Telehealth Activity: Pop-It

Pop-its, based on my extensive research, are the latest fidget toy that all the Young People are talking about (and, of course, by “extensive research,” I mean my clients have been talking about them).

Not only are Pop-Its great for kids with sensory issues, but you can use them interactively in your sessions. Scratch has several virtual Pop-Its available, and for my purposes I prefer to use this one.

This is the physical Pop-It I keep in my office.

For an interactive game that requires some strategy and focus, there is a simple game you can play using the Pop-It. Start with all the bubbles the same way. When it is your turn, pop a number of bubbles in one row (it can be any number you want as long as all the bubbles you pop are in the same row). You can choose any row as long as there is at least one un-popped bubble in that row. The object of the game is to make your opponent pop the last bubble on the board.

You can play this game over telehealth by sharing your screen and taking turns with screen control.

I’ve noticed that Scratch has endless options for virtual fidgets and sensory games, with the option to design your own! If I knew more about computers, I would try my hand at making some myself, but so far all I’ve managed to create are glitches. (Like I say to my clients, though, “That’s ok! I’m good at other things.”)

Kids love when I can incorporate something they like in real life to their telehealth sessions. As with all fidgets, the sensory component changes when you go virtual, but the familiarity of this activity is great for engagement.

Published by Dr Marschall

Dr. Amy Marschall received her Psy.D. from the University of Hartford in September 2015. She completed her internship at the National Psychology Training Consortium with specializations in assessment and rural mental health. Currently, she specializes in trauma-informed and neurodiversity-affirming care, and she is certified in telemental health. Dr. Marschall runs a private practice, RMH Therapy, where she provides individual and family therapy as well as psychological assessments across the lifespan. Dr. Amy Marschall is an author and professional speaker.