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  • Writer's pictureGHF CAT Team

A Genie in a Bottle

This activity explores your imagination, dreams, and wishes through the symbol of a genie in a bottle.

What you’ll need: A large piece of paper, coloured pencils or crayons, coloured paper, collage materials, glue and scissors.

What’s it for?

The allegory of the genie in a bottle is meaningful on many levels. This project gives you an opportunity to look at your wishes and dreams, as well as help identify any limiting beliefs. Can you uncork your own powerful Genie and release it from its bottle?

Check In:

Notice how you’re feeling right now. Close your eyes and notice what’s going on inside your mind and body.

  • How are you feeling?

  • What are you thinking?

  • How does your body feel?


  • Take the big piece of paper and draw a bottle at the bottom of the page.

  • Using the materials you have, decorate or collage the bottle.

  • Take time to imagine there is something stuck inside your bottle. It has been stuck in there for a very long time...

  • Now you are going to draw a Genie coming out of the top of the bottle.

  • The Genie is a symbol of your power and freedom. It has magical abilities: it can grant wishes and create magic.

  • What are some of the essential qualities your Genie has? Take time to think about this. What wishes would you like the Genie to grant for you? If you were the Genie, what wishes would you like to grant for others? If nothing was holding you back, what would you achieve?

  • Taking the materials, draw your genie. Your genie can take on whichever form you feel is right. The Genie might look like a human, an object or an animal. Use your imagination and see what form your drawing takes.

  • Now you can see your Genie come to life, what are some of the objects holding it back? Is there anything in the Genie’s way to stop it making use of the power and freedom you’ve given it? Think about your self and try to identify any limiting beliefs of your own.

  • Put these restrictions in the bottle. You can use words and write them in the bottom or draw the obstacles.

Extra Activity: The Genie spent a long time stuck inside the bottle. Taking a pen and paper write the Genie’s story. Is it angry it was stuck inside the bottle for so long? Try to find out why this Genie was locked up. What did it do? Now the Genie is out of the bottle what does it have to say? What happens to the Genie now? How does the story go?

When you’ve finished, spend a moment reflecting on the activity and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did you learn anything new about yourself while making your Genie in a bottle?

  • Is there anything about the Genie that you recognise in yourself?

  • What are your wishes for yourself?

  • What holds you back?

  • Are there any obstacles on your path preventing you from releasing your own inner Genie?


This activity helps you to identify and own your own power and wishes. It also helps you identify if you have any beliefs that are holding you back. Do you feel liberated by the Genie’s freedom? Do you ever feel like you are trapped in a symbolic bottle? What are some of the powers and freedoms you can take with you from your Genie’s story to help you when you are feeling overwhelmed or dissatisfied?

Take a moment to notice how you are feeling at the end of this activity. Did you discover anything surprising? What can you take away to make you feel better about yourself from this activity?

If you would like to, share something about your experience with this activity with someone you live with! Ask the person who looks after you to send us an email if you have any questions or comments about the activity, or would like to send us any pictures ( Don't forget to subscribe for more fun CAT activities!

Created by Millie Edwards © May 2022


Creative Arts Used: Art

Psychological Areas Explored: Resilience, Emotional Wellbeing, Self-Esteem, Play

If you enjoyed this activity, you might also like:

Explore your emotional strength, stability, hopes and dreams using the Ladder of Potential activity.

These activities could be done by children of all ages, but some may need the support of their parent or carer to read the instructions or complete the activity safely.

This website was made by CAT Corner to help you explore your feelings through fun creative arts activities. The people using the website and the people responsible for them need to make sure they stay safe (full disclaimer on About page).

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