A Happiness Machine!
Identify what makes you happy and figure out any happiness blocks with the amazing Happiness Machine!
What you’ll need: Drawing paper size A1 or repurposed cardboard, coloured pencils, crayons, coloured paper, and glue.
What’s it for?
This activity helps you think about what makes you happy, and what might bring happiness to others.
This takes the form of a happiness machine. This is a machine that produces happiness! To make the machine work well, you need to think about your idea of what happiness feels like. This machine can also work for the happiness of others – it could give away smiles, love, and so on.
It is important to remember that it is unrealistic and impossible to feel happy all the time. We are human beings, and we feel many different emotions including anger, sadness, and many more all of which are important and make us who we are.
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 a big piece of paper or card and draw the outline of a machine – there is no right or wrong way for your machine to look. This is your own personal, magical Happiness Machine. It can be made up of any materials you like and take any shape you choose.
On another piece of paper write a list of the important things that might need to go inside your machine. This can be anything that brings you happiness such as love, chocolate, playing with friends, or doing something good for others. These are the 'happiness ingredients'.
Looking at the list you’ve written, draw the different happiness ingredients into your machine picture. You can use words, cut out pictures from magazine as collage, or draw the different objects. Use colours to bring your machine alive.
Whilst you are making the machine, have a think about how the machine works and what it does. Is there an on and off button? Is there an accelerator for when you need to feel happy quickly? Is there a 'giggle switch' that makes you laugh when flicked on?
Does the machine have a name?
Extra Activity: Write a short story about the happiness machine. What would you do with your happiness machine? What would life look like if you had such a machine. How would you use it at school? You can stick your drawing of the happiness machine on your bedroom wall and think about its magic powers when you most need it.
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 you did this activity?
Did thinking about what makes you happy also make you think about what makes you unhappy? Did you find anything surprising?
Was it easy or hard to think of the things that make you feel happy?
Take a moment to notice how you are feeling at the end of this activity. Did you discover anything surprising? How does it feel to look at the machine on your wall? You might want to keep adding things to your machine as you discover them in the days to come. Sometimes doing kind things for other people make us feel happy. Feel free to add any daily acts of kindness to your machine too.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Don't forget to subscribe for more fun CAT activities!
Created by Millie Edwards © November 2021
Creative Arts Used: Art, Creative Writing
Psychological Areas Explored: Emotional Wellbeing, Self-Exploration
If you enjoyed this activity, you might also like: The Power of Kindness: Explore being kind to others which in turn enables us to be kind to ourselves.
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.
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