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innerdrive reviews

Blob Tree

Overall
Usability
Usefulness
Financial cost
Evidence base
Blob Tree

WHAT IS THE BLOB TREE?

The Blob Tree is a tool that can be used to help students articulate their feelings and help facilitate their development. It consists of many blob figures on or around a tree. The tree represents a setting, such as a school or group, and the blobs represent different emotions and feelings. Teachers can use this as a self-reflection tool for their students by getting them to observe the blob characters on the tree and select which one expresses how they currently feel.

WHY USE THE BLOB TREE

Blob Trees can give students an opportunity to share their issues and what they’re feeling. It has been scientifically shown to be effective as a means of expressing feelings and emotions with children, young people and adults. Using Blob Trees in schools can help young children understand and master their emotions. The Blob Tree is one of the first of its kind: a visual stimulus that guides children in understanding their emotions.

WHO IS THE BLOB TREE FOR?

The Blob Tree was developed by renowned behavioural psychologist, Pip Wilson, whilst working with young people. The tools can be used in a variety of settings and is especially useful in the classroom. Teachers can easily start a discussion by asking students which blob they relate to, especially since there is no right or wrong interpretation of the blobs. They can be viewed in many different ways as they show a variety of feelings.

The blobs deal with deep issues using feelings, interactions and body language, making it easy for students to pick which one best represents them. Although the Blob Tree was initially created for use in schools and with children, it has now even been introduced into different fields such as business and marketing.

EVIDENCE BASE

Evidence suggests that those children with higher emotional intelligence pay better attention, are more engaged, and are more empathic. The Blob Tree plays a role in developing this emotional intelligence and it helps students articulate their feelings. Taking ownership of their emotions is a key aspect in students developing emotional intelligence.

Our emotions can also influence how we build relationships with others. Discussing which blob on the Blob Tree represents how they are feeling in a group setting can lead to a healthy discussion. This can create an open environment where students feel comfortable talking to their peers about how they are feeling and working together to resolve any issues. Research shows that positive peer relationships can contribute to the social and emotional development of students. Nourishing these relationships in the classroom can prove to be fruitful in terms of how students behave in both the classroom and other settings.

USABILITY

The Blob Tree can be easily used in the classroom by both teachers and students as no professional training is necessary. However, Blob Tree does offer blob training sessions either online or in person so that teachers can become experts on the communication tools and use them to their highest potential.
There are many different tools that are available from Blob Tree that show different settings. Some are specialised to schools or specific emotions (e.g. calm, anger, bored), some are centred around Christmas and other holidays – which can be useful as the holiday periods can bring about many complex emotions. See their full range of offers here.

USEFULNESS

The communication tools offered by Blob Tree are especially useful in younger students, or students that find it difficult to explain their emotions independent of a visual stimulus. This makes it a very handy and practical resource that can create necessary conversations where there weren’t any before and help struggling students engage again.

VALUE FOR MONEY

Blob Tree offer some of their communication tools for free. However, most of the individual ones cost between £3 and £5. Access to a computer and printer is needed as the tools are bought as digital downloads that can be printed and put up in classrooms.

THE PROS

  • Scientific basis – research has shown that using Blob Tree is effective in discussing the connection between a feeling and behaviour.
  • Cost effective – there is a low one-time purchase fee and the tool will not outdate.
  • No specialist training – Blob Tree offers a free guide for teachers to download and become experts independently.
  • Applicable – this tool can be used with students of all ages and in various settings.
  • Teaches important concepts – encourage students to talk about their emotions and master them.

THE CONS

  • The blobs are open to interpretation and so it may take a bit of time and practice to work out how best to use them most effectively to tease out better conversations with students be time consuming for teachers to go through this with each student.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Here at InnerDrive, we love the tools that Blob Tree offer.

They are simple, easy to follow, and effective with students. The cost-effective factor makes them a good option to have in every classroom to open up necessary discussions about how students are feeling. Emotional literacy is a journey of self-understanding, and The Blob Tree can be the perfect kick starter.

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