Have you ever played that party game where someone starts telling a story, and everyone takes turns adding on until you get a silly, wild, tall tale? Here’s that game turned into a therapeutic activity for many different groups. The basic idea is one person starts to tell as story, and then another person adds on, and then another person, and so on. You can make a rule that each person can say 3 words, a sentence, or multiple sentences.
For example, the first person might start the story by saying “Once upon a time, there was big purple apple tree.” Then the next person would add something like “The apple tree grew apples the size of lions.” The third person might then say “And when the apples got too big, they would drop to the ground making huge gorilla noises.” This continues until the story is over or the leader calls a stop. In addition, I recommend you write the story down as you go, and if there is space, encourage participants to illustrate. You can have each person write down their own sentence/words or you can designate one person to be the writer.
You can try this activity with many different types of groups, depending on your population and desired results. For just a fun and social activity, I suggest the group consist of individuals around the same age, in order to keep things simpler due to similar interests and developmental levels. If you want to go deeper, gather participants with similar medical experiences, or perhaps the group could be a single family. In these situations, encourage the group to create a story about a character(s) with the same medical experience as the group. If you choose to do a medical story, I would suggest doing a practice run with the group writing a silly story first, in order to get the hang of the activity.
Here’s an example of a similar medical experience group: (This group’s commonality is they have all had surgery) First person says “Once upon a time, Rene didn’t feel good.” Second person adds “The nurse took Rene’s temperature and squeezed Rene’s arm.” Third person adds “The doctor decided to make Rene sleepy and do surgery on Rene.” And so forth. Perhaps this could be a great way to create a story of what it is like to go to the hospital for a specific age group.
Group Story Activity Notes
Age Group: 5 and up
Materials needed: paper, writing utensils
To allow participants a creative outlet
To encourage time spent socializing with one another
To create a medical story that all can relate to, and perhaps be used later as part of a preparation for the hospital.
Therapeutic value of activity:
Discovering common ground/similar experiences
Comments or questions are welcome!!!