email this idea to a friend Export to pdf Export to doc

Name of Activity:

Hungry Hungry Hippos

Purpose of Activity:

To develop spatial awareness, body awareness and color matching skills.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Scooter boards, 4" colored balls, matching colored buckets,(8-10 colored balls per bucket) hippo stickers.

Description of Idea

Explain to the students that the gym floor is water and that they need to stay on their rafts (SCOOTER BOARDS) the entire time. The activity starts with four colored buckets sitting on the island (middle of the gym floor circle.) You explain that the students are to be hippos looking for their hippo food. Tell your hippos (students) to gather all of the hippo food and put it into the same colored bucket. You can do a brief demonstration so they can observe the game.

After the demonstration, you pick up the buckets and throw the balls all over the room. You say ready set go, and have the students travel on their scooters and collect as much food (balls) as possible. You can have your students count how much food that they collected. Ask the hippos if they are still hungry and have them do it again and again. Switch the buckets around to make sure the students are thinking where they are putting the balls.

At the end of the lesson, I always give hippo stickers to the students because they were such good hippos.

Assessment Ideas:

Were your students able to locomotor on the apparatus without running into peers?

Were your students able to place the right colored balls into the same colored buckets?

You can keep track and see if the students are able to count how many balls they gathered.

Teaching Suggestions:

Make sure that you do not play this game with more than 6-8 children and that you have a lot of room. Too many young children on scooter boards can be dangerous. Safety should be a top priority when discussing and playing this activity with children.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities

Children with learning disabilities may need some redirection until they grasp the concept.

Children in wheel chairs can either get on a scooter board or play from their chair. You can give them a net to scoop the balls up off the gym floor.

If you have a student who is multi-handicapped, than you can have the student attempt to drop or push a ball into a bucket.

For children that are blind you can have them on the scooter board and instruct them which way to go and where the balls are. Or you can use beeper balls and a bucket that makes noise.

Submitted by Bob Soellner who teaches at Blanchard Valley School in Findlay, OH. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 5/14/2005.
Viewed 169230 times since 9/15/2004.

| More

Hungry Hungry Hippos

Post a Comment:

Let others know how this idea went when you implemented/tried it with your kids. Include any variations, suggested teaching tips, positive comments, etc. so others can benefit from your tips. Please be helpful and positive with all comments. Look below to see all posted comments.



Previous Comments:


I use this activity at least once a month with my preschoolers and they LOVE IT! I took out hte scooters all together and the kids are timed to run and collect all of the balls. Each time we play new colors are added. My kids ask to play all the time and have gotten really good with their hand-eye coordination, not to mention its a great way for the kids to learn their colors.


I used this as a Thanksgiving Activitiy. Instead of Hippos, the people on scooters were Pilgrims, hunting for food for their feast. I printed out pictures of foods (found on internet)--I made copies of the foods and mounted them on different colored paper--one color for each team.

Search for lesson ideas