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5 Ways To Use l u n c h b a g s In Counseling

Following the positive response of “F i v e W a y s T o U s e T i s s u e


B o x e s i n C o u n s e l i n g , ” I wanted to share additional ways I use
crafts in my therapy practice. Because brown lunch bags are inexpensive,
easily accessible, and inspire creativity, they have been my go to for child play
therapy. I have narrowed down my list of therapeutic uses into five projects
that may be used in groups, individual sessions, and/or even in the classroom.

T h e M i n d Le s s M o n s te r is a creature that keeps our


mind focused on regrets and worries. He steals our attention from the
present and provokes careless behaviors. The good news is the Mindless
Monster can be tamed with Mindfulness strategies to be fed through his
paper bag mouth. After crafting the monster, encourage children to feed
their monster with Mindfulness reminders, such as noteworthy index cards or
personalized objects. Some examples include flowers, rocks, quotes,
chocolate, pictures, or other sensory items discovered from a mindfulness
scavenger hunt. In the moment of mindlessness, children may be invited to
reach inside the monster’s mouth to choose a strategy and practice
mindfulness.

• 1 paper bag
(cut a hole towards the top)

• Scissors

• Note cards

• Mindfulness reminders

• Markers/colored pencils

• Optional: Decorative crafts


The Separated Homes i s a n a ct i v i t y
fo r c h i l d r e n o f s e p a ra t i o n o r d i vo rc e . S i m p l y
d e c o ra te t h e o u ts i d e o f l u n c h b a g s to l o o k s i m i l a r
to b ot h o f t h e i r p a r e nt ’ s h o m e . U s e t h e b a g s a s a
p l a y t h e ra p y t o o l t o p r o m ot e t h e ra p e u t i c p l a y, o r
i n c l u d e n ote c a rd s t h a t s h a r e t h o u g ht s , fe e l i n g s ,
and memorie s, to b e p laced inside t he bag s.

• How I feel living here? • How often I live here?


• How we spend time together? • How often I wish I lived here?
• What I do by myself? • What my other parent
• What I feel like here? thinks about this house?
• What I wish about this house? • What I miss most about my
• How we show love here? other house?
• How we fight here? • What I do when I miss my
• How we make up here? other parent?
• How we talk to each other? • Who takes care of me here?
• What I worry about here? • Where is my safe place here?
• What I am angry about here? • Favorite memories here?
• What my room looks like? • Uncomfortable memories here?
• What I am happy about here? • Who keeps me company here?
T h e Givi n g T r e e i s a fu n wa y to i nt r o d u c e
g ra t i t u d e a n d k i n d n e s s . Sta r t by c u t t i n g 3 i n c h e s
off t he top of a p a p e r bag and t he n cu t 3 inche s
of st r i p s from t he to p of t he b a g. F l a t te n t he b a g
b e fo r e yo u w r i te , “ M y G i v i n g Tr e e ” o n t h e fr o nt o f
t h e b a g . N e x t, ta ke o u t y o u r g r e e n c o n st r u ct i o n
p a p e r a n d c u t 3 i n c h st r i p s o n t h e r i g ht s i d e . U s e
a m a r ke r to w r i te w h a t yo u a r e g ra te fu l fo r o r h ow
you s how k i nd ne s s o n e ac h str i p. U s e a s ma ny
s e p a ra te p a g e s o f g r e e n p a p e r a s yo u n e e d . T h e n ,
p l a c e t h e c o n st r u ct i o n p a p e r i n s i d e t h e b a g w i t h
t h e l e f t s i d e fa c i n g d ow n . G e nt l y s q u e e z e t h e n e c k
o f t h e t r e e a n d t u g t h e g r e e n st r i p s i n b et we e n
t he b row n p a p e r b a g st r i p s. Af te r t he c h i ld re n
s hare t heir p e rsonal exam p le s, have t hem gift it
to s om e o ne s p e cial, o r di s p l ay i t i n a lo ca t io n t hey
wo u l d b e n e f i t fro m a g ra t i t u d e o r k i n d n e s s
r e m i n d e r.

