Children ages 4 and up. Activity is potentially useful with children who struggle with settling down and/or sensory processing.
Preferably a peaceful place outdoors
Begin with background of having a superpower in hearing referencing Daredevil or Superman. If necessary, supplement child’s knowledge with a comic, cartoon, or webpage.
Tell the client that you are going to play a game that tests super-hearing. It can be useful to lower your voice introducing the game to prepare the client for being quiet. Emphasize that no superhero has his or her powers down right away, and that it takes practice to get good at using them.
The game is to see how many different sounds the client can hear. Start by asking them to sit and close their eyes so that they can hear more, referencing that Daredevil only uses his ears to learn about what is around him. Point out a few obvious noises to help them get started. If they give up after hearing one or two noises, it might be helpful to point out some less obvious ones for them to try to find (“Can you hear that squirrel in the tree?”). Asking the client to try to collect/reach a certain number of sounds may increase their participation.
This exercise is expected to help the client practice grounding, mindfulness, and focusing techniques. They are hopefully excited by the challenge to hear more and be like a superhero, while unintentionally they are learning to be calm, quite and peaceful.
After they have mastered the game to a reasonable degree, a discussion on their current state can be useful.
“What was it like for you to be so still?”
“The Daredevil has super hearing, and isn’t able to see with his eyes. What was it like to use only one sense at a time?”
“Are there times when you find it hard to hold still? What’s that like?”
“Do you think you can use this game when you’re having a hard time settling down?”
Do You Hear What I Hear? - Listening Activities. (2016). Mnsu.edu. Retrieved 13 September 2016, from https://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/kuster4/par
Rubin, Lawrence C.(2006) Using Superheroes in Counseling and Play Therapy . New York, US: Springer Publishing Company, 2006. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 12 September 2016.
Semple, R. J., & Lee, J. (2008). Treating anxiety with mindfulness: Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for children. Acceptance and mindfulness interventions for children, adolescents and families , 63-87.
Originally posted on the Geek Therapy Wiki, hosted on the now-defunct Wikispaces platform, as part of Dr. Patrick O’Connor’s course Geek Culture in Therapy.