(Source: Project Wild, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources)
Escaping from predators is certainly an important aspect of survival in the wild. But if an animal spent all its time hiding, it would starve to death! Regardless of the danger, animals do have to spend part of their day looking for food – and keeping a sharp eye out for predators at the same time! Besides being quiet and well camouflaged, animals use many strategies to escape their predators - including hiding, calling a warning to others, fighting their attacker, or freezing in place. This game will illustrate the challenge of searching for food in a dangerous world, and how effective some of these different strategies can be.
Mark the play area boundaries using the four pylons. Divide the campers into two groups – rabbits and foxes. There should be one fox for every six rabbits. Give each fox one of the scarves that are all the same colour; have them tie these around their upper arm to mark them as predators. Give each of the rabbits one of the remaining scarves; have them tuck these into their back pockets to represent their life. Line up all the rabbits at one end of the playing area. At the other end of the field, scatter the beanbags and other tokens. These are food items. In the middle of the playing area, scatter the six hula-hoops. These are temporary hiding spots that the rabbits can use. The foxes begin the game ranged throughout the playing area. They may not enter the hula-hoops, nor can they guard them.
In order to survive, each rabbit must collect three food tokens. However, they can only take one token from the other end of the playing field at a time, and make it back to their starting point before returning for a second or a third. The foxes need tag two rabbits and collect their scarves in order to survive. “Dead” rabbits sit on the sidelines until the end of the round. In order to cross the playing area to get to their food supply, the rabbits will have to be crafty! There are two ways they can avoid being tagged by the foxes. They can “freeze” (they must stand as still as possible); the foxes cannot “see” frozen rabbits and must ignore their presence (e.g., no guarding frozen rabbits!). Rabbits can also jump into the hula-hoop in order to avoid being tagged – but only one rabbit per hoop at any one time! Each round of the game lasts 5 minutes. This will help encourage timid rabbits to come out of their hiding places in search of food… because if they don’t have enough at the end of the round they’re dead!
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