It was play day at school on Thursday … all afternoon. Kids from JK to Grade 6 had eight activities to choose from, and they got to pick three of them. What a marvelous thing for the school staff to create.
I decided to roam around the various rooms to see what tickled my fancy. And “Minute To Win It” was my fave. First there was “Elephant March”. Imagine a pair of panty hose with a tennis ball bulging from one foot. The waist band goes over your head, with the ball hanging in front of you. Then the trick is to knock over two rows of plastic cups and water bottles. If your elephant trunk swings are gentle, you can do it. Too much oomph, however, and you get wildly out of control – about a zero chance of upsetting anything. It was hilarious. Tiny kindergarten kids and confident Grade 6’s – it didn’t matter. Everyone looked silly and laughter filled the room.
If impersonating a huge mammal isn’t your style, how about “Junk In The Trunk”? Strap an empty Kleenex box just above your butt, fill it with eight ping pong balls and try to get them all dislodged in a minute. Good luck! Kids were upside down, right side up, jumping up and down, twisting and shouting. Fun, fun, fun till the clock said 60.
I’m a pretty good spectator, but it was time for action. My task was to keep three balloons aloft for the minute. “I can do this. I’ll pile the balloons on top of each other and then throw them straight up. They’ll therefore be close to my body as they descend and it’ll be no sweat to send them vertical again.” Ahh … the delusions of seniorhood. How long did I last, you ask? Three seconds.
Not everything was indoors. The scavenger hunt covered the snowy schoolyard. 125 painted stones littered the landscape, apparently stuffed inside the bodies of deteriorating snowmen, hidden at the base of a climber, tucked into a little hollow – everywhere!
I told Jayne, the Grade 5/6 teacher, that I was on a mission to find one of those stones. An hour before, I had watched a group of kids refine their search skills, and I vaguely looked around to locate my own personal treasure. But I didn’t find anything. Now, refreshed with preventing balloons from touching the earth, I knew this was my moment.
I told a gaggle of wandering children about my quest. Immediately, I was deluged with:
“I know where there’s one, Mr. Kerr.”
“Come over here. Look right there!”
“Let’s find one together, Mr. Kerr.”
So I was out and about with this short human being, then that one, and somebody else again. Following speedy legs to all sorts of destinations. But I still hadn’t located a stone on my own. As the bell rang, signalling the end of the session, I trudged back towards the school, happy about my time with the kids, but sad with my empty hands. And there, steps from the tarmac, sat a little snow drift, with a spot of yellow peeking out. I too am a successful treasure hunter!
It was a smiley afternoon – for me, 15 adults and 200 young’uns. Good for us.