SKILLS: Children practice cooperation and large motor skills while they engage in and invent a variety of organized outdoor play activities. The activities encourage cooperation and the development of large motor skills.
- 2 carrots
- 2 tricycles
- plastic cones and boxes (to mark off tricycle course)
- colored chalk or tape
IN ADVANCE: Divide children into three groups. Explain that each group will have a chance to do every activity. Remind them to run or walk carefully, to wait their turn, and not to push. Use chalk or tape to mark where the first person in line needs to stand for each activity.
Assign adult volunteers to the first two activities and take charge of the third yourself.
1 Pass the carrot. Explain to children that the first person in the line holds the carrot and hops to a designated place and back. Then he hands the carrot to the next person in line as a signal that it's time for that child to go. As the relay progresses, the adult leader calls out an instruction for the way children are to move: run, walk fast, walk backward, and so on. Instructions can get more complicated as children become more comfortable.
2 The great bike race. Set up a course (using cones or boxes to designate a path) and provide each team with a tricycle or small scooter. Explain to the first child that she is to ride the tricycle and follow the course back to the front of the line, where she passes the trike to the next person in line. Raise the level of challenge by increasing the complexity of the course.
3 Ball-to-the-back race. Explain to children that in this activity everyone faces front and each child takes a turn at passing a ball over his head to the next person in line, until the ball reaches the last child. Then that child, while bouncing the ball, walks to the front of the line to become the new first person. Continue until everyone has had a turn to be first.
4 Encourage children to invent other challenge courses or modify any of these. Provide time for them to develop their ideas through drawing or writing out directions.
If enthusiasm is running high, you might suggest that interested children compile their ideas into an outdoor-activity book.
The Lily-Pad Race by Simon Morse
Racing Stripes by Tracy West
What Am I Playing? by Pamela Zagarenski