Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Books that can be dropped on the floor
- Optional: Timepiece that displays seconds
- Optional: Newsprint, markers and tape
Preparation for Activity
- If you wish, list participants' names on newsprint with room to note their scores for the three challenges in this activity and the same challenges later in the session (Activity 5).
- Collect books that can be dropped on the floor, enough for all participants.
Description of Activity
Invite everyone to stand. Ask them to close their eyes if they are comfortable doing so. Tell them:
When I say, "Go!" raise one foot off the ground and hold it up as long as you can. I will count out loud and when everyone has stepped down, we'll share how long we each were able to do it.
Say, "Go!" and count seconds until all participants have lowered their raised foot. If you are recording scores, note each participant's time on newsprint. Otherwise, ask them to remember their score.
Repeat the exercise, asking participants to lift the other foot.
Repeat again, this time asking participants to lift either foot and balance a book on their heads.
Now ask everyone to think about which position was the most difficult to hold (the position they held for the shortest time). Tell the group:
This time when I say "Go!" try the position that was hardest for you.
Say, "Go!" and count seconds aloud until everyone has stopped, then ask participants to tell you how long they were able to do it and how this compared to the last time.
Invite the children to keep practicing that position from time to time for the rest of the session to try and hold it longer. Tell them they will be able to try for a better score before the session's end.
Including All Participants
If the group has any children who cannot balance on alternate feet, adapt the activity for a balance challenge all can do. Examples might be balancing a book or a sheet of paper on only three fingers, or holding a pencil or crayon between the nose and the upper lip.