Five years ago a man attended a workshop of mine and mentioned a game, supposedly one that was played by Native Americans, to train the senses. I just got around to playing it a month ago.
You can see where I am on my to-do list.
What you'll need are:
- A big open space, preferably outdoors
- A drum (or a pot and a spoon)
- A bunch of people, adults and kids
- Snacks for a bunch of people. Especially if you’re going to play for more than two and a half minutes.
I don't know if this game has a name, but here's the run-down:
Take a whole bunch of kids to a wide space, preferably one that doesn't have any wells or bear traps on it. Unless you want to really up the ante.
Blindfold everyone. Except the drummer. And the camera person. Muzzles could make this game more enjoyable, but only for the parents. More enjoyable for the parents. Not muzzles for the parents.
P.S. Blindfolding a bunch of kids takes about 42 minutes. It's only slightly easier than blindfolding a bunch of cats. Eventually you will probably resort to tying up their head entirely.
Once everyone is blindfolded, lots of chaos will ensue while someone walks out into the field with the drum.
The drummer softly (or not) bonks the drum intermittently. Participants are listening to these blips to know which way to go.
The softer and less frequent. the greater the challenge. Super-fun for the adults too.
The game session ends when everyone has reached the drummer.
"Hey, you want to go get in trouble?"
(wait for it...)
The quieter the environment, the more spectacular the game. Nature itself is noisy, but until you strip away urban sounds, you can't hear the sounds of trees, birds, bugs and weather. Littles might not really *get* this game, but they'll love being outside and will watch and walk with the bigger kids. They also love to drum.
Older kids will be able to tune into how much their hearing can guide their directional sense. This game makes a great homeschool lesson on senses. It's also great when camping or for Hunter-Gatherer themed birthday parties.
Did I ever tell you that I had a Hunter-Gatherer themed baby shower?
It was awesome. Hunter-Gatherer is an awesome party theme. I'm waiting for Hallmark to come up with a Paleo-Party Invite. With a spear, of course.
Speaking of hunter-gatherers, a big aspect of h-d culture includes large groups of kids varied in age, non-sibling, playing or working together. See if you can manifest this with your children -- once a week? once a month? -- a big group of kids, all ages and sizes, spending an hour together learning about their internal and external environments, and depending on one another for survival. Or at least for finding the dude with the drum.