|Babies||Walkers 2||2s to 3s||3s to 4s|
Overview and benefit
Jumping is an important gross motor skill for the children to practise and learn. Mastering the art of jumping cab be quite tricky for younger children. Often children learn the action before they can actually take their feet off the floor. So teaching them to bend and rise suddenly is the precursor to actually jumping. It can help to count before the children jump – one two three, jump. Initially a toddler may jump with one foot only off the ground, encourage them to jump with both feet off the ground demonstrating this to them. In this activity children expand there jumping ability by leaping from mat to mat in order to avoid falling into the water and being eaten by a crocodile!
- Crocodile prop
One to two weeks
How it works
A fun game offering leaping practice
What to do in the class
Lay out lots of non slip mats on the floor in a circle with sufficient distance between them to provide a challenge when leaping to the next. Explain to the children that they need to jump from mat to mat to avoid being eaten by a crocodile. Explain also that they can only leap to the next mat once there is nobody on it (to avoid collisions!). Ensure that the children and parents move around the mats in the same direction (i.e in a circle). You will need a few more mats than there are children to avoid bottlenecks. If you want to make it more challenging increase the distance between the mats. Use the crocodile prop to add a little excitement to the game, but be gentle as some children find this a little too scary.
Adaptations for older/younger children
Most children are not able to master jumping until two years old, so this activity is best kept for the 2 + children.
What to do in a nursery setting
If space is a problem, simply lay out two mats and let the children take it in turns to attempt the jump. If another member of staff is available you can split the children in half and have two leap stations.