Teletherapy and Kids, Volume 8: Dominoes

More telehealth resources are available here!

Before I started working from home, I had a huge box of dominoes in my office. I rarely used it for its original intent, as kids much prefer to build with the tiles or make a path that they can then knock over. But when I was looking for games that could be played over telehealth, I found virtual dominoes! This is actually from the same website that hosts the Mancala game I shared before.

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

This is, of course, the more traditional dominoes where you line up pieces with matching numbers of dots. I have not found a version where you can create tracks and knock them over, so if someone reading this has found something like that, please let me know.

Traditional dominoes can be a good therapy game, as it requires focus and planning, frustration tolerance, and social skills. There are some definite advantages to playing online:

  1. If one of your treatment goals is to work on executive functioning, the fact that the game will not let you “cheat” or change the rules helps keep the child focused on a specific goal.
  2. The computer keeps score for you, so if you are like me and don’t understand how scoring works, that part is covered.
  3. When it’s your turn, the pieces in your hand that you can play are highlighted, so the choices are more obvious to the child. (This is especially good because some kids who are still learning the game in my office will ask me to look at their hand and help them choose, which isn’t an option online, so the game sort of does that for me.)
  4. Who else loves dominoes as a therapeutic intervention but hates cleaning up all those tiles? On the internet, you don’t have to clean up.
  5. There is a timer bar, and if you do not take your turn, the game goes for you. This is a helpful focus intervention with natural consequences.

Cons of online dominoes:

  1. There is no option to play without keeping score.
  2. There is no option to change the rules if you want to take a more child-focused or non-directive approach.
  3. There is no option to turn off the timer.

Basically, like a lot of these games, the computer programmer didn’t think about what would happen if you were playing the game with a child who wanted more control of the game itself. (If you hadn’t already noticed, this is a theme among online board games.) Hey, if there are any programmers reading this, is this something that could be developed? Hit me up because I’d love to talk about options.

As always, thanks for reading!

Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

Published by Amy Marschall, Psy.D.

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.

%d bloggers like this: