Up, Up, and Away

Activity Overview

Participants learn about and practise working in a group to sustain a rally by sending and receiving an object.

  • Primary (Ages 6-9)
  • Junior (Ages 10-12)

Facility

  • Gymnasium

Materials and Equipment

  • 1 balloon per group
  • 6 pylons per group

Safety

Prior to the activity, check participants’ medical conditions to ensure that no one suffers from latex allergy/anaphylaxis. If this is the case, substitute the balloons for non-latex equipment. Inspect the activity area and eliminate potential hazards. Check that the activity surface provides safe traction. Set boundaries for the activity a safe distance from walls and obstacles. Provide a safe distance between activities.

Activity Information

Activity Set-up

  • Divide participants into groups of four.
  • Within each group, participants divide into pairs.
  • Each group marks out their court area by a creating a square. Participants divide the court into two sides by putting two cones in the middle to create a net between the two pairs.

Activity Instructions

  • One pair starts the game by hitting the balloon into the opponent’s court.
  • The receiving team hits the balloon back to the other side of the court.
  • Groups work together to maintain a rally.
  • If the balloon hits the ground or goes out of bounds, the group starts again.
  • The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: When sending the balloon with your hand, where does your hand have to face if you want it to go toward your opponent? Describe the force you use to send/hit the balloon if you want your opponent to successfully receive it. When getting ready to receive the balloon, how and where can you position your body?
Up, Up, and Away

Adaptations

To maximize the challenge and the fun, participants could identify their own ways to increase or decrease the challenge.

To decrease the challenge, participants could:

  • Make the court size smaller so participants have less space to cover.
  • Remove the court boundaries and change the objective of the game to keeping the balloon in the air rather than passing to the other side of the court.

To increase the challenge, participants could:

  • Increase the size of the court so participants have more space to cover.
  • Use a ball instead of a balloon.
  • Pass the balloon to their teammate once before sending it over the net.

Pause for Learning

Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies for effectively sending and receiving an object. Note that this list is not exhaustive, and further learning opportunities may arise during the task.

Movement Skills and Concepts

  • Locomotion and relationship: knowing where to move to be successful at sending and receiving a balloon with a partner (e.g., moving toward the back of the court when the balloon is coming from high up)
  • Manipulation skills and effort awareness: applying a controlled force to an object (e.g., being able to control how forcefully you swing your arm when sending an object to maintain a rally)

Movement Strategies

  • Tactical awareness: developing an understanding of the principles of play (e.g., knowing where and how to send and receive the object to maintain a successful rally)
  • Performance: demonstrating appropriate skills, techniques, and tactics to send and receive an object (e.g., hitting the balloon with the right amount of force to make it easy for the opponent to receive it)

Living Skills

Interpersonal Skills

  • Demonstrating teamwork skills by working collaboratively with a partner and in a group to maintain a rally with the balloon
  • Communicating with the group to express ideas and strategies that will help everyone be successful (e.g., sharing a strategy with group members, such as calling out "got it" or "mine," when you are receiving the balloon)

Critical and Creative Thinking Skills

  • Reflecting and evaluating the stages of the game and coming up with plans and/or strategies to overcome the challenges (e.g., learning how to hit the balloon with the right amount of force and in the right direction to the opponent)

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