Courtesy of Maurie Lung, Gary Stauffer, and Tony Alvarez|
We sometimes have the wonderful opportunity to work with families over time. The beauty in this opportunity is the transfer of leadership from the facilitator to the family. In the beginning, a family in therapy may look to the facilitator to resolve the conflict or direct the action. Sometimes families are not used to playing games together, and they may be especially uncomfortable when being observed by an outsider! One strategy we have found helpful to increase comfort level, strengthen skills, and give power to the family to direct their own development is to provide “home fun” activities for the family to complete between our facilitated time with them.
Home Fun Activity Instruction Sheet
Introduction: To help transfer learning from our work together to your home, school, work, or community, it is important to practice, model, and reinforce the skills you are learning here together at home. This week, dedicate three different times to try one of the following activities (a different one each time!). You will need approximately 20 minutes for each activity. Record the highlights of your discussion questions and bring your notes to our next meeting. DO THE ACTIVITIES FIRST—THEN READ THE QUESTIONS.
Each One, Teach One
Each person has ONLY 30 seconds to teach something to each family member individually. This is done one on one, not as a group (e.g., how to roll your tongue, a phrase in a foreign language, a new song, a yoga move, etc.).
1. What was your favorite thing to learn? What made this your favorite thing?
2. What did the “teachers” do that helped you learn?
3. How did you decide what to teach? Did you teach the same thing or different things to each person? Did you teach what you wanted to teach or what the other person wanted to know? What did the “learners” do to help you teach?
4. How did the time limit impact learning? How did the time limit impact teaching?
5. How is this activity like the idea that we are all teachers and all learners in our journey together? How does this relate to your family right now?
Each person will need one marker and one blank piece of paper. On the word “Go!” each person scribbles on his/her paper for 5 seconds and then exchanges his/her scribble with another person. That person then creates a picture from someone else’s scribble!
1. What was your favorite “scribble drawing”? What made this your favorite?
2. How did you show cooperation during this activity?
3. How did you show creativity?
4. How is this activity like the idea that sometimes we have to make sense out of things that don’t seem to make sense? How does this relate to your family right now?
You will need a bandana or a long sock for this activity. Stick a bandana in the back pocket of a family member and put this person at the end of your family member conga line (holding onto each others waists or shoulders) and challenge the front person to capture the bandana and the back person to avoid capture! Take turns so that everyone experiences each role.
1. What strategies did you use at the front of the line? …at the back of the line?
2. How did your family work together?
3. How did you decide which end of the line to help?
4. Who was a leader? Who was a follower? How was this demonstrated?
5. How is this activity like the idea of running in circles with the head and the tail having two different goals? How does this relate to your family right now?
Don’t Cry Over Spilt Milk (or Water)
Everyone sits on the floor in a circle. Pass a can around the circle using only your feet without letting the can touch the ground. (Added challenge: put water in the can!)
Materials: empty can – any size
1. What strategies did you use to keep the can moving? How did this change if you did the added challenge? How did your family work together?
2. How did people respond when the can touched the ground? How did other people’s responses influence your response?
3. How does this activity remind you of the phrase “Don’t cry over spilt milk”? How does this relate to your family right now?
Sit in a row front to back AND do not talk. The person at the end of the line secretly “draws” the selected picture using touch only on the back of the person in front of him/her. This person then passes the “picture” forward by drawing it (with touch only) on the back of the person in front of him/her. This is repeated until it reaches the person at the front of the line who draws what he/she felt on a piece of paper.
Materials: a simple picture (e.g., stick figure person standing next to a tree), paper, and marker
1. How close was the end picture to the beginning picture? How did you get or give feedback without talking? Who was responsible for the messages getting passed along correctly?
2. What did people do if they got frustrated? How did this influence the picture?
3. How is this activity like the idea of being responsible for communicating what something looks like when you can’t quite visualize it? How does this relate to your family right now?
Stand in a circle facing each other. Begin by placing one end of the foam noodles on the floor in front of you and then balancing that noodle using only one finger. On the count of three, let go of your foam noodle and move to the foam noodle on your right, balancing it before it falls AND using that same finger.
Materials: 1 foam noodle per person
1. How did your family communicate ideas to each other? How did ideas change with practice?
2. How did you respond when a foam noodle fell? Was this different if it was your foam noodle versus another family member’s foam noodle? How did this response influence others?
3. How is this activity like the idea of letting go and moving on? How does this relate to your family right now?
This lesson is compliments of Maurie Lung, Gary Stauffer, and Tony Alvarez. To find more information and to contact the authors, please visit: www.lifeadventurescc.org
Thanks for joining us in February, 2010 for Friday Lessons. Maurie Lung, Gary Stauffer, and Tony Alvarez are the coauthors of The Power of One.