The Ants and the Pine Needles


In this activity, the children cooperate at a moderate to vigorous-intensity pace in that they are busy ants gathering pine needles.


  1. Place a hula hoop in the middle of the play area and fill it with pine needles (bean bags or anything else).
  2. The children (the ants) divide themselves between two to four hula hoops (the ant’s anthill).
  3. Upon a signal, all the ants gather pine needles for their heap. One ant is only allowed to take one pine needle at a time. They must run backwards and forwards many time to gather the needles.
  4. When all the pine needles have been gathered, count up how many pine needles each anthill has gathered.
  5. The game continues by the ants placing the pine needles back in the hula hoop in the middle. The game ends when there are no more pine needles in the anthills.


  • When the children are learning the game, it might be helpful to start with only two anthills. It may be difficult for children to understand that they shall only take one pine needle, so it might be a good idea to have a couple of practise rounds before starting the game.


  • To increase the intensity of the game, you can increase the distance ant’s running distance.
  • You can vary the game by getting the ants to move around in different ways (run, walk, hop, jump, crawl).


Hula hoops
Bean bags (or cones, stones and so forth)


0 - 2 years
3 - 5 years


Large space
Small space

Motor skills

Learning areas

Activity type