Training Wheels Gear
We love these tiny feet and use them as Anchor Tools in our programs. Here's a few examples of how you can use them with your groups:
- Have the group sit in a circle, with a pile of Impression Feet in the middle. Be sure to have enough Impression Feet so that each person gets one.
Props Needed: Enough Impression Feet so that each person gets one. Impression Feet are plastic colored feet, about 3/4" long and have a heart cut out of the heel. This makes them great for participants to hang onto shoelaces, keychains, backpacks, necklaces, etc.
Time Needed: 15-20 minutes
Group Size: 5-15 people
- At the beginning of the day or program, explain to the group that if they walk through the mud or sand, they will leave a footprint. As you walk through life, your interactions leave an impression on people, much like the physical impressions that we leave in the sand. This may look like an impression on their heart. Invite the group to observe everyone – not just their closest friends – because at the end of the day, everyone will be responsible for recognizing someone who made an impression on them. Everyone can only be recognized once – so it’s important that they observe all of their teammates!
- At the end of the program, invite participants to sit in a circle and place the Impression Feet in the center of the circle. Invite participants to present a foot to someone else on the team who left a good impression, and to share what that good impression was. Remind them that each person can only receive one foot.
- This is a great way to give recognition to others, and to set the tone for processing at the beginning of the day. It also provides a great physical anchor and lasting memory for after the program.
- [Say this at the beginning of the day] “When we walk through mud or sand, we leave footprints behind. The same thing happens when we walk through life – we leave impressions on those around us. Many times, we leave impressions on people’s hearts, and we don’t even realize it.
- “Later today, we will be sharing with each other a time when someone left a positive impression on us. Each person can only be recognized once, so it’s really important that we pay attention to the positive impressions that everyone is leaving – not just our closest friends. Are there any questions for now?” [If there are no questions, go on about the day.]
- [Revisit the activity at the end of the day.] “Let’s have a seat in a circle. [Lay out the Impression Feet in the center of the circle, so that there is one foot for each person in the group.] Remember when we said we were going to watch for the positive impressions that people left at the beginning of the day? Now, we get to recognize those. Each person is going to get a chance to present one of these feet to someone else in the group who they thought left a positive impression. When you present that foot, please tell that person why they are receiving it. Once you receive a foot, it is yours to keep, but you cannot trade with anyone else.
- Remember, everyone can only receive one foot, so think carefully about a few different people that you can give yours to. Alright, who would like to go first?”
Tips for Success & Troubleshooting:
- Be sure to tee this up at the beginning of the day, and let people know that each person can only be recognized once. This avoids the potential issue of someone being “left out” because everyone wants to give their foot to the same person.
Possible Reflection Questions:
- Once you knew that you be recognizing someone who made an impression, how did that change your day?
- Were you surprised to receive your foot? Why or why not?
- Was it hard to choose just one person?
- What happens to the group when we give each other positive feedback?
- What are some ways that we can recognize each other in our day-to-day life?
- Ask each person to take a foot and describe how the program made an impression on them.
- You can do the same activity with Impression Hands. Ask each participant to ‘give a hand’ to someone who deserves appreciation or who did a good job that day.
History/Source: A Teachable Moment, Jim Cain, Michelle Cummings and Jen Stanchfield