As Loris Malaguzzi said: “The child has a hundred languages, a hundred hands a hundred thoughts a hundred ways of thinking, of playing, of speaking. A hundred always a hundred ways of listening of marveling of loving, a hundred joys for singing and understanding a hundred worlds to discover a hundred worlds to invent a hundred worlds to dream.”
I would like to add that the child also has a hundred ways of feeling, but does not always have the ability and the opportunity to express his feelings in the way the world of adults expects him to do. Developmentally, children find it difficult to express what they feel verbally. They are aware that something is bothering them as they deal with many of the same feelings adults do. However children usually don’t have the cognitive ability to process and analyze their emotions. Their vocabulary is limited and in international schools they often deal with learning another language which makes it even harder.
Play Therapy supports the element of emotional intelligence which is frequently unrecognized in schools. Today, I would like to bring Play Therapy to you as a developmentally appropriate media to help children cope with their feelings, express their feelings in a safe environment and to show you how the therapeutic process works in the school context. How schools can extend their student support departments by adding the component of Play Therapy and why does it make a difference. I will equip you with some strategies which you can offer to your students within your classroom by creating spaces and providing engagements that support the emotional intelligence of your students in expressing their anxieties and worries. The support of emotional intelligence is highly need in schools, particularly now during the times of the worldwide pandemic when children see, hear and share the fear of adults about the unknown presence and future.