Saturday, 03 May 2003 11:46

Water Olympics

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We did a "The-Olympics-Aren't-Over-Yet-Water-Olympics" with our middle school students. It was a big hit. I've included the games that we played for any who are interested. This is a great low-cost outreach idea. "Heave-Ho" and "Fizzler Tag" were the biggest hits of the evening. The kids came "prepared to get wet" and brought their own squirt guns. I had a few extras for those that forgot. Also, I prepared the water balloons (10-15 per person, I did about 450) ahead of time to keep the evening "flowing" well. Great fun! Water Olympics Idea Sheet - ------------------------------------------------------------------- Heave-Ho: use a regular volleyball net, lots of water balloons, and two king-sized sheets or blankets. Each team gets a sheet, and the entire team surrounds the sheet, holding it by the edges. A water balloon is placed in the middle of the serving team's sheet, and the team must lob the balloon over the net using the sheet like a trampoline. The other team must catch the balloon on their sheet (without breaking it) and then heave it back over the net to the other team. If it goes out-of-bounds or lands back in their side of the court, they lose the point (or serve). If the receiving team fails to catch it or if it breaks in-bounds, then they lose the point. The scoring is the same as in regular volleyball. Teams can be any size, but if too many people are around the sheet, it becomes difficult to move quickly. The game requires teamwork and is perfect for a hot day Soaker: one person throws a water balloon high in the air and calls out another player's name or number. The player so called must catch the balloon. If the player succeeds at catching it unbroken, she gets a free shot at the thrower who called her name and gets her turn at throwing a water balloon up and calling another's name. Sponge Dodge: on an open lawn, take along four or five five-gallon buckets and an equal number of sponges. Mark out a circle somehow and place the buckets around the perimeter. Half fill them with water, and drop a sponge or two in each. After the entire group gets in the circle, the leader soaks the first sponge and throws. Those who get hit join the leader around the edge, and the game continues until only one is left--the winner. Sponges that drop inside the circle can be retrieved by any thrower, but they must be dipped again before they are thrown. Variations: Reverse the game: when someone is hit, the thrower joins those inside the circle. Last one on the perimeter loses. Play by teams: time how long it takes for one team to get all members of an opposing team hit and out of the circle. Shortest time wins. Or set a time limit the winning team has the most members still in the circle when the clock runs out. Run the game indefinitely, with no winners or losers: begin the game with five inside the circle. Whoever makes a hit trades places with the victim. Fizzler Tag: drill a small hole in the center of as many Alka-Seltzer tablets as you have kids, and then run a string through each tablet in order to hang it loosely around a player's neck. Have each player bring a squirt gun, provide several full buckets of water out-of-bounds for refills, and begin the game. The object? When a player's Alka-Seltzer tablet gets hit enough and dissolves sufficiently to drop off the string, that player is out. To shorten the game, bring out the garden hose! Water Balloon Shot Put: see who can toss a water balloon the farthest. For added incentive, have a leader stand just out of reach of the players for a target. Water Balloon Blitz: this is simply an all-out water balloon war. Divide into teams, and give each team ten balloons per player and time to fill them all up with water. At the signal, everybody starts throwing water balloons until supplies run out. Anything goes. Judges choose the winner based on which team is driest.

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