A Game That Fosters Quick,
• Increase attention span
• Promote body awareness and refine motor coordination
• Develop a keen sense of observation
• Provide cognitive/academic skills training
• Learn cooperation, positive interaction and adaptability
• Experience appropriate touch
No supplies needed! However, there should be
at least 6 players. This game works well for even large groups
The children sit in a circle. The facilitator
begins by sitting in the center of the circle and demonstrates
how each animal is made. After all the children have had a turn
being the "elephant,” then the group can learn and
practice making a "rabbit” and then a "raccoon.”
To start, the facilitator points to any child
they wish and calls out one of the three animals, e.g., "Elephant."
Then they quickly count "1,2,3,4,5." As quickly as
possible, the child sitting to the immediate right and left
of the chosen child form the correct elephant ears (Note: this
means the child on the left will use their closest hand to make
the ear, which is their right hand, and visa versa for the child
on the right). All three children attempt to complete the addition
of their elephant body-part before the person in the middle
stops counting. The child who takes the longest or does the
wrong body-part, then has to be "it." This child should
quickly select and point to another child while calling out
the name of an animal to portray.
The instructions to form each animal are as
Trunk: Two fists placed end-to-end extending from the center
child's nose (see picture)
Ears: Open hand facing forward which moves in a "flapping"
fashion next to the head without actually touching.
Eyes : Put the tips of thumb and pointer fingers together over
the eyes like pair of binoculars.
Ears: Children on the left and right side, cup a hand and place
it lightly on the "racoon's" head.
Tail: A fist behind the back at the base of the tailbone.
Ears: The pointer finger is placed just behind the temple and
is lightly touching the "rabbit's" head.
The challenge and excitement of the game comes
when the group knows how to make all three animals and the child
who is "it" can pick any animal to catch the players
off guard. For an even harder challenge, allow “it”
to name two animals! They should point at one child and call
"elephant" and then turn quickly around and points
at another child and call a different animal such as "rabbit."
This is especially hilarious to watch as all the players move
their arms and hands in all directions.
If the children are slow learners, they may
need more time to remember the way an elephant is made (two
flapping hands for ears; two hands in front of the nose as a
trunk). If so, the count could be extended to 10. On the other
hand, the count could be shortened to 3 for speedier players
The facilitator should begin this game with
a slower "practice round" where they sit in the circle
to begin with and coach the children on how to play it, being
sure to give each child a chance to practice.
The facilitator can model good sportsmanship
and can provide a contagious spirit of enthusiasm for the children
through active participation!
The facilitator can promote adaptability by
changing the animals when the children just "get the hang
of it". To transition to another animal, it is best to
present it is a "challenge" to them to see if they
"can get it." This will increase their excitement.
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