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How to play the ‘If I were this person’ guessing game

Christmas holidays are a great time for the family to spend more time together. A great conversational game which helps children and adults to access and strengthen their empathic ability is the “If I were that person” game. You may like to follow the rules of the game below and have a great ‘connecting’ and fun time as a family. A wonderful Christmas gift is to be on the receiving end of a family member really listening to us.

  1. Each child and parent has a turn to share a story from a book, a movie, or an actual event. The story can be about a real or imaginary persons or animal. If the story is about an actual event it could be from the evening news, off the internet, out of a newspaper, (the article could be produced for everyone to see or read). It also could be from personal experience or any other life situation.
  2. On each occasion one or more person shares a story, depending on the time available.
  3. On each occasion every person then has a turn to respond to that person’s story, including the story teller, by guessing the answer to the sentence below followed by the THREE – ‘I would be’s’.

If I were this person (or if I was this animal):

1 – I would be thinking…
2 – I would want…
3 – I would feel…

These comments above could be printed on small cards

  1. If this is the first time the family plays this game parents can have first turn to show children how to play. Some children may say that they don’t know how they would feel. Give loads of encouragement and empathize that the object of the game is for everyone to use their imagination and GUESS the answers. Only one person talks at a time.
  2. Parents to guide the game. After each child’s has commented parent briefly summarizes what child has said.
  3. No one, including parents are to interrupt, correct, criticise, judge, give advice or lecture.
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