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Box and Ball Grief Activity
I love doing activities in my counseling sessions with kids!! Over the years I’ve learned that small activities can lead to powerful conversations!! I’ve been saying this a lot recently, I feel like it’s my new counseling model!! But it’s sssoo true. Kids come into my counseling office and they don’t know how to talk about their problems. I mean let’s be honest half the time they don’t even know what the problem is exactly. And they definitely don’t know how to fix the problem. So how do we get them to talk? How do we help them learn to safely open up? How do we figure out the problem? And once they’ve opened up, how do we lead them to their own solutions/conclusions? The answer…activities!!
Today’s activity that I’m sharing is called the box and ball lesson. I first read about the box and ball lesson while I was researching new activities for my grief group. A few weeks ago I decided to give it a try and I was super impressed with the conversations that came from our lesson.
Basically I start the lesson by drawing the two boxes (seen below) on the board. I then explained that the box is their life, the bouncy ball is their grief, and the red button is pain. When we first lose someone in our lives our bouncy ball of grief is huge. It’s bouncing around our life and because it’s so big it frequently hits the red pain button. Sometimes we can predict when it’ll hit the pain button, but other times it hits the pain button unexpectedly. As time goes on our bouncy ball of grief becomes smaller and it hits the pain button less and less.
- Explain your drawing and the size of your blue bouncy ball.
- What’s helped your blue bouncy ball of grief shrink over time? What are some of your coping tools?
- Everyone’s blue bouncy ball was different, so what effects our grief? Let’s make a list together.
- What will it take for your bouncy ball of grief to become even smaller?
- Let’s talk about your pain button. Can you each share one or two things that trigger your pain button?
- There are times, like Christmas, when we can expect to miss our loved one and our pain button might get hit. But what’s an example of an unexpected time your pain button got hit?
- I want you to redraw this analogy now that we’ve discussed our grief more. You have complete freedom in your drawing. If you want the pain button on top do it! If you want the ball on the outside do it! You do you!
Update November 2020: Unfortunately I no longer blog about my counseling adventures/experiences. However, I know these posts are a huge resource to others so I’ve kept all of my old counseling posts on this page for your use. Enjoy!!