SpruceRoots Magazine - May 2000

PLAYING GAMES

compiled by Mare Davies

Eagle Eyes
The following game is a great way to get in touch with the environment and try to get a better understanding of the animals that live in it. This particular game gives you an idea of how far eagles can see. I found this game in Rediscovery: Ancient pathways - New Directions. This game has a very long history and is not only played at Rediscovery but also on school camping trips and just for fun.

Directions
Place a small object on the ground - anything will do. Each participant starts at the object and walks backwards until they cannot see the object anymore. When the person cannot see the object they have reached the limit of their sight. Another participant then measures the distance from the object to the person and multiplies it by ten. This is the distance an Eagle can see their prey.

Variation
The instructor draws on index cards pictures of eagle food. Example: rabbit, deer, mouse, duck, salmon, seal, sea lion, seagull, crab or abalone. Make sure each card is visible and bright. Place each card where it would belong if each animal on the cards were alive and living in their natural habitat. Example: rabbit under a bush, crab along the shore.

Each team (2-5 people) finds a tree they can sit in or a hill that they can stand on around the area that the cards are placed in. Somewhere high is best because that is where an Eagle would sit to watch the land. The first participant uses the binoculars and finds an index card with the animal's name on it; they say "I spy with my Eagle Eyes something for an eagle to eat that is gray and white." They then pass the binoculars to the next person and that person tries to find the animal on the index card. If the participant looking for the Eagle food cannot find it on their first try they are then allowed to ask yes or no questions.
Example: Does the animal live by the shore?

Materials
First variation: string - measure the distance of how far you can see any small object you would like to use for spotting

Second variation: binoculars - to use as Eagle Eyes, index cards and felt pens - to make animal cards

Bear Nose
Bears cannot see very well but their sense of smell is impressive. Bears can smell animals and people from miles away. This game demonstrates how bears have evolved to use their sense of smell more than their eyes.

Directions
5-20 participants is a good number for this game. Each participant has a blindfold over their eyes and is not allowed to see anything because they have to rely on their sense of smell. The instructor holds up to the participants nose a flower, a twig off a tree or something that they have found in the forest which has a very distinct smell. To release the aroma rub the twig, flower etc. between your fingers. When the participant has collected the smell in his/her mind the instructor hides the object and then the participant takes their blindfold off and goes sniffing through the forest to try and find the same smell. When they think they have found the right smell they bring the object back to the instructor. If the participant can't find the smell then the instructor keeps letting them smell the object (without letting them see what it is) - sooner or later the participant will come back with the right smelling object.

Materials
- collected materials from the forest
- blindfold

SpruceRoots Magazine - May 2000