Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Tuggle is a simple game described in my brother Jim's book, Journey to Chandara.

Not much equipment is needed: a rope and low platforms for two players to stand on.

We played Tuggle this morning in kindergarten. For platforms, I grabbed a couple of cardboard blocks from the shelves in the kindergarten reading area. The rope was a jump rope left on the playground and that I picked up on our way in from running the lap.

I picked a couple of volunteers. They took their places on the blocks. The classroom carpet was deemed "hot lava." I handed each volunteer an end of the rope and explained that object of the game: to pull on the rope and in such a way as to cause the other person to step into the hot lava.

As Jim says in his book, size and strength isn't the main thing.

In Tuggle, as in life, knowing when to let go is the key the winning.

Henry bested me, Mrs. Frech, Sergio, Clayton, Daven, Kiyana, everyone. He got all of us the same way: he let go just as we tried to pull him off his perch. We fell off backwards. Perhaps Belle could have gotten him.

This photo shows Henry and Hailey going at it the moment before Hailey was to step back into the hot lava.

Afterwards we drew a picture and wrote about it. Here's Daven's picture. Daven, as you can see, has learned to draw hearts. Hearts show up in his work a lot lately. Here, he put one in the middle of the first letter of his name. And he thought the game should be called Tuggly. Coining words, be they "Soundabet" or "Dinotopia" can be a contagious condition. Apparently I've infected Daven.

If you'd like to meet my brother Jim, the famous artist, and author and illustrator of the Dinotopia series of books, he will be at Copperfield's Books on Friday to sign his new book, Journey to Chandara.

He'll be at the Petaluma Copperfield's on Kentucky Street at 1:00, and in Sebastopol at 4:00. I'll be there, too, because I love my brother.


binney said...

Running the lap? I hope you'll explain that on a future post. Sounds like a good way to get everyone loosened up.

Dan Gurney, Mr. Kindergarten said...

OK, Binney, it's on the list of future topics