I used these cards when working with my Creative Writing group. The idea is to pick one or two, and create a story around the characters, or create a plot. The pictures can be cut from magazines, and should reflect the diversity of ethnic and religious backgrounds represented in our world. For those who are challenged in the area of writing, either through locomotor, physical disabilities, or dysgraphia, simply telling oral tales can be fun.
The other oral activity are 30 or 60 second topic talks. This is a technique I used with students on the rainy or snow days when we were indoors. The subject picks a word card, and speak on that topic for however long the group agrees upon.
Written Language Activities
I love writing. One of the best therapies is to journal and document your story. The use of autobiography has been a proven self-help tool. For some the actual, physical writing may be difficult. Sometimes having another person scribe is a wonderful activity for two. You can ask questions, clarify ideas, and truly understand him or her.
A life review as a perfect task for a professional.
If you are working in a support group, and have enough facilitators, writing in pairs can be a good exercise. One prompt I put together a small bag of representative items: die, medal, whole walnut, tiny plant pot, small feather, marble, etc. and the person choose one item, or two, and has to put together a brief story about them. This could simply be done orally, as well!
One of my favourite activities in many of the groups I have attended, include spiritual cards that are designed to make you think. The Rune Stones are one. A simple activity. I recall being at my yoga class in 1993, and choosing the rune for Power. Without going into details, it was just the Rune I needed to read! Rune Stones : are used as a system of divination, personal growth, decision making and communication. They are the magical alphabet of Central Europe, and may be familiar to some.
The Power Deck is another wonderful set of cards, with empowering, wisdom infused messages, as well as beautiful other world paintings. I happened to choose 'Innocence' when I took the photos!
Simply looking at a photo album with a client is a rewarding activity in most cases. You can help a client create a scrapbook, by incorporating meaningful photos, with some text. A perfect example, by my favourite writer who writes about writing, Natalie Goldberg (read her if you want to teach writing!), has put together her own paintings with her poetry.
When giving my elementary students the task to create a biography about their grandparents, they brainstormed and created this Mind Map. A web of questions, topics and subtopics can be generated from this!
is important to many, essentially for those without hearing issues.
The Room 217 CDs are great for those on palliative beds. They are for those gathered around a bed. My late father sang many hymns on his death bed. I took in a hymnary (I kept forgetting the words!) and sang him some.
If you play an instrument, the good old songs mean a lot and can be used for...
As beneficial, are relaxation CDs, which provide some peace. Guided meditations are a good way to introduce relaxation. You can find some here and there, on-line.
In a support group, clients my tend to either dominate or remove themselves from the group discussions. The talking feather is something I depend upon. To begin the group, we each take the feather and speak on one issue to which only we have the answer.
"Tell me a time..."
"When and what was the best thing that ever happened to you?"
"What was the most peaceful place you visited?"
Another good prompt is the Life Review .
Keeping it positive is possible, yet many of the people I work with come from unhappy homes, poverty, and have many psychosocial issues that sap their energy and present moment.One thing I read recently, is to live in THEIR present moment. If they are happy soothing an imaginary baby, find one from a thrift shop, and allow them to provide it care.
Puppets, while used with kids, are an amazing tool. Therapists have used them for years! My kids in their youth loved Fraggle Rock, and they have introduced the grandkids to this show. I have found puppets from this TV show, and we use these for playtime. Anything that interested your clients, even finger puppets, provide some role play, from the history of your area, or their homeland, can be reflected in a visit. Go to the library and see what you can find.
Our local library has lending kits for kids whose families who want to encourage reading at home. Local libraries have videos, audiotapes, magazines, picture books of people, places and things familiar to the client.