A little while back I wanted to do a Family Feud type game with the adolescents on my unit. I work in a setting where client turnover is relatively high. Too often, when they talk, the discussion revolves around negative subjects–gang affiliations, crimes committed, drug use. This activity idea is a fun way for the youth to learn more about each other. It encourages discussions about positive leisure outlets.
I considered trying this activity closer to the Family Feud format with teams and three strikes. Due to poor attention spans, cognitive/behavioral difficulties, and the strong desire to cheat, I felt adaptations were needed. Having the clients write their answers before revealing the top three answers were revealed made the group run smoother and with more integrity. Of course, you could modify this activity to your group’s strengths and weaknesses.
This is a versatile activity suitable for most age groups. The population served needs to be able to express their favorite leisure items in writing and/or verbally. The ability to do simple math is also helpful, but staff could assist. This activity works best with a medium or larger group.
Need Areas Addressed
Leisure awareness, leisure education, leisure exploration, sober leisure, self-discovery, self-awareness, learning about peers, positive connections with peers, self-expression, decision making, coping skills, and social skills.
Paper, pencils, dry erase board or easel, markers. You could also use a survey sheet and answer sheet. Here is an example. You could also view these sheets at the bottom of this post.
Steps 1-3 could be done ahead of time. This will help with time constraints or if tabulating results will interrupt the flow of your group. If you need to tabulate the results during group, consider adding a short icebreaker or team building activity to fill the time.
- Create several leisure survey questions appropriate to your clients. (See examples on survey sheet.)
- Have your clients complete the survey.
- Collect surveys and tabulate results. For each survey question, find the top three answers and how many people said them. (For example, if the survey question was favorite sport to play: four participants said football, five said bowling, and eight said basketball.)
- Give each client a blank piece of paper or the “guess the answer” sheet.
- Have clients guess what the top answer was for each survey question and write it on the answer sheet.
- Ask each participant to reveal what they thought the top answer was for the first survey question.
- On the dry erase board, display the top three answers and how many participants said them.
- The participant scores points if their guess was in the top three. For instance, in the example mentioned in step 3, a player would get four points if they said football. Five points if they wrote bowling. Eight points if they wrote basketball. If their answer wasn’t in the top three, they won’t receive any points. Have the clients write their points on the answer sheet.
- Repeat steps 6 through 8 until all the survey questions are revealed.
- Have clients (or support staff) total the points. The participant with the highest points wins the game.
- If participants struggle with math, you could keep score on the dry erase board or have staff assist.
- For nonverbal or low functioning clients, you could create picture lists of answers to each survey question. This could be created using clipart or the Boardmaker® program.
- For best results, adapt the questions to your group. For example, if working with youth, a question could be: a my favorite activity to cope with anger. If working with older adults, a question could be: my favorite leisure activity when I was in my twenties.
- Consider adding small prizes for the highest scores to increase motivation.
- Points aren’t necessary for the group to be successful. If you have a less competitive crowd, sometimes the fun of guessing the top activities will do.
- Were there any top three results that surprised you?
- How easy/difficult was it to guess the group’s favorite leisure answers?
- Were your personal answers always in the top 3?
- What did you learn about your peers during this activity?
- Were there any new activities you would be interested in trying?
- Based on your score of the game, how well do you feel you know your peers?
This activity idea is a starting point for creating an engaging leisure awareness activity. The group will have an fun way to learn more about each other. There are several modifications you could do for this game to suit the needs of your clients. Consider addressing leisure as a coping skill. Or find survey questions appropriate to reminiscing.
Put on your best game show host persona and have fun with it.
Here is an example of the Survey and Answer Sheets. Make sure you click on the down arrow in the bottom left corner of this illustration to see the Guess the Top Three Answers sheet.
What are some activities you do to create discussions about favorite leisure activities?