Activities and Techniques for Parents/Carers and Educational Staff to put in their Toolbox

Noah's Ark Centre staff, who usually deliver Therapeutic Play Interventions to children and young people at the centre and in schools, would like to reach out to the children and young people of Calderdale through a growing bank of video clips that aim to support their emotional development in a playful, accepting, curious and empathic manner.

The videos below are suggested therapeutic activities and techniques for parents/carers and educational staff to put in their toolbox and use with their children themselves at home, nursery or school. The suggested activities are aimed at use with Early Years and Primary aged children but may also be relevant to use with young people of older ages who may benefit from engaging in therapeutic activities. These videos are not designed to be watched by children themselves but by adults wishing to support the social and emotional development of the children in their care through play and creativity. For videos targeted at children please click here.


1. Therapeutic Play

Alosa points out some of the key principles of Therapeutic Play. Click on this link to read a more in depth article on Therapeutic Play and The Unique Child by Judith Horvath

2. Adult Qualities for Effective Therapeutic Play

Alosa points out the 4 qualities in Dan Hughes' PACE model that adults have when delivering effective Therapeutic Play: Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy; that support the development of children's resilience for emotional health and well being.

3. SWAN framework (Dr Pooky’s) for schools' wider opening

Alosa shares Dr Pooky's SWAN framework for adults to embrace in order to put the emotional well being of our children as a top priority (particularly during the times of Covid-19). You can learn more about the framework at and find other useful training

4. Establishing Safety: Bags, Boxes and Boundaries

Alosa describes using bags and boxes to support creating boundaries, emotional containment and safety with children in your care.

5. The ABC of Self Esteem

Natalie describes an activity for building pathways in children's brains to focus on the positives about themselves and not the negatives. An activity to do anywhere.

6. Developing an Attitude of Gratitude Tree

Natalie promotes improving wellbeing and social relationships through fostering an attitude of gratitude.

Breathing activities

Michelle talks to us about some breathing activities that we can do that can be calming, fun and help us to feel good.

Art activities

Michelle explores some simple art activities we can do to aid in our well being. You do not need to be 'good' at art to give them a go.

Let's make a stress toy

Heather shows us how to make a stress toy with a balloon and flour and supports us to explore together our feelings and ideas around stress.

Joe is on the Autism Spectrum and doesn't want to go back to school

Emma highlights some of the common feelings and behaviours that Joe shows linked to him being on the autism spectrum, particularly when it comes to school; how he copes with these and what his family, friends and teachers do to support him.

Therapeutic Benefits of Storytelling - Building Blocks for Resilience

Alosa describes the building blocks to good story telling that help with social and emotional development and help build resilience for children. Remember your never too young for the therapeutic benefits of storytelling. Turn your volume up to hear above the whistle of the wind! Click on the following link for practical ideas on how to make your favourite stories come to life. It is based on a great story 'Were Going on a Bear Hunt' by Michael Rosin (and includes the video of him telling this story) but the ideas can be used with your favourite stories too. Storytelling Activities for Nurseries