The way you prepare for a session and set it up can be just as important as the activities that you run during the session. These tips and ideas are all worth considering as you are getting ready to go!
Pick a Time – What time of the day works best for you and your group? Why not try an activity before or after lunch when a group of people are together? Or as a daily morning warm-up?
Numbers of People – You can do most STORYBOX activities with any number of people. We find a group of up to ten people is ideal as you can have contact with each participant. But a lot of our ideas also work for much bigger groups, or on a one-to-one basis. The activities work really well with friends and families joining in too.
A Circle – Making a circle of people is very important. You can bring chairs close together so participants can see and reach out to each other. This will create a space in the middle, which you can use as a stage area in some games. We find most of the activites can be played around a table if you have a group with varying levels of mobility.
Support – Sometimes if you can it is good to work with somebody else to together to deliver a workshop. Then one of you can steer the group if the other needs to see to the needs of an individual. It also allows you to bounce off each other to entertain and encourage the older people to participate.
Resources – It may be helpful to think about creating a resource box to support your sessions, then adding to that when you can with props, photos, costume…etc…These do not need to be expensive things – a lot of our best resources have been picked up in charity shops and jumble sales! Your box could include:
- A selection of hats
- A couple of feather boas
- A couple of simple items of clothing like bow-ties, beads, sunglasses…
- A range of basic craft material
- A selection of simple props like bucket and spade, beach ball, hula-hoop, some balloons, a couple of bean bags, some simple musical instruments
Enjoy –Have fun finding what works with your group; remember there is no right or wrong. The most important thing is that people are coming together and having fun!
Also worth thinking about…
- Is it possible to work in a quiet, private space where you won’t be disturbed?
- If your group will be arriving at slightly different times (even over a period of tenminutes), make sure you have an activity set up for those who arrive first. This will be something simple linked to the theme. You can join in as the leader of the session,helping to start conversation around the theme as well as demonstrating the activity.
- If you are able to, offering people a tea or coffee as they come in and having biscuits on the table can help to put people at ease and feel welcome.
- Playing music related to the theme as people are arrive can be very atmospheric and a good way of setting the mood.