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/ Institute of Philosophy, Citizenship and Youth

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PhiloQuests: the day of help

2. Idea Stretching

Help, on the scent!


This activity is reproduced with permission from the board game "Kookception: Philo at Play" created by our community partner Brila as part of its philocreation approach.


Objective: To better understand the concept of help by stretching it out in all directions through mini-missions of playful thinking!

Duration: 15 to 45 minutes


  • Sheets of paper and pen

  • Coloured pencils and markers

  • Your imagination


  • Mission 1: Define the concept. Imagine a very curious alien who wants to understand the human world, but who doesn't have the same concepts on their planet. How would you explain help to them by giving a definition of the concept and examples from planet Earth? Keep track of all your ideas because they will be useful for the following activities, like Creative Conception and Creative Construction!

  • Mission 2: Imagine the concept. If the concept of help were a living creature, what would it look like and why? Close your eyes and visualize how it would act and speak, also thinking about its attitude and life plans. Then imagine that help was asked to write a jingle about what it cares most about. What would be the main message? How would the tune go? Write out the jingle and think about the melody… then perform it as if you were the living creature of help! Will the jingle charm people with its inspirational energy… or really get on their nerves?

  • Mission 3: Compare the concept. It’s sometimes by making comparisons that you can discover new ideas! In this game of wacky metaphors, your task is to make a connection between the concept and something completely different: If help were an odour… what kind of smell would it be and why? Describe the scent as if you were an expert perfumer with a very sensitive nose: how would you describe the odour of help? Is it pleasant or… does it stink? How does it make people feel? And would it make a good fragrance to sell in all the fanciest stores? Imagine the name you would give to the perfume of help… and some directions on how to use it: just a light mist or a full-body drenching?


Bonus: Are you still overflowing with ideas? Then imagine that help wanted to write a book… but not just any kind of book: a self-help book! What advice would it want to share? Could it boil down its wisdom to a series of 10 steps or less? Think up the names of some of these steps, and the title of the book, then design the jacket cover. Who would want to buy this book and why? How might it benefit them? Who might find it useless… or even silly?

What if help was an odour? 

Tricks for tots: You know that saying, “Two heads are better than one!” It’s the idea that we can solve a problem more easily when two of us help each other than when one of us tries to figure it out alone! Why don’t we test this out? How could two heads be better than one when:
  • a toy gets lost in the playroom?
  • an activity at school is really hard?
  • a box of cookies spills all over the floor?
  • a hurt bird is lying in the street?
  • a friend is too tired to walk home?
In these examples, what would you do to use the power of two heads at once? Can you think of some situations when the total opposite might be true—one head would be easier than two?
Tips for teens: Some countries have laws inspired by the parable of the Good Samaritan in the bible—the principle that we should help one another when it is reasonable for us to do so. In other words, unless we risk seriously harming ourselves, we are legally required to offer aid to the best of our ability because it is considered the morally correct thing to do. But what really are our obligations to help each other? If people can’t be ethically minded on their own… should mutual aid be legally enforced? Ask yourself whether you think we owe each other a reasonable duty to help—and what might happen if we all embraced this duty… or shunned it completely. Can a law make us helpful? Why or why not?

Share your creative reflections by sending them via email.
Include photos of your projects and notes of your thoughts, as well as your first name and your age!

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