This is an excerpt from Healthy Breaks: Wellness Activities for the Classroom by Jenine De Marzo.
This activity promotes the concepts of sharing, communication, and working toward a common goal.
- Students will be able to have fun and experience success in the activity while sharing the equipment.
- Students will be able to identify the importance of taking turns.
- Students will be able to verbalize the importance of communication between team members.
Grade Levels 4-6
NHES Standards 1, 4, 5, 6, 7
NASPE Standards 1, 2, 5, 6
Suggested Time Requirements 15 minutes
One balloon for each pair of students; eight cones; two chairs; four hula hoops; two hockey sticks or meter sticks; and two jump ropes
- Move all of the chairs and desks away from the center of the room.
- Using the cones, hoops, chairs, and jump ropes, set up an obstacle course as stations around the room; spread out the stations as much as space will allow. Use the cones for students to weave through or to go around, upright chairs to sit on or downed chairs to walk over, the hockey sticks to create two hurdles, and the jump ropes for a limbo station.
- Team up two children and give each team a balloon. The object of this activity is to have the students use the balloon as if it were glue, binding the two together. Students try to keep the balloon between their bodies without using their hands.
- Students go through the obstacles stuck together.
- If they drop the balloon, they can simply replace it between their bodies. All of the students will have fun, and they will all feel like winners.
This activity is difficult so expect that the pace will be slow. Make sure that the course is free from objects that could pose a safety threat. Have extra blown-up balloons handy in case one bursts. Keep in mind that the height of the hurdles should be only as high as your shortest participant can manage.
Tips and Variations
For smaller groups you can have teams start at one of the stations and have them complete the obstacle course in circuit fashion, ending when they are back to where they started. For larger classes you can start one team at a time; as soon as the first teams gets through the first obstacle, send the next team. Once a team finishes, have them sit back to back, with the balloon between them, in the center of the class. To further process this activity, you could talk about how much fun they had sharing responsibilities and ask why they were successful and what role communication played in this activity and their fun.