Stimulate Imagination, Enhance
• To aid in diagnosis and assessment
• Increase attention span
• Provide cognitive/academic skills training
• Enhance communication skills
• One deck of standard playing cards.
The facilitator puts down a stack of cards
and explains that every player may flip over only two cards.
The facilitator will start first and may skip or have an extra
turn (see note below.) Each child then makes up a story line
incorporating the two cards into the story (e.g. a Queen and
a “9” card might prompt a storyline such as, "There
once was a lovely queen who lived in a castle surrounded by
Arrange the cards in a spiraling pattern like
the diagram. This pattern helps promote the flow and continuity
of the storytelling. The facilitator also should provide nurturing
elements to the storyline at therapeutic moments.
The next child is then dealt two cards with
which to continue the imaginative story, building on his/her
When working with abused children, it is very
important to listen carefully to their stories. Each player
has either seemingly nothing or too much to tell. Sometimes
there appears to be no continuity to the story, but that is
Therapeutic moments happen which allow the
facilitator to respond to the child with another story line.
For example, a player draws a Queen and a Deuce and says, “There
was a queen bee who buzzed around and stung these two boys real
bad.” The facilitator might continue the story line with
a “6” and “8” cards by saying reassuringly,
“the boys ran to their neighbor in apartment #6 who helped
stop the bee stings with 8 spoonfuls of ammonia and sent them
to the hospital.”
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