Dog Sled Relay


Physical: gross motor skill, coordination

Cognitive: sustained attention, selective attention, visual processing, auditory processing

Social: turn taking

Number of participants:

4 or more




  1. assign each child a dog-sledding role (leader, point dog, wheel dog, swing dog)
  2. form a circle with the whole group and march on the spot
  3. when the coach calls 1 of the 4 roles, the child runs around in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction back to their spot
  4. if more than 1 child is assigned to a dog-sledding role, when that role is called, the children run to the next vacant spot in the circle

*this description is adapted from the original activity


Dogsledding is used to travel across the snow by the Indigenous people for travel and trade. Dogs were typically paired up and given the role of leader (to guide the team), point dog (provide encouragement, training to be leaders), wheel dog (strongest dogs, maintain the sled on its track) or swing dogs (maintain team organization while rounding corners). The dogs were attached to a gangline attached to a sled and were taught to respond to “Marche” or “Mush” from the driver. The command would keep the team moving.


Modifications to make the activity easier:

Change the task: give children a visual cue in addition to the verbal cue when they should start running to decrease cognitive demand

Change the environment: put dots on each spot where children are supposed to stand to decrease cognitive demand

Modifications to make the activity harder:

Change the environment: place obstacles around the circle of children for children to dodge when they run to increase physical and cognitive demand

Change the task: call multiple roles at once to increase cognitive demand

Goal examples:

  • I will be able to run when called 2 times with no more than 2 prompts by the end of the program
  • I can identify my role when prompted and run back to my spot

Video/image coming soon.