The proposal to La Sínia School explained by the teacher Roser Solà

In mid-April, Rosa Pons, a friend of high school at the time, asked me if I could play test a group game in the school where I teach. Lost Prince was introduced to me as a game about touching that shows that if we cannot see each other or hear our voices, we don’t acknowledge each other.

The game had been tested already in several cities in Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands and they wanted to try it in schools. Coincidence or not, we were just preparing a new activity for the month of May, to end the school year 2016-2017. The activity consisted of playing games mixing children of different groups from nine to twelve years.

I proposed it to the coordinator that approved the test for the first Friday of May. The result was unexpected: the children wanted to continue playing after ninety minutes and they were praising me to bring the game again to the next session. The impression the game had caused ran like wildfire through the halls and when leaving the school, a couple of girls stopped us begging in the children’s style to play the game. Surprised, Rosa, asked me who they were. Those two girls were unfamiliar to her because they had not been playing with us.

Once at home I asked myself  “what happened today”? The activity was so good that I started doing the math: obviously with an hour played on average, children do not change attitudes, but if each round of Lost Prince can last 10 to 15 minutes it’s easy to implement it in class.

Next Monday, I shared my conclusion with the team of teachers: that I find it an interesting,  valid tool because it changes ideas through the skin and not the intellect, going directly to the emotions. The team decided to include the game in the activity for the whole month, and we asked Rosa to send us a prototype.

Roser Solà Vila

Primary School Educator

The test at La Sínia School

Vic, 5th May 2017

Introduction

The game is about touching, feeling and acknowledging without seeing.

The cards represent the Prince that is lost, the strange Creatures that live in the forest and Fortuna, who helps the Prince orient himself because he is blindfolded and needs to locate a Compass.

The forest creatures do not speak, they act by touching the Prince each according to a character. The Prince has to guess the name of the player, who then gives a hint about the compass.

Results of play

  • The game provoked laughter, surprise, expectation, disbelief, excitement.
  • The players who had the role of the Prince found the game much more difficult than it seemed, they were wrong even in guessing their best friends.
  • Everybody wanted to be the Prince to experience how it felt.
  • The players acting as creatures were asking how to do it, as if they needed permission.
  • The game allowed to touch in experimental ways because every child applied a different intensity, duration, care.
  • The ethnic, gender or age barriers diffused. We saw a momentary stop of judgmental attitudes.
  • The children ended happier than they began.
  • After 90 minutes they still wanted to play. The children that didn’t want to play too.

Conclusion

The game works well in big groups that know each other. Can be used in schools in many different ways. It can be played for fun, but also as a tool for dis-inhibition, for stimulating body awareness and acceptance of the other. It can be used to provoke questions and conversations. It can diminish tension in a group.

And touching is something special at any age. Who does not need a hug occasionally?

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