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Oh Dear


Mark out the playing space with two parallel lines on the floor, between 3 and 6 metres apart.

  1. Count off the group by fours. In each four, one person becomes a deer, the others represent the deer’s needs (which they show with a hand gesture):
    • Shelter (holding hands over head)
    • Food (holding hands on stomach)
    • Water (holding hands to mouth)
  2. Send the deer to stand behind one line, and everyone else to stand behind the other, with their backs turned. Each deer silently chooses one of the ‘needs’ and makes that gesture.
  3. The leader starts the round, and players turn towards each other. The deer must run to someone on the other side who is making the same sign as them. Each person on the ‘need’ side can only help one deer.
  4. Deer that find what they are looking for take that person back to theri side of the line, and they also become deer (because when their needs are met, deer are able to flourish and reproduce). Deer that do not find what they need die and become part of the habitat (and choose whether they become shelter, food or water for the next round)

Take it Further

Keep playing for several rounds (ten or more if time allows), and then discuss how the available food, water and shelter in the habitat affected the population.

Resources Required

Whistle to signal the start of each round (optional), Something to mark lines on the floor (optional)


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