We have been working on our Polar Pal unit and learning all about the people and animals living in those regions. One of our planned activities included placing a small ball or bean bag on our feet and walking like a daddy penguin while keeping our "egg" safe.
I couldn't remember which (bean bag or ball) that we used last year, so I had both ready just in case. Well, as the best laid plans go, this group couldn't get EITHER to stay on their feet as they waddled! I quickly saw that the fun was waning and the frustration was setting in. This was NOT how I wanted this to go---YIKES!!!
My assistant and I scrambled and pulled out some balloons and quickly got them blown up. The children became instantly excited and the balloons started flying! We talked about how the friends had to be so very careful, if the balloon popped, that meant the egg broke and it would not hatch a baby penguin.
We began to practice walking around our classroom with our balloon "eggs" and had a little race to see which team could go from point A to point B the fastest without dropping the egg.
After the race, the children started parading around the room. The balloons are such a novelty in our classroom, we rarely use them. I worry about the choking hazard a broken and forgotten balloon poses to the younger members of our school.
We decided an impromptu "Penguin Parade" was called for around our school.
When we got back to our classroom, I decided we might as well take advantage of having these balloons, so I pulled out the parachute.
We then paired up and tried to blow the balloon back and forth between partners.
Our final activity before putting the balloons away was to try to keep the balloons aloft without using our hands. We have some future soccer stars in our class, so I knew this would be fun!
This was certainly NOT the lesson I had planned, but what started out as a hiccup in our plan ended in a lot of fun and some wonderful gross motor experiences. Sometimes, you've just got to go with the flow!