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Build a wellbeing box

Build a mood-boosting box full of positive messages and interesting items.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • A4 paper
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Craft materials (for example, tissue paper, pipe cleaners, stickers)
  • Cardboard box (why not use a shoebox?)
  • Items to fill the wellbeing box

Before you begin

  • Make sure you've risk assessed your meeting, and also have a COVID-safe risk assessment that’s been agreed by your line manager. You can check out more detailed guidance here
  • You'll need to provide plenty of small boxes (one for each person) so that everyone can work at a safe distance from each other. Shoeboxes work well for individual boxes – you could ask everyone to collect them at home.
  • You could do the 'Plan the boxes' section online before you meet face-to-face, but you don’t have to plan and make the boxes separately. If you want to, you could just provide a wide range of items for people to choose from during the session. 
  • Set up your space so that everyone can stay at a safe distance from each other when they're making their boxes. If you're using tables and chairs, think about how many can safely fit round the table and lay out your resources in advance to avoid everyone having to collect it from one large pile.

Safety checklist

Use the Safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity.  Additional coronavirus-related controls to think about may include: 

  • Set up a hand washing station that you can use throughout the session.
  • You’ll need enough equipment for everyone so people don’t have to share.
  • You could ask people to bring their own craft equipment to decorate their box. 
  • Think about how you’ll hand equipment out – it won’t work for everyone to help themselves from one big pile.

Plan the boxes 

  1. Everyone should think about messages that make them feel good. Do people have any favourite quotes or song lyrics? What would they say to a friend who’s having a bad day?
  1. Someone should make a note of the messages people suggested – they’ll be useful for later.
  2. Everyone should think about objects that make them feel happy or relaxed. They should choose things that are small enough to fit in a shoebox. The things could link to the ideas from the ‘Five ways to wellbeing’ below, remind people of a favourite memory, help them do a relaxing activity, or just make them giggle.
  1. Everyone should plan how they’ll get hold of these items to make a wellbeing box. Perhaps they could bring some from home – the person leading the game may also be able to provide some items.

Make the boxes

  1. Everyone should cover their box – wrapping paper works well, but scraps of fabric or unwanted posters look great (and are environmentally friendly too). They should make sure to cover the lid separately, so it can still open and close.
  2. Everyone should decorate their box. They should feel free to be creative – what makes them feel happy, safe, or calm.
  3. Everyone should write or draw positive messages on pieces of paper and pop them into their box. Why not try writing a message for someone who lives in your household? This is where the list from ‘Plan the boxes’ comes in handy.
  4. Everyone should fill their box with other items. They may have brought things from home, or the person leading the game may have brought some things for everyone. Make sure that items are laid out on the individual tables so everyone can stay at a safe distance.

Share the boxes

  1. Everyone should take it in turns to show off their box and share some of the things they’ve put it in.
  1. Everyone should keep an eye out for trends or similar ideas – did lots of people include the same item?
  2. The person leading the activity should remind everyone that their boxes can be a ‘work in progress’ – they can take things out and add new things as they want, perhaps as their favourite things change or they try new ways to relax.

This activity helps contribute towards some of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Find out more about the SDGs, and how Scouts across the world are getting involved.

Reflection

This activity helped everyone to boost their wellbeing. Everyone feels down sometimes, and everyone has had days. Do people think their boxes will help them bounce back when things get tough? Remember, it’s OK if positive wellbeing activities can’t make it better: people can always reach out to a trusted adult, GP, or Childline. Why did people choose to put these items in their boxes? Was it easy to think of items and messages that may help when things feel tricky?

This activity also encouraged people to care. Did anyone make or write something for someone else’s box? How did it feel – was it easier or harder than writing a message for their own box? Can people think of anyone else who may really benefit from a wellbeing box? How could they share what they’ve learned with others? Perhaps everyone could work towards making more boxes for people who need them, or they could talk to their friends about the idea and encourage them to make their own wellbeing boxes at home.

Safety

Scissors

Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people

Glue and solvents

Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using glue and solvent products. Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation. Be aware of any medical conditions which could be affected by glue or solvent use and make adjustments as needed.

Rubbish and recycling

All items should be clean and suitable for this activity.

Sharp objects

Teach young people how to use sharp objects safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.