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Engaging Young People– 30 Videos

30 Videos to help you engage with young people.

This series of 30 videos will give you activities you can use to engage with young people, connect with them and build a relationship so that together you can then begin to discuss matters that are important to them. They are conversational and interactive activities you can use with individuals, groups and when there is a third party present.

I invite you to take a look at these strategies, and to share your experiences either with other members of this site or just with me if you prefer, and let me know if the videos and the activities are helpful to you. Go well!

To view the videos, please select the links under the heading Lessons to begin watching the entire course. Or you may use the following categories to watch the videos that may apply to you and your young people.


Each of the videos are useful either with individuals, groups or when there is a third party present.

Working with Individuals

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Working with Groups

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Working with a Third Party Present

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Video 5: How ya doin’?

Length: 5 minutesAuthor: Pete

A strategy, or really..more an idea, if the young person you are going to be talking with has been around the system for some time…and/or is grumpy about being here, maybe doesn’t want to talk with you…

Video 6: Park it and Talk

Length: 4 minutesAuthor: Pete

An activity when you need to have a tricky-sensitive chat with a young person. It suggests that you ‘park’ what you need to talk about, and spend a few minutes getting to know each other – that is, building a relationship so that you are able to have the important chat.

Video 7: Alert… Advise…

Length: 4 minutesAuthor: Pete

This strategy suggests that before you tackle a ‘difficult’ topic, you consult the young person you are going to be talking with, and get some advice as to how to tackle this subject, and what to do if it becomes hard for the young person.

Video 8: Colour, Shape, Sound…

Length: 3 minutesAuthor: Pete

This activity really asks a young person: how motivated are you to do ‘x’? And secondly, do you know all you need to know, and can you do all you need to do…to make it happen?

Video 9: Willing and Able

Length: 7 minutesAuthor: Pete

An interesting activity for the right person – kind of creative and a bit unusual…and really helpful when a third person is present.

Video 10: I Noticed

Length: 5 minutesAuthor: Pete

An intimate activity where you ask a young person if they would like to hear what it is that you have noticed about them.

Video 11: I See The World

Length: 5 minutesAuthor: Pete

This is an exercise in the development of curiosity, empathy and compassion. An extremely versatile activity you can use in a classroom, a counselling room or walking down the street. It invites a young person to wonder about ‘the passing parade’ of people; who they are as people, where they might have come from, and the circumstances of their life.

Video 12: The World Sees Me

Length: 6 minutesAuthor: Pete

An activity that encourages a young person to think about the tricky balance of being true to their feelings and embracing these, while being mindful of what they are projecting to the world around them, and the impact this will have on how the world will respond to them. A physical activity, both playful and serious.

Video 13: A Week in Words

Length: 5 minutesAuthor: Pete

‘A week in words’ offers a young person a way of reviewing their week by choosing from a list, a number of words that best describes that week, and then adding a few more of their own. The activity opens a door onto a discussion about what a person can control, what they can’t and… Read More »Video 13: A Week in Words

Video 14: Yes, No, Still Thinkin’…

Length: 5 minutesAuthor: Pete

A great activity for individuals or groups. The example here is of a group of boys saying where they are in response to the question: ‘Do you want to stay at school?’ With three possible responses: Yes. No. Still thinking about it…

Video 15: Hopes and Dreams

Length: 4 minutesAuthor: Pete

This activity asks a young person to explore their hopes and dreams…a ‘hope’ being a sort of : ‘Gee, I hope this happens…’ and a ‘dream’ having a bit more energy to it: ‘OMG! Wouldn’t it be amazing if…!’ With both ideas in mind, the activity asks a young person how they might pursue each,… Read More »Video 15: Hopes and Dreams

Video 17: Would You Rather…

Length: 4 minutesAuthor: Pete

‘Would you rather…’ makes use of childhood playfulness to ask a young person if they would prefer to travel through a pit of scorpions? A pit of spiders? Or a pit of snakes?

Video 18: Life is…

Length: 5 minutesAuthor: Pete

This activity, ‘Life is…’, asks a young person to respond to four questions/statements about four elements essential to wellbeing: belonging and connection, sense of self, relationships and a sense of being in control. The activity opens the door to a discussion as to the presence or otherwise, of these elements in the life of a… Read More »Video 18: Life is…

Video 19: Inside – Outside

Length: 5 minutesAuthor: Pete

‘Inside-outside’ looks at the internal and external resources that a young person has available to them to manage the hardships of life; their own talents, qualities and skills; plus what their world around them has to offer, from human connection, to football to music… ‘Symbols’, the next video in 30 x 30 x 30, offers… Read More »Video 19: Inside – Outside

Video 20: Symbols

Length: 6 minutesAuthor: Pete

‘Symbols’ is a powerful activity, which, while embracing the ideas offered in the previous video ‘Inside-outside’ of asking a young person to identify their internal and external resources to manage hardship; presents a way of exploring, with a young person, the impact and place of ‘struggle’ in their life. The activity makes use of the… Read More »Video 20: Symbols

Video 22: Three Words

Length: 5 minutesAuthor: Pete

A really good activity for families or where a third person is present. Asking each person to describe themselves and each other…and then do some comparing…can be very powerful.  

Video 23: Snippets

Length: 7 minutesAuthor: Pete

An activity of imagination. As playful or as serious as you would like it to be. ‘Snippets’ are snatches of conversation overheard while jogging. ‘How would you finish this sentence?’ ‘What do you think is on the mind of the person speaking?’ ‘If it was you, what would you be thinking?’  

Video 24: Right Now, I Need…

Length: 5 minutesAuthor: Pete

This activity asks a young person, playfully at first, what they need right now? And moves naturally into a more serious conversation about what they might need as a person, to revive, recuperate, ‘re-charge’…  

Video 25: The Best You

Length: 6 minutesAuthor: Pete

Imagine overhearing a conversation about…er…you! What would you hope to hear? And if it was someone you had just met, what sort of impression would you hope you made? And if you were overhearing someone who knows you and likes you, talk about you…what would you hope to hear?  

Video 26: Frames

Length: 7 minutesAuthor: Pete

‘Frames’ shows footage of a real – life conversation with Dylan; and demonstrates how a Frame, which contains and focusses a conversation, can, if used creatively and carefully, result in a pretty interesting and worthwhile interaction. This video is 6.30 minutes long so find a time when you can fully appreciate how terrific Dylan is,… Read More »Video 26: Frames

Video 27: If I Asked Your Friend…

Length: 5 minutesAuthor: Pete

Imagine if I asked your good friend about you? What would they say? If I asked them if you were fun…what would they say? Loyal? Reliable? A good listener? Our friends know stuff! Which is where this activity comes in.

Video 28: Four Questions

Length: 11 minutesAuthor: Pete

‘Four questions’ is by far the longest video I have posted, but it seemed to need it, so I hope it works for you. It’s an activity about deeper engagement. Who you ask the questions of, when and how all matter. With four important questions in mind, the video and the activity explore the importance… Read More »Video 28: Four Questions

Video 29: Going Away

Length: 3 minutesAuthor: Pete

Imagine that you are going away? Grab a bag, pack it…with what? And what if you are going away for a long time? What about if you might never come back? Do you have ‘unfinished business?’  

Video 30: Straight Ahead, Or…

Length: 6 minutesAuthor: Pete

This final video of the 30, explores an idea or an approach…which asks you to make a decision as to how you might start to help a young person engage with some sensitive aspect of themself or their life. The video explores the idea of going directly and straightforwardly to that delicate area…or alternatively, start… Read More »Video 30: Straight Ahead, Or…