Space Activities

Exploring the concept of Self-Space

1)    While standing in self space all by yourself, move your arms in as many places as possible around your body.  Pretend that you are on the middle of shark infested waters and that all your friends are on islands of their own. 

2)    Pretend you are trying to reach the cookie jar that is on a shelf at the very top of your cage.  Stretch as tall as you can to get it.  Now, just as you have 2 cookies in your hand, your mother walks in.  Sink very quickly back to the floor and make yourself very small to hide.

3)    This time, a big spider is on the floor of your cage, near your feet.  Stretch tall; you’re trying to reach the top rungs of your cage to pull yourself up out of the spider’s way.  Now the spider climbs to the top; shrink slowly to get away from the spider.

4)    Now that you have practiced your stretching and curling actions, you are going to add twisting to them.  You want to twist your whole body, not just one part.  To start, make believe the cookie jar is on the very back of the shelf, behind two boxes; as you stretch, twist your body so you can get to the coolie jar.

5)    Stretch on top of the bird cage.  Now pretend that suddenly you have an itch in the middle of your back.  Hold onto the top of the cage with one hand and try to scratch your back with the other.

6)    Find a space by yourself in the boundaries of our work area.  I’ll know you are ready when I see you standing very still in a space where you can’t touch anyone else.  When I say “go,” begin to walk around the room, trying not to come near anyone else and at the same time not leaving any empty spaces in the room.  On the signal, stop very quickly right where you are.  When you stop, you should not be able to touch anyone else.

 B.     Exploring the concept of General Space

1) When you hear the music, begin walking through general space. Now, find a different way to travel.  (skip, hop, leap, gallop etc.).  As you move through general space, your self space goes with you.  Think about moving to other areas of the gym, using all the available space.

2) Let’s now move a little faster through general space.  Remember as you move and when you stop, you should not be able to touch anyone else.

3)  This time, jog (other locomotor movements) through general space.  Always stay far as away from other people as you can.

4) Travel throughout general space, constantly moving to an open space.  When you arrive at that space, quickly move to another one when someone invades your space or you see a second or third open space.

5) Let’s move within this reduced amount of space as if we were in a crowded city.  We will begin walking at a moderate speed to avoid bumping into others on the crowded streets.  On signal, increase the speed of your walking as if you were in rush-hour traffic.  Remember, no collisions.

6) Now move very slowly, because the area is congested.  Increase your speed again.

7)    Travel around general space with as many of your body parts at a low level (medium/high level) as possible.  Remember that your body parts should always be at a low level when you’re traveling, not just when you freeze.

8)    Find a partner and stand in a space together.  I’ll know you’re ready when I see each of you standing quietly in your space.  On the signal, the leader travels a pathway to somewhere else in the room.  On the second signal, the leader stops, and the follower moves along the same pathway the leader took until the follower catches up with the leader. 

9)    After doing this three times, the leader and follower switch places. The secret is for the follower to watch the leader very closely.

C.      Developing the concept of Directions

  10)  Skip forward, walk backward slowly, slide from side to side like an ice skater, and jump up and down as though you were on a pogo stick.

11)  Let’s practice some other directions.  See if you can try jumping, staying in your self space and turn all the way around so that you land facing the same direction you were facing when you started.  Can you now practice turning clockwise and counterclockwise?  Note; you have already explained what these concepts are).

12)  Find a partner.  One of you spin or jump and turn while the other watches.  See if your partner can tell if you are spinning (turning) in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction.  Which is easier? 

13) Now that you know directions, we will practice them a little faster.  On the signal, begin to travel in general space in a forward direction.  Each time you hear the signal (drum), change the direction in which you are moving.  Make your directions very clear.

D.   Developing the concept of Levels


       14)  Spread out and find a space by yourself.  On the signal, begin to travel in general space.  When you hear the signal (drum),   stop where you are, with your whole body at a low level.

  15)  This time, stop with your body at a medium level.  Now, when you stop, see if you can make part of your body at a low level and part at a high level.

E. Developing the concept of Pathways


  16) When you travel around the gym, see if you can show me straight pathways.  Can you show me zigzag pathways? How about curved pathways? 

  17) This time when you travel, can you change your direction, sometimes going forward along your pathway, sometimes sideways, and sometimes backward.  Try out all directions on your pathway.

  18)  Find a partner and stand in a space together.  Decide which of you is going to be the first leader. On the signal, the leader travels a pathway to somewhere else in the room.  On the second signal, the leader stops, and the follower moves along the same pathway the leader took until the follower catches up with the leader.  After doing this 3 times, the leader and follower switch places.  Followers, you should try to copy the leader’s pathways exactly. 

F.  Developing the concept of Extensions


  19) Travel around the gym.  When you hear the signal (drum), stop in a position where your body reaches as far into space as possible.  Be very sure that all possible body parts are as far away from the center of your body as you can get them.  This is called far extension.

   20)  Now, when you travel and stop, keep al body parts close to your body.  This is called near extension. 

  21)  Now try traveling with change.  When you hear the signal, jump high into the air, extending your arms and legs as far away from your body as possible.  When you land, hold a position very still, with all body parts close to the center of your body.  Really try to make a clear difference between the far and near extensions.