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Box and Ball Grief Activity
The box and ball grief activity is actually one of my new favorite grief activities. I first read about the box and ball grief activity while I was researching new activities for my grief group. At first I wasn’t sure how to use this activity in my grief group but the questions I’ve created have made this acitivity quite powerful. The types of conversations that come from this activity always impress me.
I start the session by drawing 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.
I then ask the students to draw two of the box and balls for themselves (then verse now). I also ask them to label a few things that trigger their pain button to be hit.
And now comes the powerful conversation piece!! Y’all know my moto “it’s all about small activities that lead to powerful conversations“.
Here are some questions/conversation starters I ask each student to share:
- Explain your drawing and the size of your blue bouncy ball.
- What has 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 will get hit. But what’s an example of an unexpected time when 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!
If we don’t get to all of the questions, that’s fine. As long as the kids are having meaningful conversations, that’s all that matters!!
Remember it’s all about simple activities that lead to powerful conversations.