This is basically a variation of a worry box to help children tangibly notice thoughts and worries and choose to let them go.
1) I use empty tissue boxes to make the monster but any box would work as long as you can cut out a mouth. Create the monster using paper, eyes, feathers, pipe cleaners etc. You could also make an animal, shark or whatever else may be more engaging for the child instead of a monster.
2) Talk about worries or “thinking” with the child and have them identify some worries, thoughts, frustrations, etc. that they would like to not think of in that moment.
3) Have the child write or draw the worries on pieces of paper and notice the worry or thought. It’s also helpful to let the child know they can simply notice their thought without judging or labeling it (more mindfulness based than CBT). After they have noticed and written down the worry or thought, they can choose to let it go by feeding it to the monster! I also help children see they can pretend to take thoughts out of their head and throw them into the box for when they don’t have paper. This can be fun to act out too. 🙂
A variation of this for children who struggle expressing anger safely is for them to write down things that make them angry that they would like to let go of. This can help in identifying triggers and expressing anger in safer ways, simply by writing or drawing about it.