Play Themes and Uses for Jumbo Cardboard Bricks

melissa-and-doug-deluxe-jumbo-cardboard-blocksLast year I purchased the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Jumbo Cardboard Blocks for my son’s superhero-themed birthday party. Inspired from an idea on Pinterest, we created a wall out of the bricks and the children took turns destroying the wall wearing enormous Hulk Smash Fists. The activity was a huge hit, and I’ll always remember that party!

Witnessing how much the kids loved the jumbo bricks, I naturally had to bring them to my play therapy room, and I’m so glad I did! Imaginations took over with the new addition and children incorporated the bricks into their play and processing right away.

Uses for Jumbo Cardboard Bricks in the Play Therapy Room

The Wall (Good vs Bad): One school-aged child built a long wall and designated one side for good and one side for bad. The child remained on the good side for the remainder of the session as they proceeded to find sand tray characters to place one each side. And as it so happens, this child struggles with an immediate family member who alternates between yelling at them angrily and being nice to them.

protection-wallThe Fence/Protective Barrier (Protection): A school-aged child built an item out of Legos and built a wall on all four sides to protect it. This child is struggling with instability in their home life and moving between living spaces frequently.

Table (Empowerment): This child is a great inventor with a fascinating ability to create. Chess is a game they  like to play with me to feel in control, yet connected to me. They wanted to remain on the floor, so there we had a table of bricks upon which to play chess.

House (Security, Nurturing, Family): This child is struggling with challenges at home and insecurity in the family unit. The child (with the request for my assistance) built four houses out of bricks. Some had rooftops as well.

Brick Wall (Protection, Aggression, Power, Skill-building): Many children build the brick wall and knock it down with their hands or throw other bricks at the wall. They are so light that they don’t damage anything or injure the child.

  • Thank you so much for your generosity and creativity.
    I’m opening my own practice and I want to buy a minimum necessary for play therapy.

    I currently work with a 12 y.o. who’s very inhibited in expressing anger.
    I’d try these blocks, but I wonder if he’s not too old for it? He is tiny for his age, very very smart, “good boy”.

    What are the best ages to work with these blocks?

    Best of everything,
    Corina

    • Hi Corina. I have found that trying several approaches and tools with a client, even if they don’t seem to have results, can never hurt. I find these blocks are a great toy for child-centered (non-directive) play therapy. Children can use them how every they choose and imagine. That way, it takes the pressure off of you to find a use for the blocks. Best of luck and thanks for reading!

  • Wow it’s amazing how much we can learn from how a child plays. That’s so insightful to see how they play with the background of their home lives.

  • Sometimes it’s hard to relate the child’s activities to their life. Other times, there is no interpretation- the children just like to play. Either way, soft blocks like these are a great way to get a child to play and connect through play therapy techniques. Thank you for sharing!

    • I agree William! Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts for others! 🙂