In "Love Surrounds Us," a Tapestry of Faith program
This game, believed to have originated with the Hopi and Zuni American Indian tribes, invites participants to move and play before the quiet activities of hearing a story and making an art project.
Gather the children at work tables. Tell them they will see one way Hopi and Zuni Indians worked and played together. Tell them the feather toss game was fun to play and trained the Hopi and the Zuni to be accurate throwers, a skill which helped them in hunting and in battle.
Give each child a feather and a bit of clay about the size of a large marble. Have them roll the clay into a ball and push the sharp tip of their feather into the ball so it stays put. Have them mark their feathers with a marker to distinguish theirs from the rest.
If you can be outdoors, this activity is best on a sidewalk or parking lot surface: With chalk, draw a large circle about three feet in diameter and a smaller circle in the center. On grass, use a hula hoop. If unable to go outdoors, use paper taped to the floor with a circle drawn on it.
Invite each participant to toss their feather into the circle. The one closest to the center wins. Depending on time, you might play several rounds. Save a few minutes to process with these questions:
Note how participants responded to their own tosses and to others. Take this opportunity to reflect with the group how they behaved. Affirm positive behavior and gently remind the group of the importance of respectful interaction.
Choose a location to play the game that is accessible to all participants. As needed, help children roll the clay and set the feather in it. Ask volunteers to help toss the feather, if other children want assistance.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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