Running a circuit of activities can be a great way to manage groups, but get some of the key principles wrong and the circuit can become a complete disaster.
If you have 20 players and want to do each task with two players then you might assume that you need 10 different activities but that would be a big mistake. In fact it will be much better if you have only 5 activities but each one set up twice in your circuit. This is not only better from a learning perspective with kids repeating each activity but also much easier for kids to remember.
Same number for each task
Second make sure that every task is performed the same number of times. Rather like on “Sesame Street” set a number for the day and have every task done that number of times to count for a point.
If you want to maintain motivation it’s a good idea to award a point each time the task is performed a set number of times. Don’t perform the task for a minute or two and then ask the kids who many sets they completed. They are unlikely to remember and often will exaggerate. Instead create a central scoreboard and each time the set number of repetitions is performed add a cone to a stack, clothes pin or ball to the scoreboard.
Fast and Slow
If you want to put movement tasks in your circuit remember to follow each one with a slower task that allows players for recovery. Children tire quickly and your circuit will quickly stutter if your players are exhausted.
It may not seem like an obvious thing but if you intend to run a circuit for a longer period of time then it may be worth building in a water or rest station as one of your stations. This allows the rest and recovery that children might need.
Train the tasks before
If you get chance to practice the tasks with the whole group before you put it into the circuit. Players may have to remember how to do several tasks in the circuit and this is much more likely if they are familiar.
Keep it simple
The saying goes.. “There is a genius to simplicity” and this is never so true as when you are working with children. Complicated tasks will mean confusion and this will make things much more likely to go wrong.
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