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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Elephant ball

Pretend to be elephants and use your trunk to pass the ball around the circle.

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You’ll need

  • A soft foam football-sized ball

Before you begin 

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. There's also more guidance to help you carry out your risk assessment, including examples. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely. 
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers. 
  • You might want to put out markers, cones or floor dots to let people know where to stand. 

Play the game  

  1. Gather everyone together and explain you’re going to play a game called Elephant Ball.  
  2. Everyone should create a circle, with their feet touching, but their legs open, so that a ball can roll through.  
  3. Everyone should lean over slightly, so they can defend the gap between their legs using their arms. 
  4. An adult volunteer or young leader throws a ball into the circle.  
  5. Everyone passes the ball to each other by rolling it with their trunks (hands) and the aim is to get the ball through each other’s legs. 
  6. If the ball goes through someone’s legs, they need to go and get it and bring it back to the circle. They then need to put one arm behind their back, leaving only one arm to hit the ball. 
  7. If the ball goes through their legs again, they need to turn around and can use both arms again, but they will now be facing backwards.  
  8. If the ball goes through again, they put their arm behind their back again, while facing backwards.  
  9. If they do it again, they’re out and the circle needs to get smaller, until it’s the last person standing. 



This game was all about having fun and determination. People also had to keep going, believe in themselves and not give up when they were trying to stop the ball going through their legs. Did people enjoy the game? What was easy? What was hard work? 

During the game, everyone had to think about and show care for others when hitting the ball and not hitting it too hard. It was also about trying to aim the ball away from your legs and possibly between other people’s legs. How did you choose to aim the ball? Did you hit it at random to get it away from you or try and get people out? Did you cheer your friends on?  

Was it difficult? How did you keep track of the ball? What made it easier? People might’ve noticed that it was easier to stop the ball when it reached you and then hit it. Is there anything you’d do differently?  


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

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. Take a look at our guidance on running active games safely.

To make this easier, use a larger ball, and to make it harder, use a smaller ball. You could add in more than one ball to make it a more challenging game. 

  • Take time and have patience while telling everyone what to do. Give short instructions clearly and concisely. If you need to, pause, then repeat the same instruction using the same words. You could have visual resources to explain the game or a printed copy of the instructions for anyone who may need them. 
  • You could have a practice round of the game to make sure everyone knows what they’re doing. Let young people help explain to each other what to do, too. 
  • If it’s too noisy and anyone doesn’t like the noise, the person leading the activity can remind everyone to be quieter. People could wear ear defenders, or you could run the activity outside. 
  • If anyone may struggle to bend over or use their arms in this game, people could sit on chairs, which are all touching each other. They should then use their arms and/or legs to stop the ball from going under and through their chair. 
  • Make sure the circle space and the surrounding terrain used are suitable for everyone in your group. Make sure the circle is created with enough space for everyone, including anyone using a mobility aid, to move around easily. Check the space for any trip hazards, especially if you’re outside.  

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.