Activity Name: Failure Wall
Time Required: at least 10 minutes
Ages: 6 and up
Introduction: All of us are susceptible to failures, big and small. The important thing is to learn from them and grow stronger as a result of them.
What you need:
- 1 piece of paper and writing utensil per family member
- 1 giant piece of poster board
- Different colored markers
Ask family members if they think failure is a good thing or a bad thing and why. Brainstorm together some good things that can happen as a result of failure. This can include learning from your mistakes, becoming braver, becoming more creative, and working toward something better.
Consider sharing the following quote from Sir Ken Robinson: “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”
Explain that in your family, you want to become better at embracing failure and seeing it as a way for everyone to learn, improve, and grow stronger. Hand each family member a piece of paper and writing utensil and have them write about down three times they failed. Smaller children can draw a picture of a failure they’ve experienced. Make sure that you complete this activity as well to show your family that you’re OK with failures too!
After a few minutes, ask everyone to look at their failures and think about what they learned from their failure or how it helped them grow as a person. Finally, bring out the markers and poster board and tell family members to write down at least one of the things from their list on the poster
board. Explain that this poster board will be hereby known as the “Family Failure Wall” – a place for everyone to write down their failures and share what they learned from them without fear of being shamed.
You go first if the others are hesitant. Encourage family members to use lots of colors and be creative in the way they write their failure on the Failure Wall. Afterwards, talk about some of the failures and what was learned.
- Have you ever looked at failure as a good thing before? Did this activity change your mind? How?
- Will you be more likely to forgive yourself for a failure next time it happens?