If you are like me and your primary population is NOT children under 5, yet you still work with them from time-to-time, then you also may have found yourself wondering what your role is since you cannot do regular talk-therapy. While most work in my experience with children under 5 is with parents, there is also room for play interventions and skills practice. I learned many techniques after lots of supervision, case consultations, classes, and my own research.

If you are finding yourself in a position in which you are eager to learn about therapy with children ages 0-5, here are some resources to get you started! I hope that at least one of these resourcses is helpful.


Firstly, the following do not have links as they can be found in many places, and I do not want to suggest any particular store!

Handbook of Infant Mental Health: Edited by Charles H Zeanah. Jr. This is a very thick book that gives an overview of information such as development, risk and protective factors, assessment, and interventions

The Early Childhood Education Intervention Treatment Planner: Published by Wiley. This guide (and most treatment planners by this editor and publisher) gives step by step interventions for early childhood.

DC 0-5: The DSM 5 is not intented for use for children 5 and under, so the DC 0-5 is technically (or so I have been taught in school) the book that should be used for diagnosis.

Evidence Based Practices:

Secondly, the following EBPs do not have links as there are many different websites that explain their use.

PCIT – Parent Child Interaction Therapy: PCIT is a therapist-guided intervention in which parents learn to interact and support their children by practicing while a therapist is watching and usually hidden.

Triple P – Positive Parenting Program: As the name suggests, the Triple P program goes in-depth with parents on positve parenting skills that they can use.

Thirdly, there are several online resources you can use. Click the titles to be taken to their sites

CDC Developmental Milestones: The CDC provides in-depth information about developmental milestones (and what to do to help with development) for children ages 2 months to 5 years. Available in PDFs in English and Spanish! There is also an app for parents.

Creative Play Therapist: Creative Play Therapist provides resources and information related to play therapy.

Pathways: Pathways has free printable brochures and information for parents to learn about their infants. It also has a developmental milestone checklist available for infants and toddlers 0-3yrs.

If the child is old enough to process meaning in songs and short videos, here are a few options:

Sesame Street: Belly Breathing Song
Sesame Street: The Power of Yet (Encourages Kids to Try)
Daniel Tiger: STOP! (Assertiveness for kids for one half and recognizing all families are different/special in the second half)
Daniel Tiger: Come Play Family. Daniel is not ready to be a big brother but learns to be a big helper
Daniel Tiger: Daniel Feels Jealous
Daniel Tiger: Grownups Come Back (Song for Separation Anxiety)

Thank you for reading and I hope something was helpful!

Click below to read:

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Please let me know what kind of articles you’d like to see in the future! Check me out on Instagram @eagersocialworker for post updates!