The Minimalist guide to physical activity for kids
On Friday of this past week, I decided that I needed a new game to play; therefore I decided to spend some time with myself thinking. This proved to be a well-timed decision as the ideas flowed immediately, and I was able to vastly improve and activity known to my students as Honeybees.
Creating a new game for elementary students can be a difficult task, and I’ve only recently begun to experiment in this area. There are a few guiding principles I’ve developed for myself that seem to help differentiate a fun exciting activity from an activity that is sure to incite tears, arguments, and the all-consuming elementary issue of fairness.
My new creation called Honeybees was originally an activity that I had found on the internet, which was fine but with a few new tweaks I believe it will be much more exciting. I plan on explaining the game in the form of the following story.
One day a baby bee flew from the hive for the first time, with a buzz and a few practice flaps of her wings she was flew into the air. The colors, smells and sounds of the world outside the hive were all new to the baby bee. She was off on an important mission, her hive was running low on honey after the long snowy winter, and many new bees had hatched in the spring. Since the hive was growing the baby bee needed to find some new flowers. She was strong and full of energy from the long winter. The baby bee found a blue flower here, and a pink flower there, but not much else so she continued to search. She flew past towering trees; she explored the edges of great boulders. She was nearly fooled by her first sight of the blue water flowing in the stream. Thinking she had found a giant blue flower she buzzed over and was ready to land. Much to the baby bee’s surprise a fish shot out of this flower and tried to eat her for a snack. Seeing two long yellow flowers, the baby bee landed on a road and was nearly squashed by a truck, she was swatted at by an angry child in a bright orange shirt and with a thud she met her first window. The world was proving to be a tricky place for the baby bee.
At lunch time she returned to the hive for a snack and dropped off the nectar she had gathered. She was buzzed into the mid – day worker bee meeting and listened to other stories from the fields. One bee had found a great white flower high in the mountains; this flower was cold and contained no nectar. The baby bee took note to stay away. Another bee gave a report of a dancing yellow flower, upon closer inspection this flower was burning hot and made the air unpleasant. The baby bee committed this information to memory. A wise old bee reported she had searched for the great fields but was turned back by a strong wind. The wise old bee believed this wind came from swarms of bees on the move. The hive buzzed nervously.
The baby bee buzzed with youthful excitement, for she had just been named an Ace flier. To become an Ace she had buzzed within arm’s reach of the neighborhood children and landed on 3 of them, successfully avoiding all swats and slaps. She could handle any danger and was determined to find a great flower meadow.
Eagerly the baby bee set out to explore for the afternoon. This time, she wasn’t tricked by the yellow lines or the blue water, she buzzed right past the window, and she buzzed the angry kid in the orange shirt and laughed as he flailed about. She never saw any snow or fire and the wind was a gentle breeze. Soon the baby bee was again exploring places she had never been, she buzzed high and low, she landed on a big yellow flower and a tiny white one. She entered a deep dark forest but thought she could see color on the other side. She carefully searched for a way through the branches. Bursting through the trees, she was met with more color then she had ever seen; she landed on red, orange, pink, and blue flowers. Soon she was covered in pollen and full of nectar. Suddenly a cold wind blew; the baby bee looked up and saw dark clouds approaching. In a flash the baby bee buzzed for the hive, hoping to beat the rain.
At the conclusion of the story, students will participate in a game which re-enacts the baby bee’s day. They will be broken into small groups, or hives, each with their own area of the gym, the objective is to collect as much nectar from the flowers as possible. The gym will be filled with colorful cones representing the flowers, and each flower will have several pieces of nectar (this will be in the form of balls inside the upside down dome cones). Only one bee will leave the hive at a time while the others work on building honeycombs and making the honey. The different groups will take turns playing the role of the dangers facing the baby bee, these students will attempt to tag the bees and chase them back to their hives. The hive that collects the most nectar will represent a danger for the next round.