As many of you know, my friend Sam Sikes and I wrote a couple noodle activity books. So, I'm always keeping an eye out for, and a few brain cells open to, new noodlings. Recently I had the opportunity to work with a wonderful elementary physical education team - Jeremy, Ryan & Brad (sorry Brad, I didn't have a picture of you - you were too fast!!), and they helped me try out a new idea. (There is an activity out there, I think it's in one of Karls Rohnke's books, where you see how many tennis balls you can get one person to hold up off the ground - this one's sort of like that.)
I had with me my 4-inch noodle chips and a new batch of poppers. (These are small noodle chips cut in half - the blue and green props in the picture. I first read about poppers in the book Achieving Fitness from Project Adventure). Here's the overall idea so far:
The game is played in three rounds of 30, 60 & 90 seconds respectively. A larger group is divided into smaller groups of three (or four if needed) - each person will take a turn being the perch.
Set out all the perchables in center of the playing area (for us it was the noodle chips and poppers - you could use all sorts of objects as long as they are stackable and you have lots of them). The further you position the small teams away from the perchables the more running takes place. (If you are after a bit of fitness with your adventures, establish a greater distance to get in the cardio. There will also be a little muscular fitness work for the perch - holding up an arm.)
Okay, let's play. Give all the groups an initial minute to consider their plan of action - without going out to the perchable pile of items. After this interim, have the percher ready, facing the perchables pile, and the perchers teammates behind him or her. On "GO" (the time starts) the percher holds up one arm and his or her teammates go out to each get a perchable - only one item can be picked up by each player per run. Perchable items are brought back and place on the perch (arm). Once placed the runners can go get another item to bring back. The first round goes for 30 seconds in this manner. If anything (or everything) falls from the perch, players can pick up the items and put them back on their perch - the time is still running. At the end of 30 seconds whatever is on the perch is the team's score for that round (e.g., 20 items, 20 points).
Before the 60 second and 90 second rounds provide some planning time for the teams - maybe 60 seconds is enough, maybe a bit more is better. This will depend on the group's objectives. When ready, Switch perches and go for the next round.
There are a number of things I can do with this activity. It's not about competing with others (even though this could happen), it's about each group's process. Maybe there could be some collaboration? Then there's the process of planning and strategy that can be developed. Appropriate goal setting can be discussed and experienced. And, since working with my inspirational physical educator crew there is some COMMON CORE I can weave in. If I provided at least three different types of objects, each object could have a point value. After each round the group would have to do some math in order to determine their score. Consider this: You can get in some fitness, team building, and common core enhancement out of one activity.
Help me develop this further. Send me your thoughts/experiences through the comments below.
All the best,
This blog is a space for hands-on programable fun - energetic activities and ideas that can be used as a means to bring people together; activities and ideas we as educators can add to our social development curriculums.
Dr. Chris Cavert is an internationally known author, speaker, and trainer in the area of adventure-based activity programming and its relation to community and pro-social behavior development.