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. Her clinical interests are varied and include child and adolescent therapy, TF-CBT, rural psychology, telemental health, sexual and domestic violence, psychological assessment, and mental illness prevention. Dr. Marschall presently works in the Child and Adolescent Therapy Clinic at Sioux Falls Psychological Services in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she provides individual and family therapy and psychological assessment to children, adolescents, and college students. She also facilitates an art therapy group for adolescents and college students with anxiety and depression. Dr. Amy Marschall is certified in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Telemental Health.

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