Storytelling and Play Therapy

The other day I was listening to Neil Patel,a sought after Digital Marketing influencer and one of his large secrets to success in ranking websites is this thing called content marketing.

I’m use to hearing this, as this is a tried and true method, one we are going to use quite extensively here at Play Therapy Outlet, especially once we lick this pay per click thing we will greatly beef up our content marketing strategy none like is seen in the Play Therapy niche online.

So anyways, back to this digital marketing. Neil Patel was talking about how story telling has evolved over the years. Content marketing or as it use to be called story telling is nothing new.

Since the beginning of time, man has always enjoyed a wonderful story. Back in the days, they were not called Influencer  like we call them today in the digital age.

Neil Patel for example gave a John Deere created a agricultural magazine that generated over million readers per month way back in 1895. That’s a lot of readers back then!

Also, an early form of content marketing was Soap Operas. Soap Operas were called “Soaps” because they aired during the day and in the early days before television they were on radio. And sponsored by Soap Companies.

The Michelin Star was another big one which created the 1,2,3 star rating and went along with the early 1900’s in getting Americans to drive more to seek out different kinds of eateries.

So as you can see Content Marketing or Story telling has a long history as it pertains to getting customers content that they want.

In fact that is precisely what Google wants out of websites. And Google looks for what people want through content and various other ranking factors that allow Google to bring its customer the best possible resources for a search query.

Story telling as it relates to driving companies to success is also important to those in Play Therapy. Story Telling is a massively important modality for play therapy, and the healing that results from story telling is something that cannot be understated.

Story Telling has evolved in the Play Therapy space as well and now we can use board games to create a story telling platform. The goal in any story telling game is to produce a story. By encouraging a playful dialogue with story telling games this opens.

Story telling games do not have losing or winning, they foster. The very essence of Story Telling in the Game Talking, Feeling and doing story telling game evokes story telling as one plays the game.

Story telling techniques are a very effective for of Play Therapy, especially children who are more resistant to other types of therapy.

Everyday we tell stories to help us understand and process information. We tell stories by introducing others, ourselves, providing directions, reporting the news, describing an event, persuading others, and retelling memories.

Great storytellers are able to capture an audiences attention with a compelling and interesting story. Comedians are able to capture an audiences attention through the use of humor.

Children experience storytelling first hand through teachers, caregivers, books movies, etc. Children learn to determine the characters, climax, plot, characters, and conclusion by listening to story telling. Children will develop the skills to retell stories in a sequential and cohesive manner.

If a child displays difficulty with comprehending stories in school, they may experience poor narrative skills as well. The child may have trouble detecting key parts of the story such as the characters or main idea. Problems with verbal narrative skills may include poor topic maintenance, poor sentence structure, deletion of important details. Below are tips to incorporate at home to increase story telling.

Imaginative play : Play pretend with your child by creating a story line with sandtray miniatures or dolls, puppets, or dress-up. Create a clear plot with characters, conflict and resolution.

·      Ask open ended questions. Ask specific questions that start with who, what, where, or when instead of white and black questions requiring only a yes or no response. While reading a book, ask open ended questions throughout to encourage expressive language and reading comprehension.

·      Summarize shows and movies: After watching a TV show or movie, ask your child to explain what happened. Guide your child’s response by asking about the scenes, conflicts, characters, and resolutions.  

·      Reminisce about the past. Children love to talk about themselves. Tell funny stories about them as a child, or reminisce together about fun family vacations or activities with friends.

·      Bedtime stories: Creating a established routine of nightly story time fosters the importance of reading and story telling at a young age.

Here are some products we recommend to encourage storytelling:

Story games to encourage storytelling:

Story Starters In a Jar: These 101 wonderfully illustrated story cards are great to encourage imaginative play, creative writing, and creative thinking. These cards are great for the therapists play room, the counselors or teachers game collection, or for home use for families to interact.

55 Favorite Activity Books 5 books

This activity book allows children in play therapy to develop behavioral and emotional skills.

  • This board game teaches children to communicate with other and how to behave properly, along with healing from loss and traumatic events.
  • Designed for use by play therapist, teachers and parents.

These unique book re full of tips,activities techniques, and that teach children how to behave properly, communicate with others, and heal from trauma and loss. The books include games, activities, charts and contracts, card games, and stories designed for use by counselors, teachers, and parents. 

These 55 stories can have a dramatic effect on how a child interprets and tells stories.

Figure Me Out Board Game:

This wonderfully illustrated board game designed to spark story telling, and geared towards students in play therapy. This board game helps develop social skills by helping the child learn to gather information and share about themselves as well as others.

Children play the board game by switching players that assume the role of a reporter to a story, by asking the What, When, Where, Who and how to understand what other players are thinking.

These skills that are learned in this board game are essential to teach children how to start and stay engaged in a conversation. This board game is used to create stories, generate ideas, and allows problem solving.

By completing a full circle of the board game, and to file the your story by a specific deadline. This Figure Me Out Board Game is a great conversation starter for developing storytelling in Play Therapy.

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