SPARKLERS / Resilience & growth


An energising game that’s all about working as a team.
Connections with the NZ Curriculum and Mental Health Education Guide (learn more)

Learning outcomes

Tamariki take part in a relaxation experience using tummy breathing and reflect on how this can help us find calm.

He aha ai? – Why we love it

Moving our body, can move our mood and ability to concentrate. This is because when we move about (even a little bit) we increase the flow of blood (oxygen and glucose) to the brain, boosting alertness and focus.

This activity is also a fun way to focus on teamwork and cooperation.

Tikanga tips

Just in case, it might be wise to let your tamariki know to avoid touching other people's heads while playing this game. It doesn’t happen a lot, but it is possible and it’s important tamariki know the head is tapu.

Hei mahi - What to do

For this game, students will need to form groups of 6-10 people, and you'll need 1-2 standard hula hoops per group.

  • Clear a space in your room, or head outside.
  • Let tamariki know this is a race between teams.
  • Break the class into teams of around six to ten tamariki. Ask them to make a circle, holding hands.
  • Place a hoop into the circle, so it is hanging between two players, over their arms.
  • Without breaking hands each person in the circle must pass through the hoop – so each student steps through it.
  • The team that returns to the hoop to its original starting point first, wins.

Extension ideas

Join the teams!

Join your smaller teams together to form one big circle, and place two or more hoops on their arms at different places in the circle.

Ensure the hoops are heading the same direction around the circle.

The game ends when all hoops have returned to their original positions (use different coloured hoops!).

Race the clock!

If you like the thought of regularly repeating this game, grab a timer and record how long the group takes to finish each time. This will create positive competition and a group goal to beat their previous time.

Add more hoops!

Add hoops at other points of the circle, so there's less watching and more doing!

Keen for more?

Try some of our activities which focus on tamariki working together to achieve a single goal. We love Tangled, Can't Do It Without You, Up and Down and Listen to the Rain.

Thank you to...

This game is from the book Silver Bullets by Karl Rohnke. Silver Bullets is filled with adventure based games and trust activities.

If you’re working with older tamariki, this is a great resource for new ideas on play-based learning, encouraging benefits such as teamwork, self confidence and taking the initiative.

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Check out our top tips for surviving, thriving and bringing your A-game!

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