Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Bean bags in two sizes, larger and smaller
- A sound instrument to start and stop the action
- Masking tape
Preparation for Activity
- If you have time to include this activity, decide where in the session to use it. It may give a helpful relief from sedentary activities for some of the children. You also may like to use the experience of this game to enrich some of the discussions you will lead in other activities - so, plan to do this activity first.
- You will need one, two or three larger-size bean bags for the chasers and smaller bean bags for all the children who will be runners. The smaller bean bags should be about as wide as a small adult's fist and the larger ones as wide as a large adult's. You can make the bean bags by pouring beans or lentils or rice into cut off old socks or nylon stockings that you then tie off at the top. You can also purchase them at larger sports stores and toy stores. Check online sources.
- Secure a fairly large open space for this activity. Move furniture to the side. On the floor at one end of the room, use the masking tape to tape off a "safety zone," an area big enough to hold all of the children standing together. At the other end of the room, tape off a much smaller "home base" for the chasers (not usually more than two or three children) to stand.
Description of Activity
This is a cooperative game that promotes risk-taking to help others, and allows the children to feel a small, safe amount of fear which they then try to overcome. The game is played by having all but one child begin as a runner. Invite one child to be the first chaser.
Tell the children:
All you runners are living in a dangerous place where there is a monster that can capture you and freeze you. The object of the game for the monster is to try to freeze all the other children by either making their bean bags fall, or grabbing the bean bags off of their heads. If the monster loses its bean bag, it just has to stop to put it back on again.
The only way to get unfrozen is for another child, who is not frozen, to put your bean bag back on your head for you. You may stay in the safety zone and be safe from the monster, but you must also try to rescue the people who have been frozen.
Here's another rule. If the monster goes to home base, everyone in the safety zone must leave the safety zone immediately.
The monster (chaser) wears a large bean bag on his/her head which stays on more easily than the runners' bean bags, which are small. The goal for the runners is to free each other from being frozen by coming out of the safety zone and putting the bean bags back on the frozen kids' heads at the risk of being frozen themselves.
As the children play, you will probably need to remind them of the rules.
Hopefully during this game all of the participants will have a chance to rescue others. If there do not seem to be enough children getting frozen, add more "monsters" to the mix - as many as you have large bean bags. If all of the runners become frozen, take away a monster and that person becomes a runner who can save people. You can also limit the time that each child can spend in the safety zone.