An up-close and personal, total cooperation game. Players must rely on one another to move their "caterpillar" from one side of the playing area to another. It's up to them to figure out the best way to move. Of course, the challenge and fun is in keeping your caterpillar together!
AgePreschool, School-age, Tweens, Teens
Number of Players5 to 10, 10 to 20, 20+
Team DivisionTeamwork! (divide into teams), All together now! (everyone works together)
CompetitivenessEither/or (can be played either way)
DifficultyAttention, please! (a few rules to follow)
Indoor or OutdoorEither
Space NeededMedium (a clearable open space the size of a 2-car garage), Large (gym, outdoor field, reception hall)
Mess FactorClean and tidy
Prep Time5 minutes or less
Game Time Length5 - 15 minutes
1. Break your group into even teams and have them line up one in front of the other.
2. Have the last person in the line sit down with their knees up and open. (This is the "tail".)
3. Have the person in front of them sit in the same manner, between the tail's knees. Have the tail place his hands on that person's shoulders or waist.
4. Repeat this with all team members to form your caterpillar.
5. The last person to sit down in the front becomes the "head."
6. Create a starting line just in front of the "heads" of all of the caterpillars. Make sure everyone is behind the starting line.
7. Make a finish line about 15 feet away.
How to Play
1. On "go", the caterpillar must wriggle, wobble, rock, or scootch its way over the finish line - while staying in one piece.
2. If at any time the caterpillar breaks apart, players must scootch BACK and rejoin the tail end (it's not fair for the tail section to scootch forward to the head). Once rejoined they may start moving as a group again.
3. The caterpillar that gets its tail over the finish line first wins.
You can call this game tobogganing, snake, dragon, or eel racing.
To make this game non-competitive, use it as a tool to figure out the best method of moving. Make it about trying the different techniques each team discovers. Make it about economy of movement instead of who is the winner.
If you've got a large group, try breaking them into small caterpillars and hold a series of races. After the first race, combine two caterpillars to form a big one (a group of 10), then double that number, and so on... See just how well the groups can work as one large team.
This is all about cooperation. Encourage kids to work as a team, and to figure out how they make the caterpillar move as a group. Keep it light, and keep it fun. This should not be a serious game.