In this drama game reframe common activities as completely positive or negative, learning that it’s possible to psychologically reframe experiences
What you’ll need: Another person, or group of people
What’s it for?
This activity encourages flexibility in thinking about our experiences. By learning that there is more than one way to look at experiences and the things that happen to us will allow us to expand our perspective and understand things more fully and deeply.
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?
Choose a common experience with which you and your partner or other group members are familiar. For example:
Going to the park
Going on a playdate at a friend’s house
A day at school
Playing computer games
Choose a ‘frame’ through which to talk about your experience. This will be entirely POSITIVE or entirely NEGATIVE. Everything you say describing your experience has to match your chosen positive or negative frame. For example:
[POSITIVE] ‘The other day I went to that lovely little park just around the corner from school. It was a beautifully warm and sunny day. All the rides I like to play on like the swings and roundabout were free and I could get on them straight away. It made me feel so happy and free to play there!’
[NEGATIVE] ‘The other day I went to that boring park that’s way too small to be fun and way too close and familiar to be interesting. It was too hot and I was sweating and felt uncomfortable most of the time. It’s such an awful park that hardly any other children go there - all the rides were deserted. There was probably something wrong with them - probably dangerous or broken. I didn’t even bother trying to go on them. I couldn’t wait to leave the park, it felt really boring and horrible to be there!’
Make sure you have a chance to frame an experience as being POSITIVE and NEGATIVE. See what comes easiest for you. What was more fun being very gloomy and negative, or being sunny and positive?
When you’ve got the hang of describing situations in entirely positive or negative ways, try having a funny dialogue with your partner where you take it in turns to describe the same experience but from the opposite perspectives.
Extra Activity: Think about other 'frames' through which you might reframe an activity, for example: ANGRY, SAD, WORRIED, EXCITED, DISTRACTED, or SILLY, and then describe the experience in that way. Try to remember an experience of your own that felt mostly positive or negative and try to reframe it the other way around.
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?
Do you feel you naturally frame things in a positive, negative, or neutral way?
Can you notice when people around you frame things positively or negatively?
How did it feel to reframe situations?
What was more fun being very gloomy and negative, or being sunny and positive?
Did anything surprise you about this activity?
This exercise helps you to develop the ability to reframe situations from a positive or negative viewpoint. This can help you see and understand situations from different perspectives. It can also alert you to whether your natural reaction to situations is largely positive or negative.
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 © September 2021
Creative Arts Used: Drama
Psychological Areas Explored: Emotional Wellbeing, Emotional Literacy, Self Exploration
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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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