So, I did something last weekend I was very proud to finally execute. When I was at a Brownie camp as a child we played a game in the woods that I remember really enjoying called, ‘Survival’.
I enlisted two 11-year-old girls I know and they eagerly took over, creating materials, and advertising the game we would be hosting to children at their school.
When the day arrived, one of the girls slumped over on a park bench in defeat as she counted down the minutes to the meet up time and not enough children had showed up to make a game of it.
But then some more trickled in just on time, some shadowed by curious parents who just needed reassurance as to what and with who exactly was taking place. We even managed to enlist a few other joiners who just happened to be playing at the park.
I saw some great things happening through this experience:
- The children were problem solving
- The children were cooperating
- The children were strategizing
- The children were learning about how an ecosystem operates
- Friendships were being forged as two boys got together to hang out post-game
- A group of girls stayed to play Grounders at the playground equipment afterward, including other children who happened to be around
- As an only child my daughter was afforded the opportunity to socialize with other children and tore around happily immersed in the game with them
- Most importantly, the children were being physically active outside and having fun while doing it.
A parent expressed to me how sad it was that this kind of thing involved such coordination when back in the day it happened all of the time with no necessary planning. Kids just went outside, found other kids and they played together. But in today’s society it might take a little more effort on the part of us parents to encourage this to take place. And once it is underway, it is so nice to see.
Food and water stations that animals must seek and find in the forest in order to survive.
Girls tacking a water station to a tree.
Tags to identify children as herbivore, omnivore, and carnivore. One blank card each to mark off food and water stations they find.