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A resource center for teachers to enhance learning through integrating movement, exploration and mindfulness into classroom lessons. Many of the activities can be adapted to be used on a playground, at home, in the boardroom and beyond.

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Duck, Duck, Animal

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Short description of activity: A variation of Duck, Duck, Goose that requires creativity and fast thinking

Type of activity: Team Builder, Energizer

Minimum Time Needed for Activity: 10 min

Grade Level: K+

Subject Area: None




Set up:

  1. Have participants sit in a circle facing in.


  1. Player A begins moving around the circle, patting each player gently on the head saying “duck” every time they pat someone on the head.
  2. At some point, they will name a different animal  (cow)
  3. Player A begins running in the same direction they had been walking. Player B gets up and begins running around the circle in the opposite  direction.
  4. When the two players meet at whatever point on the circle, they face each other and make the sound of that animal, or act like that animal.
    1. NOTE: Be careful of head-on collisions! It happens more often than you would expect
  5. Once they are both done, they continue past each other in the same direction to be the first in the vacated spot.
  6. Whoever sits first stays put. The player who did not get the spot continues play, beginning with the animal named (cow, cow, …)



  • The player should try to think of the animal they will say beforehand, otherwise the player says “cat, cat, -long pause- mongoose” and it takes away the surprise aspect of the game.
  • Try not to repeat animals.
  • Add adjectives to the animals for the players to act out (angry kitty, sleepy hippo, nervous giraffe, etc)
  • Players can sit in a different way to indicate that they have already gone so that all players get a turn.
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