Name of Activity
Feelings Talk Ball
Purpose of activity
The purpose of this activity is to encourage the children or youth to learn more about their feelings and to be able to recognize them. It motivates them to explore their different feelings and thoughts they may have about themselves. When playing with the feelings ball in a group setting it could help others feel more comfortable opening up to others. This activity is also fun and children can get really creative when playing.
Length of activity
The length of the activity should only be about 15 to 20 minutes long because children and youth could start to feel over whelmed with emotion or could become bored. Although the activity should only go on for 15 to 20 minutes it would be beneficial to use a couple of different feelings ball so there is a variety of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that are discussed. This will provide the children and youth with enough time to enjoy to game and to talk about their feelings and experiences.
Space needed for activity
When playing with the feelings talk ball it will be important to ensure there is an enough space available to ensure best results; although this game could work in a smaller space as well. It would be beneficial to ask the child, youth or family where they think would be the best place to play the game. If the child or family are having a hard time choosing a space I would recommend some suggestions like playing outside if the weather is appropriate, in a class room, a gymnasium or even a living room in someone’s house.
3-4 soft balls (beach ball, volleyball, or a plastic ball)
Different color sharpie markers or word or picture stickers
Therapeutic approach activity
1. Activity one: The facilitator of the group or an individual counselor is to design the ball with the group or individual to get their minds thinking about feelings. Start with a plain ball and have the group shoot out different feelings and emotions. While they are calling out ideas write down the words in smaller font scattered all around the ball. Then have the group stand up, pass the ball to an individual and ask them to shout out what word their right thumb landed on. After they shout word the feeling word, ask them “Describe a time or event where you were feeling sad” or whatever the feeling may be. After the person answers have them pass the ball to someone else.
2. Activity two: The facilitator will prepare the feelings ball before meeting with a group or individual. Draw pictures of different emotions that other people make when they are feeling a certain way. For example, draw a happy face, sad face, angry face etc. Pass the ball to someone and ask them to describe the emotion that their left thumb landed on. After they answer have the person pass the ball to another person in the group.
Children and youth opened up more to the group and the counselor, which allowed the counselor to understand their feelings and thoughts more. This also allowed them to understand their own feelings and to be able to connect them to different behaviors they go through. Everyone was having fun and seemed to really like the idea of playing catch in order to learn about feelings rather than being taught through lecture.
Changes for next time
Depending on the group or situation not everyone will be comfortable talking about their feelings and emotions and might not even understand what they mean. I think it would be important to let the group or individual know that if they can’t think of anything or are unsure of something they can pass three times during the game. This will make sure everyone will still participate at least once but can pass the ones they really don’t feel comfortable with. I think it would also be important to have a little introduction about feelings and emotions before playing the game so the children and youth learn a little bit about what feelings and emotions are.