4.94/5
1188 Verified Reviews on
 40% off when you buy 8 items or more. Use code 40OFFSHOP at checkout.
7 7 8 3 1 1 Units sold

Key Takeaways:

  • Telehealth activities help children become more familiar with therapy in a safe home environment.
  • Telehealth therapy can help children by motivating them more, introducing new coping mechanisms in the comfort of their homes, and giving their parents or caretakers a chance to get involved.
  • Some fun and engaging telehealth activities for kids include taking care of a virtual pet, drawing, free movement, and games.

Once a temporary solution during the Coronavirus pandemic, telehealth has become a staple in education and healthcare. Today, telehealth provides convenience for busy families and reduces stress for children intimidated by clinical settings.

If you have a shy or anxious child, exploring these telehealth activities can help kids overcome their fears!

What are Telehealth Activities?

Telehealth activities are virtual exercises children can accomplish online with a therapist. They can be just as effective as in-person settings. Telehealth activities might include interactive games, creative expression, or movement breaks.

Benefits of Telehealth Activities for Kids

Telehealth activities can provide the same benefits as in-person therapy and socialization. These advantages include the following:

  • Comfort and safety. Therapy is not easy for most children. Through telehealth, they may feel more comfortable opening up and expressing themselves.
  • Parental involvement. Many telehealth activities involve parents, who can monitor their child’s progress and become better communicators.
  • Motivation. Because your child will be in their natural environment, they may feel more motivated to interact with their therapists. Seeing children in their home environment can also give therapists a better context for their behaviors and can assess how they take care of themselves more effectively.
  • Convenience. Doing therapy from home eliminates travel time, and can benefit families who struggle with transportation. Being able to engage in a therapeutic experience from the comfort of your own home can be encouraging to some families who have difficulty attending weekly office appointments.

10 Best Telehealth Activities for Kids

Are you looking for telehealth activities to improve your child’s therapy experience? Check out these ten fun and engaging virtual activities!

1. Drawing Games

If your child has an iPad, what better way to put it to productive use than through drawing activities? Therapists can facilitate guided drawing sessions, asking children to draw:

  • Their safe space
  • What makes them happy
  • A family crest
  • Their dream home

Children can enjoy collaborative art spaces outside therapy, such as Paint Online by Kidmons, a Google-designed interactive whiteboard, and Skribbl, a game similar to Pictionary.

2. Movement Therapy

Movement therapy is an excellent way to help children release excess energy or de-stress after a long day. Even in front of a screen, the brain needs movement. Take breaks by engaging in yoga exercises or 5-minute jumping jacks, stretches, and other movements in place.

Studies have found that moderate physical activity in children between six and eight experience fewer symptoms of depression in just two years [*].

3. Simon Says

Did you know that a simple game of Simon Says has proven therapeutic benefits? The classic game does wonders for developing body awareness and motor skills, as children must replicate the actions of another person.

Simon Says is also a great way to practice giving and receiving instructions and develop sequencing skills through multi-step directions. For instance, the instructor might say, “Simon says to do two jumping jacks, then sit down.”

4. Freeze Dance

Freeze Dance is a quick and fun game that involves dancing freely to music and freezing in a pose when the music stops. It promotes cognitive development by enhancing a child’s memory and attention span and improving motor skills, coordination, and balance.

Groups of children can play Freeze Dance, which encourages social interaction and cooperation even in an online environment. It also boosts their self-confidence, as children can show off their dance moves in a nonjudgmental space.

5. Guess Who

Guess Who is a classic game in which players describe a person’s physical appearance and correctly name the other player’s character. Since becoming popular in the 90s, Guess Who has undergone various iterations, including online versions.

Children can play Guess Who online to improve social skills, and decision-making skills by encouraging them to ask open-ended and specific questions. Guess Who also improves frustration tolerance in children who struggle with anger and impulse control. As the game whittles down to just a few names left, it can be tempting for children to guess a person’s name impulsively. Therapists can use these opportunities to model what questions will be most helpful to the child, encourage them to review the information they’ve gathered and be patient.

6. Would You Rather?

Would You Rather is an excellent way to break the virtual ice and improve social skills. They facilitate engaging communication between therapist and participant, encouraging them to express themselves to peers in equally fun ways.

Ask questions that will get your child to internalize and reflect. For instance:

  • Would you rather live in the city or the country?
  • Would you rather have the ability to read minds or be invisible?
  • Would you rather have a pet that can talk or fly?

Would You Rather also provides therapists with helpful insights into clients' emotions and values, a starting point for exploring deeper issues.

7. Virtual Pets

Pet ownership is not just an excellent lesson in responsibility — therapists can use virtual pets to discuss cause and effect, showing children how their actions can have positive or negative consequences.

Some virtual pet games allow interaction with other players, providing safe spaces for adolescents struggling to socialize. In addition, virtual pets promote empathy and compassion, as they encourage children to treat them like real living creatures.

Finally, virtual pets provide excellent opportunities for goal-setting, which is especially valuable in therapy. Therapists can help students set achievable goals and curate a reward system, benefiting kids struggling with motivation or self-esteem.

8. Virtual Instruments

Since the rise of online classes during the pandemic, virtual learning spaces have become commonplace, making it easier for children to explore new therapeutic outlets, including learning an instrument.

Therapists can use virtual instruments to promote mindfulness and relaxation and reduce anxiety-provoking thoughts. As children master these virtual instruments, they can use them as self-soothing tools.

Virtual instruments also help children develop emotionally, as they can express themselves in unique, powerful, and passionate ways. They are a valuable cognitive tool that positively affects brain development, such as emotional regulation and self-expression [*].

9. Virtual Games

Many virtual games promote turn-taking and collaboration, which are imperative and essential foundational skills for children struggling with social interactions. For instance, games like I Spy and Charades can enhance communication skills, while competitive virtual games like chess reinforce camaraderie and being a graceful winner or loser.

Virtual reality is another increasingly common therapeutic tool for treating children with anxiety, phobias, and impaired social skills.

10. Grounding Exercises

Sometimes, therapy sessions can be overwhelming for a child. Thus, practicing grounding exercises can help them return to the present moment and manage overwhelming emotions.

Common grounding exercises include the 5-4-3-2-1 technique, which involves naming:

  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can feel
  • 3 things you can hear
  • 2 things you can smell
  • 1 thing you can taste

Therapists can also facilitate movement-based grounding techniques like stretching, jumping jacks, or simple yoga poses.

The Bottom Line

Immersing children in telehealth activities can make their time online more productive and enriching, especially as they overcome issues like anxiety, depression, and social phobias. They provide safe spaces for exploration and provide therapists with a more accessible way to address specific issues in children.

Is your child in telehealth therapy to practice CBT? Use our CBT worksheets to supplement their therapeutic journey!

Sources:

  1. “Exercise may prevent depression in middle childhood.” Healio, 2017.
  2. Ewa Aurelia Miendlarzewska, Wiebke Johanna Trost. “How musical training affects cognitive development: rhythm, reward and other modulating variables.” Frontiers in neuroscience, 2014.

No articles found...

Search Results
View All Results