Identify your strengths, positive qualities, talents and interests and support the important people in your life to acquire them too!
What you’ll need: Slips of paper, envelopes, coloured pens or pencils
What’s it for?
This activity will help you to explore your own strengths, positive qualities, and interests and think about these in relation to others in your life. A legacy is something valuable that you leave to the people you care about after you’ve died. A living legacy allows you to share your gifts with others while you are still around. Learning to name and recognise your own strengths, positive qualities and interests is a core skill of resilience and emotional literacy.
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?
On each slip of paper write down one of your own strengths, positive qualities, talents and interests. Write as many as you can. These might include things such as: good at sports, brave, good at baking, great at maths, skilled at using the computer, funny, friendly, kind, smart, lively, sensitive, good listener, thoughtful, or creative.
Now write down a list of all the people to whom you would like to leave a legacy. These would generally be people that you care about and are important in your life.
On each envelope write down the name of one of your special people. Decorate the envelope using your coloured pens and pencils. Try to make it reflect some of the special qualities which you see in the named person.
How can you share out all your strengths, positive qualities, talents and interests between the people on your list? Think about what would help each person the most. For example, if your little sister is struggling with her maths homework, give her your maths skills; if your dad can be a bit grumpy, give him your sense of humour or ability to tell funny jokes!
When you have decided, divide up the slips of paper with the strengths, positive qualities, talents and interests, in separate piles for each of your special people.
Now that you have allocated each slip of paper to a person, take each strength, positive quality, talent and interest, and turn it over. Write on the reverse side how you will support the special person to develop that quality. For example, if you’ve given your sense of humour to your dad, write a joke on the back for him to tell the family; if your sister struggles with maths, write that you’ll spend ten minutes helping her with her homework.
When you’ve finished, put the slips of paper into the special person’s envelope and deliver your living legacy to them. If they don’t live in your household, you could post them the envelope, or take some photos and send it to them online.
Extra Activity: You could do the reverse of this activity. Think about all the strengths, positive qualities, talents and interests of the special people in your life, and ask them to support you in acquiring them.
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 you learn anything new about your special chosen people?
How did the recipients of the envelopes feel to receive your living legacy?
How did naming all your strengths, positive qualities, talents and interests, make you feel? Was it easy to come up with them?
This activity helps you to name and explore your strengths, positive qualities, talents and interests and think about how these might be thought of as gifts which you can give to others. This helps you to focus on your own resilience and important relationships.
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 (email@example.com). Don't forget to subscribe for more fun CAT activities!
Created by Ian Grundy © June 2020
Creative Arts Used: Art, Creative Writing
Psychological Areas Explored: Emotional Wellbeing, Self-Exploration, Resilience, Relationships, Emotional Literacy
This activity was taken and adapted from ‘Will Away’ (pg. 192) from:
Jones, A. (1998): 104 Activities that Build: Self-Esteem, Teamwork, Communication, Anger Management, Self-Discovery, Coping Skills, USA, Rec Room Publishing Inc.
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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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