Kids love gaga. They can’t wait for gaga. They want to stop their other activities early so they can play gaga. At Briarwood Day Camp, we think we could have an entire Gaga Day – and we’re sure the kids would go bananas. In fact, we hold the world record for the world’s largest gaga game ever played.
For the uninitiated, what is gaga? And what’s so great about it? Let’s see if we can explain.
Gaga is essentially dodgeball below the waist. Kids play in a gaga “pit.” The gaga pit is an enclosed structure which has a wall two or three feet high. Kids hit a spongy ball or volleyball along the ground. The goal is to hit another player below the waist with the ball – if you do that, the other player is out. The game moves on until there is only one player remaining.
So why do kids love gaga so much? It’s fun. It’s active. It’s friendly. You don’t need a lot of equipment (you only need a ball). There aren’t a lot of complex rules. Anyone can play. The game moves quickly so if you’re out, you know that a new game will be starting in a few minutes.
Here are some other things that, as camp directors and parents, we love about gaga. Gaga is self-directed – you don’t need an adult or counselor to play (although at Briarwood there are always counselors nearby). Kids start-up games by themselves. Gaga teaches kids independence and conflict resolution; because adults are not actively interjecting themselves, kids learn how to play fairly, respect differences, resolve disputes and believe in their power and ability to act “grown-up.” In short, gaga builds confidence.
At Briarwood, we have gaga tournaments. The kids go gaga for the gaga tournaments. What fun!