A classroom exercise: FOR ALL AGES
NOTE: It is best not to start this exercise by having them look at how they are dressed in the class. Some kids will be shy or embarrassed. If a child does not want to put things on, ask them if they could be an assistant and help keep the area neat during the exercise.
You will need a variety of “dressy” accessories. These can be hats, scarves, ties, belts, gloves, etc. You can get these at a thrift store or donated. Have LOTS of things to choose from for both boys and girls. This can be sorted be categories in bins, or on racks, whatever you have handy.
You will want a tall mirror or two there as well.
GET STARTED: Tell them that we are going to try on different looks.
- Have them wash their hands of use hand sanitizer.
- Then have them pick out something and put it on.
- Let them check themselves out in the mirror.
- Have them try something else.
- And again, they can combine various elements if they like.
Ask them how it makes them feel to put on something dressy.
Now, have them “decorate” someone else. Have them choose a partner and they get to style their partner. First one “designs” their partner, then they switch. They have to COORPERATE with their partner, not force them to look a certain way.
Gender games can be funny but also can upset some kids. Tell them they are “designers” which will keep them on task.
Some kids will want to take pictures. This is okay, but never force it. It’s a choice.
This exercise can be very silly but is A LOT of fun. When time is short, have them put their things away.
Ask them again how if feels to “dress up.” Ask them if they feel differently talking to someone who has made an effort to “look nice.”
OPTIONAL: If your group has been together long enough to be comfortable with a theatrical exercise, you can have them stay in their items and create characters or scenes. It’s always good to focus the scenes around one of the chapters.
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