Uphill, Downhill

Activity Overview

Participants learn about and practise working together to successfully field an object using a relay system.

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


  • Classroom
  • Gymnasium
  • Multipurpose room
  • Outdoors

Materials and Equipment

  • 2 objects (e.g., rubber chickens, bean bags, flying discs)


Inspect the activity area and eliminate potential hazards. Check that the activity surface provides safe footing and traction. Set boundaries for the activity a safe distance from walls, fences, and obstacles (e.g., trees, playground equipment). Ensure participants are aware of other players when moving to avoid collisions.

Activity Information

Activity Set-up

  • Divide participants into two equal groups and participants give themselves a number, starting at 1, within each group. Groups line up facing each other, at opposite ends of the activity area.
  • Place two objects (e.g., rubber chickens, bean bags, flying discs) at the centre of the activity area.
  • For maximum participation, multiple smaller groups can be used if space permits.

Activity Instructions

  • The leader calls out a number to begin the game. The participants with that number from each group run to the objects. Each participant picks up one of the objects and throws it to an open space in the activity area.
  • The participant who threw the object then runs to retrieve the object that the other participant threw.Once the participants are holding the objects they retrieved, the remainder of the group members line up behind their group member who is holding the object.
  • The participants in each group pass the object down the line using an over/under passing motion. The first participant with the object passes the object overhead to the next participant in line. The second participant in the line passes the object under their legs to the next participant. This pattern continues through the group until the object reaches the end of the line. Participants are challenged to be the quickest group to move their object from the front to the back of their line.
  • When the end participant has received the object, he or she places it back in the centre and all group members return to their starting location. The game starts again with a different number being called out.
  • The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: What skills do you and your group need to apply to successfully receive the object the fastest? If your number is not called out, what can you do to help your team be successful in this game?


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:

  • Use a smaller activity area.
  • Decide different ways to pass the object to the back of the line (e.g., pass it over their heads, pass it alongside their bodies).

To increase the challenge, participants could:

  • Use a larger activity area.
  • Substitute a smaller object (e.g., tennis ball), which would travel farther when thrown.

Pause for Learning

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

Movement Skills and Concepts

  • Locomotion and spatial awareness: travelling quickly to retrieve the object in different locations (e.g., being ready to run to retrieve the object the fastest)
  • Relationship: working in a group to move an object down the line (e.g., lining up quickly as a group and passing the object in an under/over pattern down the line)

Movement Strategies

  • Understanding and developing tactics to quickly retrieve the object (e.g., being ready to move quickly when a number is called, being ready to respond and move quickly, working together as a team to move into position and pass the object over and under)