You will need
- Masking tape
- Device to play music
- Bean bags
- Tennis balls
- Hula hoops
- Crash mats
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 five games before everyone arrives, to help the activity run smoothly. Alternatively, players could help set up each game before they play.
Prepare to adventure
- Everyone should stand in a circle. The person leading the game should explain that warming up is important because it starts to raise everyone’s heartbeat, and get their muscles ready to stretch.
- The person leading the game should put some fun music on.
- The person leading the game should lead everyone through some basic warm up exercises.
- If anyone has any ideas for more ways to warm up, they should take it in turns to lead the rest of the group.
- Split into teams of roughly the same size.
Game one: Jack and the magic bean bins
- Each team should get into a line behind a pile of bean bags.
- The person leading the game should put one bucket about one and a half metres in front of each team, and another bucket about two and a half metres in front of each team.
- The person at the front of each line should try to throw the beanbag into the nearest bucket. Once they’ve had a go, they should go to the back of the line, and the next person should have a go.
- If a player manages to get the beanbag in the nearest bucket, they should try to throw the beanbag into the furthest bucket on their next turn.
- Everyone should keep taking turns to throw the beanbag until everyone’s thrown it into the nearest bucket, or until it’s time to move on.
Game two: voyagers
- The person leading the game should mark two lines, about 10 metres apart.
- Everyone should line up along one of the lines.
- If the person leading the game says ‘sail!’, everyone should run to the other line and back again.
- If the person leading the game says ‘cyclone!’, everyone should run around the space in between the lines, in a circle.
- If the person leading the game says ‘sink!’, everyone should stay where they are and squat slowly, like they’re sinking.
- The person leading the game should keep calling directions until everyone has run at least six times.
Game three: the golden egg and spoon
- The person leading the game should measure 25 metres for the race track. If there’s not enough space to do this in a straight line, they should create a circuit or relay.
- Teams should line up behind the start line. Give each team a spoon and a tennis ball (the golden egg).
- The first player should balance the golden egg on the spoon, and make their way around the track (or to the end of the space and back) without dropping the golden egg.
- If a player drops the golden egg, they should stop to pick it up and put it back on their spoon. Then they should keep going.
- When the player finishes a lap (or length), they should hand the egg and spoon to the next player, and sit down.
- The game is over once everyone’s had a turn and is sitting down. The first team to sit down is the winner.
Game four: leading through the labyrinth
- Everyone should help the person leading the game to set up a basic obstacle course.
You can use whatever you have available, for example, hula hoops to climb through or jump between, cones to go around, or tables to crawl under.
- Each team should split into mice and guides.
- The mice should put on blindfolds. Their guide should give them spoken instructions, to help them get across the labyrinth (the obstacle course) safely.
- The first team to get all of their mice safely through the labyrinth is the winner.
Game five: jumping frogs
- The person leading the game should mark out a river on the floor – it should be small enough for everyone to jump over, but not so small that anyone could just take a small step over it.
- The person leading the game should put crash mats on either side of the river, and a bucket full of tennis ball flies on one side of the river.
- Teams should line up on the other side of the river to the buckets full of tennis ball flies. Give each team a bucket (or other container) to store their flies.
- The first person in each team should run to the river and leap across it, like a frog who doesn’t want to get wet. They should collect one fly, jump back over the river, and return to their team.
- The first person should put their fly in the team’s container, and the next person should go.
- Keep playing until the person leading the game calls ‘stop’. The team that’s collected the most flies is the winner.
- It’s up to you how you celebrate success – you may want to hold a small awards ceremony, for example.
- Make sure you award people for improving, trying hard, being a great team member, or showing great sporting spirit – as well as the rewarding the people and teams with the highest scores.
This activity was a 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 running, the throwing, or the jumping? Did you improve any of your skills? Why is it important to stay active? Which other ways of being active do you enjoy? Do they use any of the same skills as you practiced in this activity?
This activity also helped you practice persevering. Did you have to try more than once before you managed to do something? Did you find any of the activities especially tricky? How did it feel when you had to keep trying again? What helped you keep going (for example, supportive team, believing in yourself)? How did it feel when you reached your goal? When else might you need to keep trying, even when you can’t do it right away?
- 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.