Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Optional: Items children can use to demonstrate their skills
Preparation for Activity
- Optional: Gather "props" to help children demonstrate skills they are likely to have at this age, such as a ball, a yoyo, small musical instruments to play, newsprint for writing or drawing, or shoelaces to tie. A tumbling mat may be useful. If the weather is nice, consider doing this activity outdoors, especially if you have access to playground equipment.
Description of Activity
The children will identify a skill they have, and teach it to the others in the group.
Gather the group in a circle with "props" nearby. Say:
Each of you will have a chance to show us something you can do. Then, you can try to teach it to us and we will try to learn it. If we already know how to do something like it, we still want to learn your way.
Volunteer to go first. Model a skill that is simple and silly, to make it clear that any and all skills are welcome - for example, use your fingers to stretch your mouth wide and make a scary face, stretch your arms up and then touch your toes, or cross your eyes. Then walk around the circle, showing how you do it and giving advice so others can try it. If you have time, add a step: ask the children, in pairs, to help one another learn the skill they have just seen.
Ask for volunteers to share a skill, or go around the circle. Invite participants to use the props, if needed. Affirm every child for sharing a skill and affirm individuals (not just the group) for helping one another learn and for trying to do something new.
When all have shared at least one skill bring everyone back into a circle and ask (or help) the children to count off. Then say:
[Number of participants] is how many we are together today. Because we learned together, every one of us now knows how to do [same number] different skills. Thanks to each of you for showing what you can do and thanks to everyone for sharing the gift of learning together.
Including All Participants
Limited mobility, a learning disability, or developmental delays in fine or gross motor skills are just some reasons a particular child may not be able to learn a particular skill on the spot. Some children may have very simple skills to demonstrate. Be very clear that all skills have value. Keep the focus on being willing to share what they know how to do and being open to learning from and with one another instead of proficiency.