Thinking x-ray machine!

I often have had children imagine a “thinking x-ray” to help them identify thoughts and change the thoughts to more true and helpful ones if necessary. Recently, I came across an old box and decided to make a thinking x-ray machine! I have clear plastic parts in the box that make up the thought bubble and “buttons.” I used acrylic paint to create these colors under the clear plastic. By painting the buttons and thinking bubble underneath, this prevents chipping and also allows a dry erase marker to be used on the surface of the clear plastic. 

1) act out situations with puppets. 

2) when a puppet appears sad, angry, afraid, etc. put it in the thinking x-ray to see what it is thinking. I will usually allow the child to write this or draw this with dry erase marker. 

3) fill in the feeling button with a face of how thought makes the puppet feel. 

4) allow the child to push the scanner button and then you make pretend beeping noises to show the thought isn’t true and or helpful. 

5) allow the child to push the “change thought” button and then erase the thought and write a new thought that is helpful and true in the bubble. 


6) change the feeling! Point out how changing the thought helped change the feeling! 

This is also great to use when playing feelings doctor with a pretend doctor set and stuffed animals or puppets! 

If you have any questions on making your own x-ray machine, please reach out to me! 


  1. What does the change thought button say, as well as what does the green button say on it too? Also– where did you get the clear plastic you used and the dry erase thought bubble you used? I am wanting to try to duplicate this, it’s a great idea!!

    • The green button says “true and helpful thought scanner” change thought button says “change to true and helpful thought.” The clear plastic was already a part of the box. It’s actually a box from a Kimochi doll. I was about to throw it away and was inspired to make it into this. 🙂
      I’m sure many toys come in similar boxes with the thicker clear plastic already in them too. Hope that helps!

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