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Name of Activity:

Santa's Sleigh Ride

Purpose of Activity:

Students will practice moving safely in general space while enjoying a holiday activity with a Santa and Reindeer theme.

Prerequisites:

Students understand scooter safety procedures.

Suggested Grade Level:

K-2

Materials Needed:

Scooters, hula hoops, assorted balls or bean bags, cones.

Description of Idea

Set up: Place cones along the perimeter of the gym to mark a travel path. Along the path, just inside the cones, place 6 to 8 hula hoops at even intervals. Place balls or bean bags inside each hoop, enough so there is one for each student. These represent the "toys". At one end of the gym, place enough addition hoops so there is one for each pair of students. These hoops represent Santa's Workshop and will be the starting point and delivery point.

Directions: Tell students that Christmas Eve is near, and Santa just discovered that there are not enough toys in the workshop to deliver to all the children in the world. They need to travel to the different toy stores and department stores around the world to increase the inventory. Students will be in pairs. One will sit on the scooter with legs crossed and be "Santa". The other will be the "Reindeer" and stand behind Santa with hands on his/her shoulders, gently pushing Santa along the path (around the world) to collect toys. On the signal, each pair will begin to travel around the perimeter of the gym, stopping at one hoop (toy store) to collect one item. Santa will carry the item back to his/her workshop as the Reindeer continues pushing Santa along the path. Make sure the students go around the entire gym before returning to the workshop. Once a toy is delivered back to the workshop, Santa and the Reindeer will switch positions and travel to pick up another toy from another toy store. Continue traveling around the world, picking up a toy from a different hoop (toy store) each time, until all of the toys (bean bags/balls) are collected.

Variations:

This activity can be used with older students. To make it more challenging, integrate math by putting a point value on the items in the hoops. Different colored items can represent different numbers. Once the items are all gathered, students can add up the point value.

Assessment Ideas:

Observe students' ability to move safely in space, then discuss this with the class before they are dismissed.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

This activity is easily adapted for students with disabilities. If a student uses a wheelchair, another student can walk along and play the role of the Elf, placing the toy on Santa's lap, while the Reindeer pushes the wheelchair.

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Submitted by Bryan Weaver who teaches at Millsadt Consolidated School in Millstadt, IL. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 2/26/2009.

Viewed 77213 times since 12/20/2008.

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Previous Comments:

Deidre Keller

Do they bring the items back to the workshop and then proceed to the next hoop or just collect them all and dump them at the end of their trip around the gym perimeter?

Melissa Simpson

Nice game. I changed the way Santa and reindeer move across the gym. I have Santa on a scooter holding a jump rope that is around the reindeer in front of him/her. The reindeer pulls Santa across the gym to the toy store and back. I also made the game into a math game. For Kindergarten I have them count the number of toys they collected and also I have them categorize by color, shape, etc. For First Grade I give the kids a basic addition or subtraction math problem and the answer to the problem is the number of toys Santa needs to collect for that round.

Heidi Jacobson-Beal

Hey I do this with a folded mat on top of two scooters. The reindeer push santa's helpers for one turn and then they switch places.

Shelly Sharp

Nice idea. Was thinking I'd have the santa collect toys from hoops on one side of the gym for one turn and after they switch, santa could distribute toys to hoops on the other side of the gym. That way I wouldn't have to run around redistributing toys for collection, and we could keep the game flowing.