Portals of change

Step through the portal into another identity.

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Everything you need to play this game

  • a frame which you can step through, e.g. large picture frame, cardboard box, paper cutout, pupperty window,...
  • optional: attributes to dress up and role play with.

A step-by-step guide to play the game


Set up the 'portal'. Open the cardboard box or whatever you are using as the portal, and introduce the portal to the participants. Add a little drama or theatre to create the right atmosphere.


Explain what happens when you step through the portal. This will depend on the goals you have.


  • Gender portal: boys become girls, girls become boys.
  • Time portal: step into the middle-ages, or prehistoric times.
  • Animal portal: become an animal of your choice.
  • Disability portal: become blind, deaf, mute, disabled.
  • Superpower portal: get a superpower of your choice.
  • ...

Create roleplay situation for the participants to play.


  • "Everybody steps through the gate and changes gender."
  • "When you step through the gate, you travel through time to the prehistoric times.
  • "Everybody steps through the gate and gets a new superpower."

Roleplay the new situations. Let the participants interact with each other in their new context for a few minutes.


Switch the gate, create a new portal and let the participants step through it again, repeating steps 3-5 as much as you want.


Reflect on the game. Ask the following questions:

  • How was it to step through the portal?
  • What happend to you?
  • How did that make you feel?
  • What did you like? What didn't you like?


  • Combine different portals in one. E.g. "When you step through the portal, you become an animal with superpowers in the middle-ages."

Specific learning objectives

  • empathy

What people said about this game

Rob Sweldens

Manager Mobile School Mobile School NPO BE

25 September, 2019


Great method! I love it! Can be used to discuss all kind of topics! Thanks Koen for contributing!

Sander Degeling

Partnership Coordinator Africa & Asia StreetwiZe • Mobile School BE

27 September, 2019


Creative and fun methodology to introduce different topics to a group of kids! Triggers the children's imagination and builds empathy towards 'the other'. Great game! ?

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