Students have been enjoying the new Ga-Ga Ball Pit at Carman Elementary for a short while now after it was installed earlier this school year.
“It’s a game that our physical education specialist had learned about through his physical literacy work and there is a company that makes the form and the wood and the pieces and such and so he investigated the game and figured that would be beneficial as an all-inclusive play activity for the kids,” outlined principal, Cecile Affleck. “With our parent council, they supported through fundraising and helped put it all together, we ordered it in the spring and just put it together a couple of weeks ago.”
The pit is believed to be the first school-site official Gaga Ball Pit in Manitoba. The game’s roots originated from Israel. The word “Ga” means Hit or Touch, so “Ga-Ga” means Hit-Hit. It is a fast-paced game of underhand or slap dodgeball.
If a player gets hit by a softer ball, on the knee or below (lower leg), they hop out of the pit. The last player wins that round and everyone jumps back in to start a new game. This all-inclusive activity was introduced into physical education at all grades to enhance many physical literacy skills. All grades are also being assigned the pit at pre-scheduled activity break times.
“We cleared all the grass away and had some donation of some small gravel that was put into the structure,” added Affleck. “It’s a nice little addition to the outside. We did our playground renovations a few years back so this is nice to have fresh and new this fall.”
Physical Literacy continues to be a top priority for schools around Canada.