Greetings once again from The Gambia! Today we are going to show you how to play a great game and learn a new skill all at the same time!
We bet you can’t guess what the game is! Here I am filling buckets with water ready for the game!
I wonder if you can guess where we balance the bucket?? Today we are going to show you something we in The Gambia call bucket balance!
That’s right, on our heads! Did you guess correctly? Now I wonder if you can guess why people in The Gambia and other African countries balance things on their heads??
In a country like The Gambia many people do not own cars so most people have to walk carrying there belongings with them Because we walk so often we find it easier to carry things on the top of our heads as it is far less tiring than carrying things with our arms!
We start carrying small items when we are young, which helps us develop our balance so we can carry heavier things as we grow older This bucket is full of water, if I tried to carry it with my arms it would feel much heavier!
To help make sure things don’t fall when we balance them we use a cloth to help grip the object to the top of our head! Here I am with just a cloth on my head waiting for a bucket to balance on it
Most Africans have curly dry hair and this helps us because it means the cloth sticks to our heads quite well Because most Europeans have flat shiny hair we think it might be harder for them to balance things!
Here are some people carrying things on their heads in every day life in The Gambia Most people in The Gambia will carry water from the well to their home each day, this is how bucket balancing came about!
It’s not just water people carry mind! Can you see what these ladies are carrying? That’s right food! We don’t have plastic shopping bags in The Gambia!
Here are some women carrying there washing home after leaving it in the sun to dry! What do you think you would carry on your head if you could?
Remember we have been balancing buckets for a long time so you might want to practise with an empty bucket, we don’t want you all getting wet!! We thought it would be a great experiment if you tried balancing buckets on your head to see how you get on!
We love playing bucket balance races! As you can see each person races against another person to see who can get across the playground first! Once you have practised balancing a bucket you may like to try racing each other!
It’s great fun! Obviously if you drop your bucket in the race you have to go back to the start! You can either race each other or race as a relay team against another team!
We’d love to know how you got on! Maybe you could write to us and tell us how you did! We thought it would be great if you held a bucket balance race at your school!