A few weeks ago I was chatting with a new friend, Donna Jones Mbe. Donna worked with ‘at risk’ and vulnerable teenagers in Sheffield for 31 years, so when it comes to talking about feelings and emotions, she was a font of information and ideas of how to have a meaningful session with the children. One of the activities Donna recommended was to lay each child on a roll of paper and draw an outline around their forms. As it turned out on the day, we didn’t have enough paper on our long IKEA roll, but we did have little person-shaped-foams*, and I decided to use those.
We glued one to the centre of an A4 sheet of paper, and I wrote the headings:
- About me
- I’m good at
- I want to be better at
- These people are important to me
- About Mommy
- About Daddy
- In 5 years…
Ameli started writing her own page, but then wanted me to continue it, so I asked them the questions, allowing them to answer at their own pace and wrote them down.
For ‘About Me’ we put basic information – my name, my age, my appearance, my status in the family and so on
I’m good at, I want to be better at, and important people is pretty self-explanatory.
About mommy and about daddy was interesting. I started by asking them what they didn’t like about each of us, and then what they did like about us. I’m pleased to see the likes list is better than the unlike list. That’s a good thing, at least!
In 5 years was a little harder to pin them down – for Aviya that’s more than her whole life away – but I got them to add one or two ideas of things they’d like to be able to do or be by ages 11 and 9.
Like all the activities in this ‘feelings and emotions’ topic that we’ve been doing, you can take it as deep as you and the children want and need. It would be a good activity to redo year after year too, to see how things change for them.