Activity 2: Active Flexibility Games
Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Outright Lie. A variety of small objects, such as jewelry, to be used to tell incredible stories
Preparation for Activity
- Review the three games offered: Elbow Tag, Outright Lie, and Flex Test. Decide which to include based on the amount of time you have, your meeting space, and which games you think will work best with the particular children in the group.
Description of Activity
In this game, participants have to adapt to quickly changing circumstances and/or be flexible. Elbow Tag requires at least six participants and a fairly large open space.
Divide the group into pairs. Have partners link elbows and stand in a very large circle, leaving at least ten feet between each pair. Now choose one of the pairs and designate one partner as "It" and the other as the one being pursued. If Xander can tag Elena, she becomes "It." However, if Elena wants to escape (and take a rest from running), she simply runs toward one of the standing couples and links elbows with one of the pair to make a threesome.
In this game, two is company but three is a crowd: When Elena latches on, the one member of the pair whose arm she did not take must break away at top speed. This player instantly becomes new prey for "It" (Xander), until he/she dashes to yet another pair for safety. The confusing transitions can provide a break for weary runners and give even a slow-moving "It" a chance to catch Elena.
Who can be most imaginative? Part of being flexible is imaging other ways of being or other points of view.
Pass a small object around the circle and make up incredible stories about it. Example: "This necklace was buried in my grandmother's yard in a sealed envelope from an anonymous admirer." Vote on the best story and elect the best liar in the group.
Everyone's body is flexible in different ways. Sometimes, we can make our bodies more flexible by stretching and practicing a particular movement.
Invite participants to share ways that their bodies are flexible. Who can do splits? Who can bend their thumb so it touches their wrist? Who can do any yoga poses? Invite participants to suggest other large or small ways to demonstrate flexibility. (Touch index fingers behind your back, twist arms together, make a fist, roll tongue into different shapes, expand and contract nostrils, cross eyes, flex and point toes, etc.)
Including All Participants
Elbow Tag. You may find this game too difficult to adapt so that a movement-challenged child can be meaningfully included.
Flex Test. Make sure you know some ways a movement-challenged participant can flex a part of his/her face or body, and invite him/her to demonstrate.