‘Games for Groups’ by Hilary Norton

1. BATS: A game for children
Bats are the only known flying mammal that as they fly can emit sounds to locate their prey or judge distance of a fixed object. A bat’s internal sense of “hearing” allows him or her to receive a sound picture back of where to locate the object or prey. Bats are fantastic fliers. They are able to truly fly. Bats are the only mammals able to have powered flight.
A bat’s body is made for flight. The neck is short, the chest is large and the stomach is narrow. In order to fly a body must have a wide, thin surface. It also needs the power to push through the air. This thin surface we call an airfoil in flight terms. The power to push we call propulsion. In a bat it is the wings that are both.
The wings of a bat are made of bones like those bones in our arms and hands. The long arm bones and extra-long finger bones are covered with skin. This double layer of thin skin is called a membrane. This skin is so thin that you can see light through it.
The membrane covers the arm bones and finger bones to the sides of the body and legs. This makes an airfoil surface. Some bats have this membrane covering the legs and tail. The small thumbs are left free for climbing.
The children will simulate the sonar method of echolocation that a bat uses by playing a game with other children solely using sound** as a locator.
Children will explore how bats use the sense of echolocation in a game version of “Marco Polo” by sending out sound signals to find the other players simulating bats and insects accordingly.TEACHER TEXT:

Similar to insects and birds, strong muscles provide powerful wing strokes that aid flight. Unlike insects and birds, many bats rely on echolocation to fly and hunt for food. Echolocation works like the radar or sonar in planes or ships. A bat hears the echoes and its brain works out a sound picture of the object. It can tell if the object is prey or part of the landscape.
While most humans are unable to hear the ultrasonic beeps of bats, some children can. Some moths can hear the ultrasonic pulses of bats and will change their flight path or drop to the ground in order to evade capture. Others, like the Tiger moth, will click back to resemble ultrasonic bat calls to confuse bats into thinking they are another bat. >

PREPARATION: Locate large area for group to play the game in.
LESSON TIME: 25 minutes
Group activity for 6-10 children

WORDS TO KNOW:  echo   location   bat   insect   vibration   sound.

1. Choose a child to be the “bat”. Blindfold the child.
2. The rest of the group will play the role of “insects ” (bat food). They will spread out randomly around the bat within the designated boundaries (approx. basketball court size).
3. Bat calls out “Beep, Beep”..
4. The insects respond “Buzz, Buzz ” while they walk around the area.
5. The bat continues to call out and the insects continue to respond while changing positions.
6. Bat tries to tag an “insect” by listening for the sound they make and moving in the direction of that sound.
7. A tagged “insect” must go sit in the ” bat cave ” (designated area) until the next round.
8. The last person tagged becomes the new “bat”.

Adaptation for Hearing Impaired Students:
“Bat” and “insects” stomp or tap on the floor to produce vibrations to locate each other.>

2. Co-Operative games

Angels Dancing on the head of a pin
We may never know how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but the challenge is to balance these 14 angels on the head of this pin.
* One 4 inch nail, with a head on it, nailed securely into a 4-inch or larger square block of wood.
* 14 additional nails of the same size.
The angels are common nails with heads, about 4 inches or so in length. All should be the same length.
The goal is to figure out how to balance all 14 nails on the head of the one that is already secured in the wood block.
The solution:
(1) lay one nail down on the table.
(2) Take 12 nails and lay the heads across the shaft of the first nail in alternating directions, with the nail heads resting against the shaft of the first nail.
(3) Lay the final nail across the 12 nails, in the same direction as the first nail.
(4) Pick up the entire nail sandwich by the first and last nails and balance this nail sandwich on the nail in the wood.

Balloon Train
Have the children stand in a line like you would for the bunny hop. Each child has a balloon and the balloon is placed between their chest and the person in front’s back. Object is to have the train move around the room without the balloons falling and without using arms and hands. If a balloon falls they must get the ball back up trying not to let any more fall. This will take teamwork!

Buddy Necklaces
You need 6 really long strands of wool. The children work in pairs twisting the strands together, holding them taut as they twist. The wool will eventually double up on itself. Keep twisting until all the wool has doubled up. Tie a reef knot with the two ends. One buddy necklace to pin swaps on! The pair of children then make another one so they have one each. These necklaces cannot be made by one person because of the length of the wool and the fact that it needs to be kept taut while twisting.

Caterpillar Relay
Each team forms a line and each child must hold onto the waist of the child in front of her/him. They may stretch out as far as possible so long as they don’t separate. When the whistle blows, the child at the back goes down on hands and knees and must crawl through the legs of the whole group. When she/he gets to the front she jumps up, her/his waist gets grabbed, and the child who is now at the back goes through. You can either do this down to the finish line or down and back (by reaching the turning point and having all children spin around so they are facing back the way they came).

