Sharing is an important social-emotional skill for young children. But putting it into practice can be a challenge.
By learning to share, students gain other essential life skills like cooperation, fairness and negotiation.
These skills help them make friends, understand healthy ownership and show compassion for others. And students can apply these skills in school, on the playground and throughout their lives.
This activity called the Hungry Snake is a great opportunity for students to share equipment and understand the responsibilities of decision making and problem solving. The goal of the activity is for students to complete specific tasks while working cooperatively.
By the end of this activity, students will be able to:
Efficiently practice the social skill of sharing.
Identify their individual roles in the success of the group.
Differentiate the value between individual achievements and the achievements of individuals working toward a common goal.
Lightweight balls to connect the “snake”
An assortment of any of the following items spread around the room to act as snake “food”:
- Bean bags
- Small cones
- Balls of yarn
- Any other items that won’t roll away
One wastebasket or hula hoop per group
- Create an open space for students to move around in. Arrange students in groups of four or five (snakes). Distribute the “food” around the room.
- Have the snakes retreat to a corner of the room; this is their “den.” Place a wastebasket or hula hoop in that area, which is where they will deposit all retrieved items.
- Have students place the ball between their backs and the belly of the person behind them (for a group of four, there will be four balls; the first person or leader is required to hold a ball to his or her waist). The balls are not allowed to drop to the floor. The leader is not allowed to pick up food; the other members of the group should pick up the food.
- It is the job of the front person to lead the snake around the room so they can collect as many pieces of food as possible.
- The collected food is deposited into the snake’s den.
- The group must decide when to return to the den to deposit their food collection.
- If the snake drops any of the balls that connect the students, they must return all the food they are carrying to you. Then you can redistribute the food around the room.
- If students are having difficulties, encourage them to switch positions and to strategize how they will be able to get to the food without dropping the balls.
- Students should be reminded that the goal is to move together as a group and fill the snake’s den with food without dropping the ball. Continue as time allows. Winning or losing is not the focus of the game; cooperation and strategy are.
By sharing their equipment, students learn to work together and cooperate as a team to achieve their goal. Find this activity and other social wellness activities for students in Healthy Breaks: Wellness Activities for the Classroom.