Fabric Check-in

Group size:  5 – 20

Purpose:  Gather information about where participants are at today and what they need, increase group cohesion, and stimulate metaphoric thinking. This is a great way to start a full day program.

Props Needed

  1. Many different fabric cuttings as possible. It is useful to gather a collection of fabrics with different textures, colors, and prints.

Activity Preparation

  1. Prep time needed: 5 minutes
  2. Prior to class create an open space. If you are indoors, put chairs around the perimeter of the room.  If you are outside, find an open space to play that is free of debris or obstacles.
  3. Put the fabrics in a circle in the middle of the group.

Time needed

  • Directions: 5 minutes
  • Activity: 10 minutes (depending on size of group)
  • Debrief: 5 minutes

Set Up

  1. Create a circle fabrics in a circle in the middle of the group.

Activity Directions:

  • Have the participants gather in a circle. Include yourself in the circle.
  • Ask participants to select a fabric that represents where they are currently.
  • Go around the group and have everyone check in with the fabric they choose and why.
  • Short debrief of what participants noticed with in themselves and each other.

Facilitator script:

 “Let’s form a circle to hear the directions for today’s check in. You may have noticed all the fabric swatches around the circle. Today we are going to do our check in a little differently. I would like to use the fabrics as a metaphor for where we’re at. So when you check in you might say I choose this piece of fabric because … and then tell us why you choose it or what it represents.  

Any questions? (answer questions) OK great, who would like to start. (then go around the circle until everyone checks in)


  • What did you notice about check in today?
  • What were your thoughts as you entered the room and saw all the body parts?
  • How is this check in different from others we have done?

Recovery/Wellness Metaphor: This check in is helpful as it is a way to gather information about your participants in a slightly different way. This is a safe easy way to engage the subconscious and access information that clients might not automatically share by just having a verbal check in.

Role of Facilitator: Make sure to spread out fabric so each participant can see each swatch. We recommend having more than you need so participants can have plenty of a selection.

Variations: Feel free to use fabrics in any way as needed

Where to Find It/How to Make it: You can purchase fabrics from any fabric store.