If I were You... with Imaginative Empathy

The Idea

Stepping into the shoes of somebody else helps to see the world from their perspective. With this game, you are going to literally step into someone else’s shoes.


You will need:

  • A favourite story or video with several characters (animals count too! If you can’t find a story, you can use the Little Prince video above).
  • Pen and paper
  • Optional: your wardrobes, to have a costume party

Let’s play!

You can do this exercise several times, changing roles every turn to try to play different perspectives.

  1. Read the story together or watch the video and note down all the characters in the story. If you have more players than characters, consider if there are objects in the story which play an important role and turn them into characters too.
  2. Let everyone choose one character they want to play, try to choose a character which is quite different from you.
  3. Before we start, have a look at your house and the clothes that are around and dress up to match your character.
  4. Everyone ready? Let’s go!
  5. Stand in a circle together and imagine what it is like to be this person/animal/object.
  6. What expression would you have with your face if you would be this person/animal/object? Make the expression and show it to each other.
  7. How would you hold your body? Your hands? Your feet? Take the body posture and show it to each other.
  8. What would this person/animal or object think? How would they feel? What would they want?
  9. Now all take one step backwards to literally step into your role. You are now your character.
  10. Re-enact the story, or make up your own, making sure to stay in your characters role.
  11. Have a little chat when your theatre play is done: what was it like to be this character? Was it difficult to play someone you are not?


Like playing Empathy? Check out the other games here.