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Name of Activity:

Hungry Hippos

Purpose of Activity:

Students will be able to work together with a team, use a scooter safely, and use their core to improve muscular strength and endurance. This is really a K-5 lesson that can be adapted for any age group.


Scooter safety

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Equipment needed: 1 hula hoop and scooter for each team of two, Music, Timer, Lots of any type of ball: (ie. Gator skins, yarn balls, balloons, volleyballs, soccer balls)

Description of Idea

1. Divide the class into teams of two.
2. Each group will have one hippo and one guide.
3. The “hippo” will lay on their stomach on the scooter while the “guide” will hold their legs/ankles up off of the ground.
4. On the signal (music begins), the “guide” will push the “hippo” out onto the floor towards the center circle.
5. When the “hippo” reaches the circle, they extend their arms out to scoop as many balls as they can.
6. When the “hippo” is “full”, the “guide” will pull the “hippo” back to their hoop. The “hippo” and “guide” will then switch out places.
7. If a “hippo” loses a ball, they must leave it, they can not go back and get it nor can the “guide” pick it up.
8. Play continues for approximately 2 minutes. At the end of 2 minutes, teams count up how many items they have inside their hoop. If time expires while they are out on the floor with items, they must leave those items where they are. Items only count if they are inside the hoop when time expires.

Assessment Ideas:

I talked to the students between each session and asked for strategies they discovered while participating in the game. Many times they would talk about the difficulty they had with pushing a student because they were "soft" meaning, they didn't keep their core tight so they could push them easier. Or the "hippo" would have their hands on the ground which caused friction and made it harder to push.

Teaching Suggestions:


1. All hands and fingers of the “hippo” must be extended out in front of their body so they do not get caught in the wheels of the scooter.
2. Students may want to assume the “Superman” position on the scooter so that their core is tight which makes it easier for the “guide” to push them.
3. “Guides” should not go too fast. This may cause the “hippo” to fall forward or crash into another team.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:


1. Use a basket for scooping up the items (basket would be held with the opening facing towards the ground like the board game hippos.
2. Student could sit on the scooter or use a larger scooter if their size prohibits pushing by another student.
3. Longer or shorter time frame (based upon class size and skill levels of the students).


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Submitted by Jodi ` Palmer who teaches at Tremont Elementary School in Upper Arlington, OH. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 1/26/2016.

Viewed 55928 times since 12/3/2015.

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Previous Comments:

Chemberleigh Crawford

Where does the use of the hola hoop come in?


I tried this game, the variation with the students holding the basket (or bucket rather) and it was awesome! I played it with both K-1 combined and 2-3rd combined (14 students total). They really enjoyed it! Holding the buckets helped keep their fingers away from scooter wheels. The worst part was resetting up the game which took longer than I liked, but they waited patiently because they really enjoyed playing. The hilarious issue is a lot of the older students were too small or weak to push their younger peers. It was very entertaining.