Bat and Moth is one of our all time favorite games!
This version is adapted from Sharing Nature with Children by Joseph Cornell.
- Blindfold or bandana to cover eyes
Background on Bats
There are 13 species of bats in Illinois! The bats in Illinois are insect eaters and these bats use echolocation.
Many bats, about 70%, have this special ability called echolocation that helps them navigate. Echolocation is a way of “seeing” with sound. They send out high-frequency sound waves, which bounce off all objects in their path and echo back to them. Based on the time it takes for the echoes to return, bats can tell how far away an object is. And, based on the returning sounds, bats can tell the size and shape of an object. Although this activity doesn’t use echoes for location, which is very difficult for the human ear, students will practice using sound in a fun game that is great for a cold or rainy day!
How to play
Pick a room to play in and clear a playing area or play outside in an open space. Set boundaries together.
Choose one family member to be a bat and one family member to be a moth. Have the other family members spread out nearby – these people represent the bat and moth’s habitat.
Blindfold the bat. The bat will call out “bat” and the moth will then answer “moth.” The bat will try to zero in on the moth simulating echolocation by repeating “bat.” The moth has to answer back right away.
The “habitat” members will move around the edge of the playing area and reply “habitat” if the bat gets too close to them, the edge of the habitat (boundaries), or something in the habitat.
Review the rules of play and set additional guidelines for keeping each other safe (ie. walking feet, etc).
Once the bat tags the moth, the moth becomes a bat and the bat becomes part of the habitat. Pick a new moth.
If either the bat or moth leave their habitat (goes out of the bounds), they die and become part of the habitat. Start again!
Design bat and moth costumes to use during game play!