs beaming example. The point she makes in her article is that your response to anger is a choice.

lego in anger management poster

by Reject Loss

This isn't necessarily a pre-scripted intervention, but it shows how Lego can be used to develop skills needed to manage anger. This is a helpful image to better understand the work behind the play.

For more on using Lego in therapy, check out this post with TONS of activities, kits, and storage ideas to take play therapy to the next level.

the m&ms anger game

by Living a Rad Life

Kids will love this one because they get to eat candy. The free printable provides the directives to do in the activity.

talk it out basketball to address anger intervention

by Art of Social Work

This a great idea for little ones who need big movement. Cards are made with points on them. These cards shown are taped to the floor, but you could just lay them on the floor to avoid residue. After responding to the prompt they get to shoot.

Thoughts that fuel anger game and counseling activity

by Heart and Mind Teaching

This activity helps children identify how their thoughts fuel their anger. I always love a good CBT activity! This one paints a clear picture for the need to gain control over thoughts when angry.

Counseling interventions for brain education

by Pathways to Peace

This is a round-up of ways to teach children about the brain and how it responds to stress - both when triggered with anger or anxiety. There are some terrific ideas to help children better understand their bodies.

behind my anger poster shows anger as a secondary emotion

by WholeHearted School Counseling

This is a helpful visual for anger as a secondary emotion. I like the wheel. It is engaging, easy to read, and paints a clear picture. This is a free PDF download.

Angry bird character printable free download

by Vanessa

This site has quality free printables of Angry Birds that you can use in many different ways. You could have kids learn facial expressions to help kids expand their emotional vocabularies, create a game, or use them with craft activities.

creative ways to use dinosaurs in play therapy

by Pathways to Peace

Dinosaurs provide an outlet for kids to express anger and release aggression. Kids may identify as a T-rex showing power and aggression. Alternatively, children may identify as prey being attacked by someone else's anger. Play is a powerful outlet for processing emotions and communicating the inner self.

don't be an angry bird workbook free printable pdf

by The Homsechool Teacher

I've been using this printable book for years. It is a staple for my coping skill toolboxes that I send home with each of my kiddos. It is a free download and is FANTASTIC! It covers a lot of ground with anger: identifying triggers, support systems, and coping skills to regain control. It allows me to help kids develop a plan for their anger in a cute little coloring book they can take home with them. Check out the links on her site, as she has updates with new angry bird characters and defines the characters to give more depth to the activity.

games to play in counseling to manage anger

by Pathways to Peace

There are a LOT of games available to educate, communicate, calm, and process anger. This is a list of affordable games to use in therapy.



5 Steps to Manage Your Anger

All About Anger

I Feel Angry by Aleks Harrison Read Aloud

Controlling Anger: A Lesson from Angry Birds

There are so many fantastic play-filled ways to help children understand their bodies and how they respond to anger. What are your favorite interventions to teach children how to manage anger? I'd love to hear your ideas.

Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

Image by M. H. from Pixabay


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