Alligator Swamp

  1. Cooperative Games
  • Large Group (10 and up)

  • Grades 3-5

  • No equipment needed

  • 10 minutes or more

Development Goal

To develop communication, teamwork and leadership skills.

Before You Start

  • Divide players into two teams.
  • Each team receives an equal number of potato sacks, one less than the number of people in the group.
  • Brainstorm strategies and give examples if needed.
  • Make sure the teams have all their supplies and can repeat the rules.

Set Up

A clearly marked start and finish line. Equipment Needed: Potato sacks, cardboard, carpet squares or anything that players can easily stand on and carry.

How to Play

  • The object of the game is to get all team members from one side of town to the other without touching the lava.
  • Players can only be in the lava zone if they are standing on a potato sack.
  • If players step off the potato sack and into the lava, they must return back to the other side of town.
  • If a potato sack is placed into the lava without being constantly touched by a player, it is lost and the whole team must return back to the other side of town.
  • Each team should come up with a strategy on how to get all of their teammates across safely.


  • Rename the game and tell a different story with the same goals, such as Toxic Waste Dump or Lava Game.
  • Everyone everyone work together to race against a clock (instead of placing on teams.) Inform them that their side of town is going to explode in ten minutes and they must have everyone across by that time.
  • Choose the amount of potato sacks based on the experience level of the group. Less potato sacks makes the game harder.
  • Have players figure out their plan before they start and then remain silent during the game.
  • Randomly blindfold or silence a few members of the group.