This classic storytelling game, set in the rainforest – is played by Scouts and other groups around the world. Designed to encourage children to seek creative solutions and overcome hardship, it’s often as a team building exercise but it can also be used as a fun way to unite siblings, or bring together groups of friends.
As the adult, you are in charge of setting the ‘jungle boundary’, using rope or cones to mark where the space begins and ends. Get the children to stand within the boundary and close their eyes. While their eyes are closed, use the instructions below to help set the scene and guide them through the game.
- Ask the children to imagine they are on an expedition to the Amazon rainforest. What can they sense? What can they hear? The hum of the radiator is suddenly less innocent. It’s the sound of a storm brewing! The floor is no longer cosy and carpeted. It’s crawling with deadly insects and sneaky snakes!
- Once they’re done imagining, get the children to open their eyes and look at the far end of the room, where the boundary lies. This is their stable land. Safety is within sight, if only they can find a way to reach it.
- There’s a catch. If their feet come into contact with the bare floor, they will get bitten with deadly venom, and cause the whole team to be eliminated from the game.
- All team members must cross the floor unharmed – seeking shelter on the other side – so they’ll need to work together to make it happen. Explain this to them, so that they know to bear everyone’s progress in mind, rather than just their own.
- Guide them through the process. Are there any nearby objects, which they are overlooking? Can they build a newspaper bridge? How about a milk crate boulder, or a cushiony lily pad? These objects will protect their feet from the perilous ground. Encourage them to use their brains to get the team out of dangerous territory, and celebrate when they do.
This game originates from Roald Dahl’s wonderful short story, The Wish. Access it here for an added storytelling element.