Activity 2: Move It! Balance Games
Activity time: 7 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Masking tape or blue painter's tape
Preparation for Activity
- In a large, open space, use tape to lay out a straight line about ten feet long on the floor.
Description of Activity
Tell the group:
Today we are talking about how we find a balance in our lives between having and sharing, between getting and giving. Let's try balance with some games. We will start with walking this "tightrope," the stripe of tape on the floor. You can choose to simply walk the tightrope and see if you can keep your feet straight on the line, or if you want more challenge, you can choose a different way to go along the tightrope, say, by hopping it on one foot, or walking it with one eye closed, or straightening a leg out behind you like a gymnast after each step.
Allow each participant to move along the tightrope from start to end, in the way they choose. Affirm each child for the attempt to balance. When all who want to try it have done so, say:
For our second game, the line of tape changes from being a tightrope to being a border.
Tell them this game is optional. It is for volunteers who are willing to test their balance, knowing that their partner in the game is allowed to try to push them. Ask them to listen to the directions before they volunteer. Then, say:
A pair of people will squat on either side of the line, facing each other. The goal of the game is to get the other person to lose their balance and fall over the line. You may use your hands to push the other person, but you may not grab them. An important strategy is to think about how you can shift your balance in a way that will throw the other person off balance. Please remember that shoving hard enough to knock over another person will almost certainly knock you over instead. If you lose your own balance or come out of your squatting position, the other person automatically wins the game.
Now ask for volunteers. If you have a larger group and/or limited time, you can have two pairs do this game simultaneously at the two ends of the line of tape.
Including All Participants
Adapt these games for those with impaired mobility. For instance, challenge a child in a wheelchair to wheel along the tightrope, keeping the tape squarely under the middle of the chair.
Make it clear that the second game is for volunteers only. Children who are uncomfortable being touched, or who may not like to risk being pushed, are free to pass.