Turtles, Snakes and Islands

Turtles, Snakes and Islands

3-5 years, 5-8 years
1 - 40
10 minutes
School, ECEC
Cones , Ropes or balance beams, Hoops , Hurdles (optional)
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Set Up:

  • Scatter hoops, cones and ropes amongst a 10m x 10m area
  • Set-up hurdles in a boat formation or use an existing item of playground equipment as the boat
  • Children all start spread out in the designated area


On start signal children run around area jumping over snakes (ropes) and jumping on the turtles (soft cones) and onto the islands (hoops).

When the coach calls out the ‘pirates are coming’ children run to the boat where they are safe from the pirate (coach).

The coach can call out different commands for children as they move around the area:

  • Skipping
  • Jumping
  • Hopping
  • Jump onto an island and stretch as tall as a tree (on tiptoes with arms stretched up above the head)
  • Jump onto an island and balance like a flamingo (hands on hips, standing on one leg)
  • Try and jump over an island
  • Hop around a turtle


  • Add a tagger (pirate) in for more interest
  • Add a safe area. A player is safe if they jump into a hoop (one person in a hoop at a time).
  • Make area smaller or larger depending on numbers
  • Add in your own commands
  • Let a child call out the commands
  • Give children the opportunity to make up new commands
Turtles, Snakes and Islands_photo

Teaching Points:


  • Land like you are riding a motorbike – arms forward, ankles, knees and hips bent, feet apart
  • Land as quiet as a mouse