• 1 paper bag

• Scissors

• Green construction paper

• Sharpie or markers

• Optional: Paper
Tape
Glue
Ruler
M y A n g e r V o lc a n o helps children
i d e nt i fy p e r s o n a l s i g n s o f a n g e r a n d c o p i n g
st ra te g i e s . Sta rt by c u t t i n g 5 i n c h e s o f f t h e to p o f
a p a p e r. F l a t t e n t h e b a g b e f o r e y o u w r i t e , “ M y
A n g e r Vo l c a n o ” o n t h e f r o nt . N e x t, ta k e o u t y o u r
r e d c o n st r u ct i o n p a p e r a n d c u t 3 i n c h st r i p s o n t h e
r i g ht s i d e . U s e a m a r ke r to w r i te d ow n y o u r s i g n s
o f a n g e r, ( i . e . c r y i n g , m a k i n g a f i st, h e a r t ra c i n g ) .
Re p e a t t h e s a m e ste p s fo r yo u r ye l l ow c o n st r u ct i o n
p a p e r, a l t h o u g h w r i te d ow n w a y s y o u c a n c o o l d ow n
w h e n y o u a r e a n g r y ( i . e . d e e p b r e a t h s , ta k i n g
s p a c e , a s k i n g fo r h e l p ) . U s e a s m a ny p a g e s o f
c o n st r u ct i o n p a p e r a s n e e d e d . T h e n , p l a c e t h e
c o n st r u ct i o n p a p e r i n s i d e t h e b a g w i t h t h e l e f t s i d e
fa c i n g d ow n . G e nt l y s q u e e z e t h e to p o f t h e b r ow n
b a g a n d t u g t h e r e d st r i p s i n b et we e n t h e y e l l ow
st r i p s. I nv i te t he c h i l d re n to s ha re t he i r e x a m p l e s.
Fo r e x t ra fu n , h a ve t h e c h i l d r e n b l i n d l y p o i nt to o r
r i p off o ne of t he str i p s to rol e p l ay t he co p i n g
skills solution.

• 1 paper bag

• Scissors

• Yellow and red construction paper

• Sharpie or markers

• Optional: Paper
Tape

Glue
Ruler
M y G r ie f J o u r n a l is a hel p ful tool to
hol d t he m e m o r ie s of a l ove d o n e . La y f i ve b row n
b a g s o n t o p o f e a c h ot h e r a n d fo l d t h e m i n h a l f. I n
t he m iddle of t he bag, pu nch t wo hole s ¾ of an inch
fr o m t h e to p a n d b ot to m . Lo o p a st r i n g t h r o u g h t h e
h o l e s t o b i n d t h e j o u r n a l t o g e t h e r. I f p r e f e r r e d ,
yo u m a y u s e e a c h b a g fo r a s e p a ra te to p i c , s u c h
a s , “ t h i n g s I m i s s , ” “ t h i n g s I w i s h yo u k n ew, ” “ my
fa vo r i te m e m o r i e s , ” “ h ow I wa nt to r e m e m b e r y o u , ”
“ y e a r s , ” o r “ l ove n ote s . ” D e c o ra te t h e b a g w i t h
c ra f t s u p p l i e s . U s e t h e o p e n i n g o f b a g s to p l a c e
p i ct u r e s o r ot h e r m e m o r i e s by to p i c . U s e a m i n i
c l ot h e s p i n to s e c u r e i te m s p l a c e d i n s i d e t h e
o p e n i n g s . T h i s a ct i v i t y c a n b e u s e d s i m u l ta n e o u s l y
w i t h t h e ra p e u t i c d i s c u s s i o n a n d ot h e r g r i e f
resources.

• 5 paper bags

• Hole puncher

• String

• Pictures/ Index Cards

• Markers or colored pencils

• Tape or glue

• Optional: Mini clothes pins

Craft supplies

Photos

Stickers
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/
Kimberly-Geswein-Fonts

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com
/Store/Graphics-From-The-Pond

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/
Amy-Groesbeck

http://confidentcounselors.com/