Before you begin
- You don’t have to use the chatterbox template – any square of paper would work just as well, the lines on the template just make it a bit easier to follow.
- You may want to fold and unfold some chatterboxes, so there are some that everyone will find a bit easier.
- Make sure you’ll have enough adults (or older young people) to help with the trickier bits of folding.
- Everyone should get into pairs or small groups. They should think about things that calm people down, cheer them up, or make them feel better if they’re feeling fed up or sad, or if they’ve had a bad day.
- Everyone should make a note of some of the things they talk about, so they remember them when it’s time to add them to their chatterbox. People could think about good advice such as ‘take five deep breaths’ or helpful reminders such as ‘you are loved’ or ‘remember when you played all day in the garden’.
Make your chatterbox
- Everyone should follow these instructions to make a chatterbox. The person leading the activity may help everyone to do each step at a time.
- Take the template, and cut out the square chatterbox.
- Put the template face down on the table, so you can’t see any of the writing. Fold it diagonally in half, and unfold. Fold it diagonally in half the other way, and then unfold.
- You should now have a square with a diagonal cross folded across the middle.
- Fold each corner of the square into the middle of the diagonal cross. You should now have a smaller square – one side should be covered in numbers, and the other with the Scout logo.
- Turn the chatterbox over, so the Scout logo are face up. It should have a cross folded across the middle.
- Fold each corner of the square into the middle of the cross. You should now have an even smaller square.
- Fold the chatterbox in half and then in half again, and then unfold.
- Gently push out a blank square, to make a pocket for a finger or thumb. Repeat with all of the other blank squares on the outside.
- Put your fingers inside these pockets, and pinch together. The top of your chatterbox should now come to a point – a bit like a pyramid.
- Everyone should colour each of the outside blank squares (the sides of the pyramid) a different colour.
- Everyone should write or draw a piece of advice from ‘Think positive’ underneath each of the numbered triangles.
- Everyone should practice using their chatterboxes.
- Everyone should take it in turns to use their chatterboxes to give their friends some encouragement and advice.
This activity helped everyone think of ways to boost their mood and feel more confident. Sometimes people don’t feel great, and that’s OK – but it can be really helpful to have some ideas to go back to that we know cheer us up.
Everyone should sit together with their chatterboxes. They should talk about the advice and ideas inside them. Why is it important to be able to ask other people for advice or ideas? Sometimes people feel upset or sad and it’s hard for them to cheer themselves up – asking a friend or trusted adult may help. When might people use their chatterboxes? They might use them for themselves, or they could use them when someone else (for example, a friend or a sibling) seems sad or lonely. If someone’s really sad or upset, it’s usually best to tell an adult.
How else could you use a chatterbox? Maybe you could use one to help you choose games and activities. Make some spare chatterboxes to keep in your meeting place for people to use if they feel sad or lonely.
People can draw instead of write, or others can help.
All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.