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Group Size: 10 to 30
Time Needed: 15 to 45 minutes; facilitator can decide how long; this activity can be stopped at anytime
Goal: To help participants understand the universality of some dilemmas, and to help participants examine how their reactions may be part of the problem
Audience: Parents, Children, Teens, Singles
Special Considerations: None
Resources Needed:

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Explain to the group that this is a variation on charades.
  2. When it is his or her turn, a participant is to pick a piece of paper from the basket and act out “what just happened.” (no words should be used)
  3. The group is to try to guess “what just happened.”
  4. Optional: Time each participant and see who can get the group to get the correct answer in the shortest amount of time.

Example Scenarios for Adults:

  1. Your child just brought home a great report card.
  2. Your spouse/partner did something nice for you.
  3. You just told your son that he could not have M&Ms at the grocery store.
  4. You just locked your keys in the car.
  5. You just burned dinner.
  6. Your spouse/partner just gave you a present you have been wanting for a long time.
  7. The washing machine just broke.
  8. Your kids just started fighting.

Example Scenarios for Children and Teens:

  1. You just failed a test.
  2. You wrecked your parents’ car.
  3. Your friends and you are having a great time together.
  4. Your best friend and you are in a fight.
  5. You just got an A on a test you studied really hard for.

Tips for Discussion and Processing

There is usually a lot of laughter during this activity. It is a nice way to help people realize they are not alone in their struggles. This can be a powerful way of building empathy within a group and helping participants understand how their reaction to a situation may be making the problem worse and ultimately, not solving anything.

Note: These activities can be modified to reflect a variety of skills.