Submitted to RTI by Mallory Diepen, CTRS, Adventist Glen Oaks Hospital, Behavioral Health Department

Supplies Needed:

Paper, art supplies (markers, colored pencils, crayons, etc.)

Group Size:

4-12 people


Give each participant a blank sheet of paper and pass out art supplies. Have everyone take turns being the “leader”, giving a directive to the rest of the group. The directive will be to draw one picture on their sheet of paper. For example, the first participant might say “draw a house” and everyone, including the leader, will draw a house. The next person might add to that “draw a purple tree next to the house.” The directive can be as simple or detailed as the leader wants (with consideration to the ability level of the group). The activity will end when each person has had a chance to be the leader. Have everyone share their picture when complete.


• How did you feel during this activity?
• Did you like being the leader or the one receiving the directive better and why?
• What skills did you need to participate in this activity?
• Discuss how each person gave input to complete the activity
• Talk about how each picture is different and that everyone has their own point of view
• How can it be helpful to be able to view things from multiple angles?

There are several directions you can go with this activity. It can be related to leadership skills and self-esteem, communication and being assertive, creativity and self-expression, following directions and focusing, etc. This activity can be adapted for all populations; however, I have found it to work well with a lower functioning population or those who have difficulty staying focused.

Source: Recreation Therapy Ideas, 2015

Recreation Therapy Ideas Blog:
A compilation of activity ideas for Recreation Therapists to implement in a variety of treatment facilities.