Learning Story – One-Foot-High-Kick

What Happened? 

At Bushkids we had a mini-Jamboree with traditional games. I set up the game one-foot-high-kick as my invitation to play. The concept of the game is to jump with both feet off the ground and kick a sealskin ball with your kicking foot and land on the same foot you kicked with and hop 3 times to show balance and control.

 It was great to see the children interested in trying the new game. Some of the children already knew how to play the one-foot-high kick. They seemed very happy and excited to be able to participate in this traditional game. The children all commented on how hard it was to hit the sealskin ball, and they all wanted to try a few times in a row.

Why is all of this meaningful? 

The children were excited and seemed to enjoy learning a different game from a different culture because the one-foot-high kick is traditionally an Inuit game. There are some Inuit children at Bushkids and it was nice to see them excited about playing a game that is popular in their culture. The children also liked being able to show me how to properly play the game. One of the boys was good at the one-foot-high kick, so we kept moving the sealskin ball up higher and higher to make it more challenging for him.

The game can be considered cooperative play because the children need to take turns as only one person kicks at a time. It is also a physical activity which builds gross motor skills. The game helps children develop their hand eye coordination. This game also encourages social connections because the other children were supportive and encouraged each other as they tried the new game as well as being happy for each other when they succeeded in kicking the sealskin ball.

Opportunities and Possibilities

Through this game the children developed physical skills of kicking a fur ball and then sticking the landing to hop 3 times. It also gave the children a chance to make social connections by supporting one another and encouraging each other to keep trying. This game also gave the children opportunities to build stronger hand eye coordination. When all the children had finished trying the one-foot-high kick, a couple of the children found a piece of rope and started swinging it down low for some of the other children to jump over it. So, I took the sealskin ball off the high stick stand so the children could use that to play their game of jumping over the ball. In this way, my invitation to play was extended into another game by using the ball off one game to play another game. I extended this by getting the children to try kicking the ball with both feet, introducing another traditional Inuit game.