E1: My Stick
Needed: A bucket or pot filled with sand, dirt, or rocks, and a large stick – both for each person OR have each person bring their own sticks or branches. You may choose to do C6: Three Sticks, the week before this activity.
- Put some sand (or crumpled paper) in each bucket. There must be enough for a rather big stick to stand up in it. Each person puts their stick in a bucket.
- Admire each stick. Have everyone tell where their stick came from and what it could be used for. Then have each person describe their own stick. Ask them to touch it all over with their eyes closed.
- Divide into pairs. Have each person examine the stick their partner brought in and describe the differences between the two. Then have them close their eyes, feel a stick, and guess whether it is theirs or their partner’s.
- If this is too easy, make the groups bigger, with three or four in each group.
- Make the groups bigger till people can’t remember which branch is whose any more. Have everyone put a mark on his or her own branch such as their initials or name. Then store the sticks in the buckets of sand.
Variation: This can also be done with other things which come in different shapes and sizes. Each person could bring an empty plastic bottle, an empty plastic container (some will be round, others rectangular), a (cardboard) box, a ball or . . ..
E2: Blindfold Copy
Skills practiced: Fine motor skills; pre-writing skills; learning to see visual differences (important for pre-writing skills).
Needed: Paper, pencils, cloths to use as blindfolds.
- Let one person draw a line on a sheet of paper. Another follows along the line with their finger.
- Then they take a pencil and a sheet of paper and they close their eyes or are blindfolded; then they try to imitate the line on their own paper. People may work in pairs or small groups for this activity or, for a small group, a board may be used.
- Once the blindfolded person opens their eyes, they can see how well they succeeded in copying the first line.
Repeat, with the lines drawn having more curves and angles as the game continues.
E3: Three Decorations
(This game is about drawing creative patterns; a pattern is a repeated decorative design.)
Skills practiced: Fine motor skills; noticing visual differences, creativity.
Needed: Paper and pencils. Make a very simple sample of a pattern ahead of time. A piece of paper for each person in the group; fold each sheet of paper into three parts.
- Tell a story as you show the group your example. Or, if possible, draw the example while you talk. Through the story, the group will begin to see patterns in the world around them. Sample story: “This morning I looked outside and saw clouds (wavy lines). I started to go down the road (straight lines). Then, finally, I got to the beach and saw sand (lots of little dots).” Additional ideas: it started to rain (slanting lines); I saw an office building with a lot of windows (squares or rectangles); sidewalk or pavement; brick building; birds flying; an airplane trail crossed by another airplane trail; waves; ripples in a mud puddle; rainbow; fence, etc.
- Then have everyone design their own set of three patterns on the three parts of their own sheets of paper. Before beginning, possibly discuss what different types of patterns they might make. Perhaps begin by asking what patterns they saw on their way to the meeting or patterns they might see right now out of the window or in the meeting room.
Each of the three patterns should be totally different, preferably using a different drawing technique (dots; nice wrinkles or waves; lines).
E4: Feel the Rhythm
Needed: Check first whether it is okay to touch someone’s leg. You may need to tap each other on the arm, back, hand or shoulder instead.
1. Let everyone sit in a circle. Tap a rhythm on someone’s leg. Let them repeat it on another person’s leg, and so on, all around the circle.
2. When the rhythm reaches the last person in the circle, have them tap it on the leg of the first person. Has the rhythm changed?
OTHER GAMES THAT ALSO PRACTICE THESE SKILLS:
- G1: Road Game
- C5: Warm Stones