Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Lengths of clean cloth for covering eyes
- A bell that can be worn around the neck or as a bracelet/anklet
Preparation for Activity
- Plan to lead this activity in a large, open area, preferably outdoors.
Description of Activity
This activity is a fun way to teach the concept of predator and prey within an ecosystem.
A predator is an animal that hunts another animal for food. The animal being hunted is the prey.
Ask the children for examples. You can give some, such as hawk and mouse, bird and mosquito, (or even a mosquito and a human).
Ask for one child volunteer to be the predator and one to be the prey. Tell the rest of the children to hold hands and form a circle around the predator and prey. They have the very important role of creating a protective circle, which gently keeps the predator or prey from wandering outside the circle or bumping into things.
Cover the eyes of both the volunteer predator and prey and place a bell around the neck, wrist, or ankle of the prey. Tell the children who create the protective circle they must stay quiet so that the animals inside the circle can find or avoid each other.
Announce that the hawk (or bird, or mosquito) is getting hungry. This means the predator should start moving around to find its prey and the prey should start moving around to avoid the predator. The predator must listen very closely so it can find its prey. Once it has "caught" the prey (by gently tagging the prey), other children can take turns playing the predator and prey for as long as you have time.
You can also add additional prey or additional predators depending on how large the group is, but be sure enough other children are in the protective circle to keep the predator and prey safe from bumping into objects. After each round, process the activity with questions such as:
- How easy or hard was it for the predator to find its meal?
- What would happen if there were lots more predators than prey?
- How would you like to get your food this way?