One of our favorite playground games is Ants & Frogs because it teaches children valuable lessons about teamwork and cooperation, and helps develop spatial awareness and gross motor skills. Here's how to play:
- Designate a playing area with clear boundaries. Determine a home base for the "ants" and a starting point for the "frogs."
- Before playing the game, explain the rules and how children will need to cooperate in order for the game to be successful.
- Choose a few children to be frogs. The rest of the children are ants.
- At the signal (whistle), the frogs move around the playing area trying to tag other students who are the ants.
- When a player gets tagged they must sit down on the ground. At this point, the ants that have not been tagged can try to "save" their fellow ants by getting four ants form a circle around the tagged ant, and lead them to the home base. When all four ants are walking with the tagged ant in the middle of them, they cannot be tagged by the frogs.
- After the ants reach home base, all five ants have two seconds to get away before they can be tagged by the frogs.
- The game is over when all the ants have been tagged and sitting down.
- Choose the last few ants that get tagged to be the frogs for the next round.
If the game ends to quickly, bring the students back in to discuss cooperation among the ants. Discuss how ants who don`t help others, in order to keep playing, actually make the game end quicker. Explain to students how sometimes we must help others in order to make things work better for ourselves. (Plus, it`s just nice to help others!) At the end of each game, take a few minutes to discuss the positives and negatives from the game.
Grade Level: 3-6
Skills Developed: Cooperation, teamwork, spatial awareness, safety, locomotor and non-locomotor skills.
Equipment Needed: None, but our Ant Hill makes a great home base for the ants, and our Frog Climber makes a great starting point for the frogs.