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Enhanced motor skill development based on a sound theoretical model

This is an excerpt from Games for Motor Learning by Ronald Dienstmann.

Snakes, Rats, and Robots


Crawling; slithering; speed walking


Beanbags, cones, hula hoops


  • Divide the class into three groups.
  • Choose two students to be snakes and two to be robots; the remaining students in the group are rats.
  • Set up each group in an area that is circled by cones with the beanbags in the center (put the beanbags inside a hula hoop).


I spend a lot of time thinking up games in which students can practice certain motor skills in a fun way, taking away the perception of drilling or dull repetitions. This game is one example of trying to achieve this goal.

The snakes stay within the cones' boundaries, moving like snakes, protecting the treasure (the beanbags), and trying to tag other teams' robots who enter the area (the safe) to steal beanbags one at a time. When a robot gets tagged by a snake, the robot has to go back to its area.

  • Snakes have to be on their bellies at all times.
  • Rats crawl around the gym trying to tag robots before they can reach the safe. When a rat tags a robot, the robot also goes back to its original area before attempting to go out to steal beanbags again.
  • Robots do not tag anyone; they are the only ones who can steal the treasure from other teams, one beanbag at a time.
  • Robots must speed walk only and cannot jump over snakes to steal the treasure.
  • Robots who get tagged inside the safe when stealing a beanbag have to return the beanbag and go back to their areas.
  • After stealing a beanbag and exiting an opponent's safe, a robot cannot be tagged anymore, until it has deposited the beanbag in its own safe.
    The game ends when one team does not have any more beanbags. Players then switch their roles and the game restarts.

This is an excerpt from Games for Motor Learning.

More Excerpts From Games for Motor Learning