Cindy Crushes Programming: Live Action Hungry Hungry Hippos
I am here with Jaci Kohn, the Children’s Supervisor of our Lockport Branch today! We ran a program together a few years ago and we decided to repeat it. We played live action Hungry Hungry Hippos with teens and tweens.
Jaci Kohn being the Hungry Hippo pushed by Samantha Burkiewicz
- A box
- Colored paper
- Googly eyes
- Colored pencils
Most of the supplies needed for the program we already had between the three branches, so this was a very low cost program. If we didn’t already have the scooters from a prior program, that would have been our biggest expense. You can find the scooters on amazon for $125, though you may have some among staff kids that they will let you borrow.
Before Steps: Jaci really got everything ready at Lockport. We used our Friends of the Library baskets and she taped up the handles so tween/teens could use them as the mouth of the hippo. Boxes or even large bowls could be used instead of baskets.
Jaci also got a box and made sure we could have it left on open on the bottom for us to release the balls.
We did a little practice before and Jaci noticed that having the scooter on the abs of the tween/teen that is way the hippo works best.
We had the tween/teens make hippo hats. We had precut paper that was cut in half. We measured the kid’s heads and let the teen’s measure their own heads. We then had them glue on googly eyes on the top of their hip hat and then had them draw nostrils.
Hippo Hat Modeled by Samantha Burkiewicz
Playing the Game:
1. We divided the kids into teams of three. So they could each be the hippo and one person could be holding each leg. If there was a group of two one of the librarians took a turns. New teen librarian of Lockport, Samantha Burkiewicz, helped us run the program as well.
2. We made clear rules, no hitting and stealing balls from players who already had them. They also had to help us put balls back in the box.
3. Each tween/teen grabs leg and the player puts the scooter under the abs. The player should bend their knees. It makes it easier for the people holding their legs to move them. The player takes a basket and when the librarian pours the balls out of the box and says go. The player will try to collect as many balls as possible.
4. Make sure everyone gets a turn to be a hippo.
Jaci’s tips: This program is so much fun. It was one of my favorite old programs and I was so excited to bring it back with Cindy again. This program can get a little chaotic, but laying out the guidelines to each player really helps keep things under control.
Something we did at this event that helped the event run smoothly was create little parking spots for each hippo team. This helped the team stay in their own area and helped us keep track of what balls belonged to what team.
We had a lot of sign ups for this program. Because only four groups could go at once, I was worried that there would be a lot of down time for the kids who weren’t playing. To keep the nonplayers entertained we printed out coloring pages suitable for all ages, mad libs (which were a big hit), and just blank paper. Some of the kids started making paper airplanes during the program, which led to some future program ideas. We also had graphic novels and comicbooks available for the kids.
Cindy’s Tips: Make sure the hippo player is bending their knee’s.
Jaci’s Final thoughts: This program was a huge hit. Tweens, teens and even some of the parents loved taking part in the program.
For more fun live action games, check out this post on live action Angry Birds:
About Cindy Shutts
Cindy Shutts is the Teen Services Librarian at the White Oak Library District in IL and she talks programming every 1st and 3rd Wednesday. You can follow her on Twitter at @cindysku.
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