I first learnt about the energizer called banana dance in college during our rural camp. Fast forward to 2014 I relived the enjoyment of doing the same energizer during a training program on Volunteer management.
Just lately the banana dance was performed with 5th grade students at a school run by a NGO. There were 2 other volunteers in the classroom who joined in conducting it. They belonged to the group of 17 volunteers from a corporate company as part of their Corporate Employee Engagement Program facilitated by iVolunteer. The children loved the banana dance and remembered most of the lyrics when we did it for the second time.
So the children were excited. We continued their excitement by engaging them in games that were planned. The sheet of instructions on playing jumbled words on Indian sports was handed over to the teacher. She wrote them on the board. But wait there was also the 6th grade with 3 corporate volunteers! I had only one sheet of the activity! It was not easy to remember jumbled words and write them from memory. After all they are jumbled with no logical sequence!
On visiting the 6th grade I found the volunteers informally interacting with the children. They were getting them into smaller groups as discussed. So time was right to jump into the activity. How about playing ADZAP ? Before coming to the class I carried the chits for the activity. All the children had to do was to plan an Ad on a thing mentioned in the chit that they select. For example advertising a toothpaste, soap or a bicycle. Well it is another story how the word bicycle got misunderstood by one group, or rather by one student as recycle! Having got this started I made my journey to the 5th graders.
5th graders were all busy deciphering the jumbled sports’ names. They were also learning about new sports such as tennis, badminton. The 6th graders were busy too discussing with the volunteers on creating the ads. Shunting between the two classes made me miss some of the ads being performed in the 6th grade. But then it was all worth it as the activities went well and the volunteers spent good time with the children.
Few learning’s for me from the entire episode – the kids like the energizer called banana dance. So it is a safe option as an ice breaker next time there is an activity with children. Also, It is alright to have more activities planned as one never knows when it may come in handy! Do you want to try banana dance with your kids ? Here are the lyrics. You can add actions and tune to it to make it more fun! Note: The lyrics might be slightly out of order :)
All the bananas of the world unite
Peel banana, peel peel banana (2)
Slice banana, slice Slice banana (2)
Squish banana, squish squish banana (2)
Eat banana, eat eat banana (2)
Shake banana shake shake banana (2)
Go banana go go banana!! (2)