Geometric Figures
Supplies: a strip of cloth (shorter strips tied together/him) or soft rope 25 to 30 feet long tied in a circle
One blindfold for each person
How to play:
For this game, you should have a group of 8 – 10 people. Everyone in the group needs to be able to stand inside the circle holding it up behind them with space between each person. After each person has blind folded themselves, have them stand inside of the strip holding it behind them. Have them make a shape such as a square. When they think they have it, have them take off their blindfolds and see how they have done. >

Hula Hoop Relay
Take a hula hoop (2 is better … they like to compete with them) Have the children pass the hula-hoop over their bodies while their hands remained linked.

Human Knot
Children get in a circle & put their hands all together in the centre. Children grab hands without looking at whose hands they are grabbing…. they are “knotted up” and have to untangle without letting their hands go. They can twist their hands but never let go.

Lego Building
Give one person a box of Lego blocks, the other three have a picture of an item to build. The three together/him have to give the directions, with their backs to the builder, on what to build.
Divide the groups or group into the following one is the designer, 2 are the runners and 2 are the workers, also the workers get the same amount, shape and colour of Lego pieces as the design. The designer is the only one that sees the Lego construction. She/he has to describe to the runners how to build it piece by piece without talking. Then the runners then have to go and tell the workers how to build it. The runners can talk to the workers and the workers can ask the runners questions
After doing this a couple of times the designer may now talk but she is not allowed to tell the colour or shape of the Lego. For instance, if the piece she needs to tell them about is a yellow piece with 4 dots on it. She could describe it as the sun that is the length of our fingernail. The runners then have to describe it as it was described to them, even if they know what the piece should be they are not allowed to tell the workers. This continues on till the piece is finished.
Then the workers are allowed to ask 3 questions to the runners who in turn ask the designer. They then have to relay the answer back to the workers. Then compare what the workers build with the original design. Remember the designer has to be able to get across where the pieces go as well as the colour and shape, like the front, back, sides. Everybody needs to listen to everybody to make it work.

Line Up
Tell the children that they have all lost their voices, and they have no writing equipment, etc. (no sign-language, etc.) They have to line up by: (Choose…)
Date of Birth (in Year)
Alphabetically by middle name
Add blind folds to these too

Magic Shoes
Participants : 10-15
Equipment : Something to make 2 lines
Time : 15-25 minutes
Directions: Set the boundary lines about four feet apart. Have the team stand behind one boundary line, facing the other line. Tell the children all of the directions. The entire team must get from one boundary to the other boundary. In between the boundaries is a pit. The only way to get across is by using the invisible magic shoes (any pair of shoes). All players must end up on the other side.
Rules :
1. Everyone may wear the shoes one time going one way.
2. Shoes may not be tossed back to the other side.
3. Once you have worn the shoes you may not wear them again.
4. Both shoes must be worn by the same person.
Let everyone work as a team to figure out a solution

Not on the Team
Divide into 3 or 4 groups. Each group is given a set of rules for playing a game of cards that was made up by the trainers. First, everyone in each group learns the rules of the game for their group. Then one person from each group moves to a new circle. The other children in the circle are not allowed to talk so the new player has no idea what the rules are, and just plays along as well as she/he can. After a round or two of the game, another person from the original group should go to another circle, but the first player who moved should stay in her/his new group and so on, so that everybody gets a turn of sitting in on a game of cards that they have no idea of how to play. At the end of the activity you get to look at the rules.

Shrinking Boxes
Needed: Concentric masking tape squares ranging in size from where your chosen group of people can fit comfortably down to where the task seems impossible.
People: The number depends on how small your smallest square is. You may have to play with the size a bit – or maybe someone has some dimensions to offer.
Set-up: have everyone step inside the biggest box
Goal: have everyone fit into the next smallest box. After they accomplish that, have them move another box smaller.
The catch: while they may step on the tape, their shoes (or feet if they are brave enough to do it barefoot) must not be on the ground outside the tape

Team Walker
– Take two 2×4 pieces of wood, around 8 feet long.
– Drill 6 holes into the wood, spaced evenly down the length of the piece of wood. Drill the holes large enough holes to put a piece of rope through. (Could drill a larger hole around the hole on one side (the bottom side) to sink the knot–so if the board is lying on the ground, the knots don’t stick out and the board can lie flat.)
– Tie 4′ pieces of rope through each of the holes. (It’s best to use cotton rope–something that’s not going to get bristles in your hands.)
Now, lay the two planks side by side, about shoulder length apart. Pick a team of six people. The people stand in a line, each with one foot on one piece of wood and one foot on the other/him. Each person should place their foot so it is immediately behind a piece of rope and they should pick up and hold that piece of rope.
Now they try to walk. 🙂
It’s actually harder than it sounds–it takes a lot of teamwork to do it. After they get pretty good, you can have races. If that doesn’t challenge them enough, have them try to walk up or down a hill.

Turn the Circle Inside Out
A circle is formed using all the players. Everyone joins hands and faces the middle of the circle. Everyone closes their eyes and tries to turn the circle inside out so that everyone is facing the opposite direction (outside of the circle) without letting go of each others’ hands.
(Hint: the solution is that two players hold up their hands and everyone else follows through underneath.