In "Moral Tales," a Tapestry of Faith program
Show the children the obstacle course you have made. Tell them that they will each go through the obstacle course blindfolded, with a partner explaining to them the best way to go. Tell them:
When you are the one who is blindfolded, pretend to be an airplane pilot who is trying to land at an airport during a blizzard. The partner will pretend to be an air traffic controller who must guide you to safety, using only his/her voice. When you are the air traffic controller, your job is to guide your airplane pilot successfully to you, without having them bump into any obstacles or other airplanes.
Depending on how you have set up the obstacle course, you may be able to have two or three pairs of children enact a "landing" at once. Make sure the child who is the air traffic controller says his/her partner's name each time they give an instruction.
As children do this activity, you may want to help them notice how tone of voice and attitude can communicate caring or lack thereof. You can model this by demonstrating with your co-leader, showing a caring, encouraging tone of voice versus an impatient, commanding, or put-down type of tone.
The goal of this activity is to give the children an experience of caring for someone else's well being, and for thinking about how they would like to be treated. When done successfully, it builds trust in the group.
When all children who wish to have tried the obstacle course, take a few moments to talk about the experience of playing this game. Help the children to think about what they felt when in the role of helper and one needing help by posing these questions:
At the end of this processing time you may wish to make the point that we all want to be treated well by friends and neighbors and strangers alike, and that we should treat others in the same way. This is the "Golden Rule."
If children are not comfortable putting on a blindfold, they can close their eyes or only take the role of guide.
A child who has limited mobility can be an air traffic controller for more than one of the other children. If you think the child can do the obstacle course with modifications, make these modifications for the whole group. If you have a large enough space, cones can be placed far enough apart for a wheelchair to round them and still make an obstacle course that is challenging for physically mobile, blindfolded children.
It is important that the children are careful not only with the blindfolded person's bodily safety, but also with their feelings. Tone of voice and attitude of care are just as important in this game.
To encourage all the children to contribute their reflections, you may want to go around in a circle for answers rather than having children call out.
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Last updated on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.
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