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Cosmic quest

Collect stars as you zoom through this athletic astronomical adventure.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Masking tape
  • Chairs
  • Clean, empty plastic bottles (two litres)
  • Chalk
  • Stopwatch or phone
  • Crash mats
  • Cricket balls
  • Star stickers or tokens

Before you begin

  • At a meeting before you do this activity, make sure everyone knows what they need to do to arrive ready for athletics. They’ll need to wear the right clothes that let them move freely, and comfortable shoes.
  • Decide whether you’ll do these activities indoors or outside. If you have the space, you could run the activities as bases, moving from one to the next.
  • You may want to mark out any lines or prepare any items for each of the six games before everyone arrives, to help the activity run smoothly. Alternatively, players could help set up each game before they play.
  • You may want to keep track of the stars or tokens each player has collected on a sheet of paper, in case they forget which ones came from which game.

Prepare for take off

  1. Everyone should get into a space. The person leading the game should explain that warming up is important because it starts to raise everyone’s heartbeat, and gets their muscles ready to stretch.
  2. The person leading the game should lead everyone through some basic warm up exercises.
  1. If anyone has any ideas for more ways to warm up, they should take it in turns to lead the rest of the group.

Game one: blast off

  1. The person leading the game should mark a start line and a finish line that are 50 metres apart.
  2. The person leading the game should stand by the finish line with the stopwatch.
  3. Everyone should line up on the start line. When the person leading the game says go (and starts the stopwatch), everyone should run to the finish line as fast as they can to blast off into space.
  1. The player leading the game should say ‘three stars’ when the time reaches 9 seconds, ‘two stars’ when it reaches 10 seconds, and ‘one star’ when it reaches 11 seconds. Anyone who blasts off in fewer than 9 seconds should get an extra star for each second.
  1. The person leading the game should give everyone any stars or tokens they’ve earned.

Game two: meteor shower

  1. The person leading the game should mark a throw line, and set up three chairs. One should be 18 metres away, one 22 metres away, and one 25 metres away. They should place a plastic bottle on each chair.
  2. Everyone should take it in turns to throw a cricket ball at each of the plastic bottles. Each player should have three turns at hitting each target.
  3. It doesn’t matter if the players hit the plastic bottle (or even the chair), as long as the ball travels the same distance without bouncing or rolling. It’s about how far the meteor travels, not about how accurate it is.
  4. The person leading the game should give everyone any star token they’ve earned. If their best throw reached the furthest target, they get three stars. If their best throw reached the middle target, they get two stars. If their best throw reached the first target, the get one star.

Game three: planet hopping

  1. Everyone should stand against a wall that can be marked with chalk. If no walls can be marked with chalk, stick big pieces of paper to the wall, so you can mark them with a pencil.
  2. Everyone should line up against the wall, and reach up with one arm.
  3. The person leading the game should mark where the top of everyone’s fingers reach.
  4. Everyone should jump – they should bend their legs, keep their arm up against the wall, and jump as high as they can.
  5. The person leading the game should mark where everyone’s fingers reach.
  1. Measure the distance between the two lines – this shows how high everyone has jumped.
  2. The person leading the game should give everyone any stars or tokens they’ve earned.

Game four: shooting stars

  1. The person leading the game should mark a start line. They should set out crash mats, to cushion everyone’s landings.
  2. The person leading the game should put three stars or tokens three metres away from the start line, two stars two and a half metres from the start line, and one star two metres from the start line.
  3. Everyone should take it in turns to run up to the start line, and jump as far as they can to reach the stars.
  4. Each person should collect any stars they reach. The person leading the game should replace the stars or tokens, ready for the next player.

Game five: shuttle ride

  1. The person leading the game should make a start line and a line 10 metres away.
  2. Everyone should stand by the start line. When the person leading the game says go (and starts the stopwatch), players should start running to the other line and back again. In total, they should run six times.
  3. The player leading the game should say ‘three stars’ when the time reaches 18 seconds, ‘two stars’ when it reaches 19 seconds, and ‘one star’ when it reaches 20 seconds. Anyone who blasts off in fewer than 18 seconds should get an extra star for each second.
  1. The person leading the game should give everyone any stars or tokens they’ve earned.

Game six: cosmic cargo

  1. The person leading the game should mark a start line, and another line 100m away.
  2. Split into teams of four players. Two players should stand at the start line, and two players should stand at the other line.
  1. Give the first person in each team a small box with 12 stars in. The box should be small enough for players to hold it in one hand.
  2. When the person leading the game says go (and starts the stopwatch), the first player should run from their line to the other line, and pass the box of stars to the player waiting there.
  3. Each player should run the 100m distance between the lines, passing the box of stars to the player waiting. Everyone should run once.
  4. The person leading the game should stop the stopwatch once the last player in the team finishes running.
  5. The person leading the game should give everyone any stars or tokens they’ve earned.

Count the stars

  1. Everyone should count up the stars or tokens from their best four activities.
  1. The person leading the game should give out any other awards for anyone who improved lots, kept trying their best, or showed great sporting conduct.

Reflection

This activity was a great chance to be active. Did you enjoy all of the games the same, or did you have a favourite? Which was your favourite part of athletics – the throwing, the running, or the jumping? Why is it important to stay active? What else do you do to stay active? Did you improve any of your skills? When else might you use these skills?

This activity also gave you the chance to persevere. Which activities were the trickiest? How did it feel to try your best even when it was hard? Was it hard to do your best at each new activity, if you didn’t get the best score on one of the games? What helped you keep trying your best when it got tricky? Was it good to have lots of chances to earn stars? How did it feel when you earned stars?

Safety

Active games

The game area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed.

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.