LifeSkills Handbooks Activity 6

This is a single activity session plan from The Lifeskills Handbook. There are 61 activity sessions in this book and this is Activity 6. The book is available from our resources section where you’ll also find downloadable storybooks, booklets and posters to help you in your work.

LifeSkills Handbooks Activity 6 Influences: What is my Network of Relationships?

Purpose of activity: To recognise and explore important relationships

Life skills: Self-awareness, Inter-personal relationships

Important points

Be prepared for a child to describe a problem relationship or even abuse during this activity. Find out before the session how children can be supported if it becomes necessary.

A ‘ship’ image is used in this activity because ‘ship’ is part of the English word’ relationSHIP. If you are working in another language can choose to use the visual image of the ship (see picture) or you can use another visual image.


  • One large outline picture of a ship for the whole group with the heading ‘relation-SHIP’ or as appropriate in the local language
  • Five outline pictures of ships with one of the following headings:
    • Parents and elders
    • Brothers, sisters and cousins
    • Friends
    • People in authority  (teachers, police, employers)
    • Boy/girlfriend
  • Marker pens or crayons


  1. Explain what a relationship is in your own words and in a way that is appropriate to your culture and that the children will understand.
  2. Ask children to give examples of people with whom they have a relationship such as:
    • Parents and elders
    • Friends
    • People in authority (teachers, employers)
    • Boy/girlfriend
  3. Show the picture of the relation-SHIP. Ask for an example of what makes a relationship strong (saying kind things to someone).  These good things are needed to keep the ship working. Write the example in a suitable place on the ship  (hull, engine, etc).  Then ask for an example of something that can weaken or damage relationships (Taking something from a person without them knowing). Write it in the water/air surrounding the ship (stormy water, strong wind, rocks)
  4. Divide children into pairs or groups.  Each group takes one kind of relationship (see list above).

  1. Using the five ships, each pair or group discusses two or more things that make the relationship strong. They write these on the ship.  They discuss two or more things that could damage the relationship. They draw or write these in the water and the air surrounding the ship.
  2. Hang their relation-SHIP posters on the wall. The pairs and groups visit each others posters and explain their drawing to the others.

Final discussion:

What are the most important relationships? Is this the same for everyone? Why/Why not? What makes relationships good/bad?

Spend some time thinking quietly about a relationship that is good. Then think about a relationship, which is not good. Can you do anything about it? 

Ask some children to volunteer to share these ideas with a friend or with the whole group.

  • Did it make you think of your own relationships?
  • Has it given you ideas about the good and bad relationships you have?
  • Has it given you ideas about how to make your relationships better?

Follow-up Activity

Children can draw their own ships. This activity can be repeated in Part 3.

Find out more about the Life Skills Handbook and how to purchase it!

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