Friday, January 14, 2011

Builders and Bulldozers

This past summer we had a woman, (who unfortunately I only knew as Miss Lynn), who came to our school to do Eat Well, Play Hard lessons with the children.  There was much of this program that was not really well suited to our threes and fours, but there was one game that she brought for the children to play that was perfect.  
This game is called "Builders and Bulldozers" and it is one of the children's favorite games.  It requires very little by way of materials and very little instruction.  All you need are several large plastic cups (we have 14 that we use).  First set cups upside down on the floor, spaced out across the entire room or playing area outside. We split the children up into two groups; the "bulldozers" knock the cups over and the "builders" put them back up the right way.  There are two rules: no "flying" cups, and you have to keep moving. We give the bulldozers a five second head start so that the builders have cups to build back up. They will usually play for about 10-20 minutes without getting remotely distracted, and we switch bulldozers with builders half way through.  

This game can be great for transitions and can also be great for days when all the children are antsy or grumpy.  I have never once (so far) had a child not want to play this game.

Sometimes when we play it's every child for his or herself, but other times they work as a pair or in teams trying to be the faster group.  In the past they have come up with a type of wave strategy where all the builders travel from area to area "building," or sometimes they assign each child an area of his or her own to demolish so that no area is left unattended at anytime.  Above you can see two children working together to build faster.  This pair discovered that it was faster to run and slide on their knees the build the cups back up rather than bend over! 

Have a great weekend, readers!  

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