River bank jump

Age
3-5 years
Child Development
Pretend play; playing with the sounds of language
Equipment
Chalk or small ropes
Physical Activity

Vigorous play (building strong bones and muscles); developing movement skills (body and spatial awareness, jumping, leaping)

Where this can be played
Outdoors or large indoor area
How to Play
  1. With chalk or ropes, mark two lines to make a river; wide at one end, narrow at the other. Encourage each child to choose the width he or she feels comfortable jumping.
  2. Invite the children to jump in and out and over the river. Call out: “on the bank”; “in the river”; or “across the river.”
    1. For children with mobility difficulty invite them to cross the lines using their preferred mobility strategy.
    2. Some children have difficulty imagining a river. You can make the river more real by using something different from the floor as the river (e.g. a towel on the carpet).
Change it up / Alternatives / Additional Options
  • Introduce an element of suspense and peril by pretending the river has hungry alligators in it. Set the mood by reciting or acting out “Three Little Monkeys.”
    • THREE LITTLE MONKEYS by Anonymous

      Three little monkeys swinging from a tree,
      Teasing Mr. Alligator, “Can’t catch me!”
      Along came Mr. Alligator slowly as can be
      Then…SNAP!

      Two little monkeys swinging from a tree,
      Teasing Mr. Alligator, “Can’t catch me!”
      Along came Mr. Alligator slowly as can be
      Then…SNAP!

      One little monkey swinging from a tree.
      Teasing Mr. Alligator, “Can’t catch me!”
      Along came Mr. Alligator slowly as can be
      Then…SNAP!

Excerpt from the HOP Early Learning Practitioners Resource (Decoda Literacy Solutions)