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Emotional balance

 

 

Happy Jelly Babies

 
 

What makes you feel happy? What makes the other people in your family or group feel happy? What will happen when you find out how to make each other smile?

What you need:

  • A pack of assorted jelly babies – each person in your family or group will need three babies of the same colour (i.e. Jane – 3 green babies; Tom - 3 red babies; Kate - 3 yellow babies; Zak – 3 orange babies, etc.)
  • A large plate
  • Lots of little dishes or saucers
  • A pack of mini sticky notes
  • Marker pens.

How to set up the activity:

  • Pour all the jelly babies onto a large plate.
  • Arrange the little dishes around the large plate.
  • Write the following sentences on sticky notes and stick each note onto a different dish:

- I smile when someone does or says something funny.
- I smile when I read or hear a funny story, or see a cartoon, or TV comedy.
- I smile when someone does something kind for me.
- I smile when I know I have done something really well.
- I smile when life feels good.
- I smile when I see something beautiful.
- I smile when I’m with people who love me.
- Something else makes me smile.

What you do:

  • Starting with the youngest person, let each person choose a different coloured jelly baby and then give them two more jelly babies of the same colour.
  • Read the different sticky labels out loud, so that everyone knows what the choices are.
  • Think about the three things that make you smile the most.
  • Put each of your jelly babies into a different dish to show which things make you smile the most.
  • Look and see where all the jelly babies are, and then talk about the following questions.

Some things to talk about together:

  • Where are most of the jelly babies? Are they bunched together in two or three dishes, or are they spread around?
  • Which dish has the least jelly babies, or maybe no jelly babies? Why do you think no one put their jelly babies in that dish?
  • Ask each person why they chose to put their jelly babies in the different dishes. If any babies were in the ‘Something else makes me smile’ dish, find out more about the ‘something else’.
  • What have you learned about each other that you didn’t know before? How can you help the other people in your family or group to smile more often?
  • After each person has explained what makes them smile, have fun eating the jelly babies...gently of course! Maybe you could try sucking the babies until they dissolve (instead of chewing them viciously!) and see whose jelly babies last the longest!

Other ideas:

  • Perhaps you could keep a jar of jelly babies and eat them to celebrate ‘smiley moments’ – the times when one person does something to make another person happy!
  • Instead of using jelly babies and dishes use a sheet of paper divided into eight labelled sections and give each person three different-coloured, smiley-face stickers.
  • Use coloured sweets instead of jelly babies.
 
     

 

 

Story Bags

 
 

Do you have some little things that remind of you of special events? Perhaps a shell reminds you of a holiday by the sea, or an old ticket reminds you of a day out? Why not fill a bag with small objects to help you play a story game together?

What you need:

  • A small cloth bag with a drawstring closure, like an old PE bag
  • Lots of small objects such as stones, foreign coins, shells, toy cars, first aid plasters, birthday candles, plastic animals, etc.
  • A timer.

What you do:

  • Place all the small objects in the drawstring bag and call it a ‘story bag’.
  • Explain to your family or group that there are lots of objects in the story bag that might remind them of their own special stories.
  • Pass the story bag around the circle.
  • When it’s your turn, take something out of the bag - without peeping!
  • Then set the timer for one minute and tell a story that happened to you. It must somehow include the object that you’ve just taken out of the bag.
  • Place the object back in the bag when you’ve finished telling your story and then pass the bag to the next person.
  • You can set a time limit on the activity, or you can pass the bag around the circle as many times as you like.

Some things to talk about:

  • Which item reminded you of a really funny memory?
  • Which items were the hardest to include in your stories?
  • Which item in the bag did you like the best?
  • If you could only keep three memories, which ones would you choose?
  • If you had to leave your house with only one bag, what three small things would you take with you to remind you of your favourite memories?

Other ideas:

  • Keep the story bag and use the activity during class group discussion, in the car or during special family celebrations.
  • Find little objects in jumble sales or charity shops to add to your story bag so that there are always different things to be found and new stories to be told.
  • If it’s hard to find the objects you want, use picture cards from games you don’t play anymore, and add them to the bag.
 
     

 

 

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