Children jump/run/hop/leap from hoop to hoop trying to cross the river without the crocodile getting them!

Set up

Scatter hoops around a 10m x 10m area. Build the story - "The hoops are your lilypads, and you are the frogs! You need to cross the river by jumping on the lilypads, don't fall in the water, you must just see a crocodile!"

Tip: You can use markers or chalk instead of hoops

How to play
Step 1:
  • When the educator says "Go!", a few children at a time, children begin jumping from hoop to hoop, lilypad to lilypad  - crossing the river. Send the next group after the first group has jumped forward a few jumps and keep sending the children in quick succession. Avoid waiting time.
Step 2:
  • When all the children have crossed, repeat! Try changing the locomotor skill, such as leaping, hopping, or even jumping backward
Step 3:
  • Introduce new challenges with each round, e.g., only jump in blue hoops or only jump in a hoop with a flat marker in it. Try adding in a crocodile that children need to avoid
Make it easier
  • Change the type of locomotion to cross the river - walk, run, jump, leap, hop
  • Place hoops closer together and over a smaller distance
Make it harder
  • Add some additional challenges: you can only jump in blue and red hoops (or yellow or green)
  • Try and jump to the other side of the river in five jumps
  • You can't jump in hoops with beanbags in them (they are the crocodiles!)
  • Move hoops further apart
Activity information
Age: Three year olds, Kindergarten / Pre-school, Foundation, Year 1, Year 2
Participants: 1 +
Equipment: Hoops, Flat markers (optional), Cones
Duration: 10 minutes
Skill focus
Explore these skills for teaching tips
Skill teaching

Before starting the activity, practice swinging and springing. Try doing long jumps (for distance) and emphasise the swinging of the arms forward and upwards.

Remember the jumping teaching cues:

  1. Land like you are riding a motorbike – arms forward, ankles, knees, and hips bent, feet apart
  2. Start with your arms stretched behind you like a superhero
  3. Swing & Spring
  4. Reach for a star and bring it down again (for vertical jumps)
Activity summary
Physical literacy tips
  • Have lots of hoops and letmultiple children jump at once to minimise waiting time
  • Make a story - we're going on a picnic! Children cross the river to have their picnic on the riverbank, but uh oh, someone keeps forgetting the sandwiches, or the drinks! You've gotta turn back!
  • Have lots of different pathways available, with some harder options to allow children to challenge themselves
  • Give children waiting a fun task to do e.g. balance on one leg, hop around in a circle, run on the spot