Gaga ball is a fast paced, fun game that can be played with multiple ages and players of all abilities. Up to 15-20 students can run, jump, and dodge in the game as a single ball is moved around the pit. This portable pit (20' diameter) allows for an extra space for movement indoors and outdoors during the ever changing climate and conditions on the summit.
Students in grades K-5 will benefit from the grant, which equates to the entire school! When playing the game, students may interact with students from different classes while getting a surprising amount of exercise.
The addition of a portable Gaga Ball Pit would enhance recess and PE options, both indoors and out during all seasons. With high snow accumulation on the summit at Donner Trail, there are "off seasons" when the playground is barely melted and walls of snow still surround the borders, making the transition to blacktop play difficult. During inclement weather in the winter, accounting for a whole school indoor recess in the gym can be challenging. The confined space of a portable Gaga Ball pit would allow for a concentrated area for active play for up to 20 kids. A bonus is that the game encourages multi-age play and the portable model would promote student accountability with set-up and take down.
The Gaga ball pit would be primarily used outside. However, during the months when the blacktop needs to be clear at all times for snow removal, it could be stored and accessed easily for use in the gym. I have long considered trying to install a permanent Gaga ball pit, but the possibilities for that are limited due to space and snow removal operations. The portable version will be a good compromise and allow for flexibility.
This grant would benefit the entire school with students in grades K-5 being able to play. Students would be able to play in grade level scenarios during designated PE stations, as well as with multiple grade levels at recess.
We discussed that this would be a valuable addition to our outdoor area and that it would provide opportunity for cross-grade level play in PE and during recess.
While I know you do not typically fund playground equipment, I view this more as an addition to our toolkit with regard to keeping kids happy and active during multiple seasons. This could be easily set up and used for indoor recesses and PE stations, but I think it will best be used during shoulder seasons when dry playground space is limited. Gaga pits promote multi-age play and would help create excitement and promote physical activity in a small area.