Equipment Set-Up
Purposeful PLAY Equipment/Set-up
  • Music (nature-inspired)
  • Music delivery system
  • 5 Jump ropes
  • 5 dense foam 4 to 6-inch balls
  • One foam tagging implement
  • Cones
  • Set out jump ropes to make lava lanes and spread out the balls to represent river rocks.
  • Use cones to create a 5 by 20-foot area at the end of the activity space for a foot dribble practice station.

Purposeful PLAY: Forest Adventure Tag: Leaping Hot Lava, Moving & Stopping River Rocks

This tag game activity allows students the opportunity to continue to practice their dominant foot kick, foot trap, favorite foot balance, favorite foot leap and previously learned locomotor skills. It prompts them to use their creativity and imagination while they have fun interacting and cooperating with each other. It allows an opportunity for the teacher to assess the skill of instep kick.


  1. Tell students that in this activity, Purposeful PLAY: Forest Adventure Tag: Leaping Hot Lava, Moving & Stopping River Rocks, they will be using a variety of locomotors, including leap, foot trap, and kick, and their favorite foot awareness to have fun, move around, and improve their skills.
  2. Set up cones to cone off an area at the end of the activity space. Place one medium-sized foam ball in this area. This will be the “show what you know” practice area for students to show the teacher their foot dribble.
  3. Share that they are going to pretend they are moving outside in an area with varied landscape. (e.g., out in a forest with tall trees, big boulders/rocks, erupting volcanos, mountains, etc.)
  4. Explain to students that this will be a tag game. When the music is on, they should move around the activity space using all their locomotors and try not to get tagged.
  5. Tell them there are areas of the activity space (forest) that are going to have “boulders,” “prickly pinecones,” or “hot lava” flowing through.
    • If they come to a hot lava lane (jump rope), they should try to leap over it without letting any part of their foot dip into it. (Review with them that when leaping, they should leap from their kicking foot to their non-kicking foot.)
    • Explain that there are also some river rocks in our forest area (the balls) and if they come to a ball (river rock) they should move it by trying 5-foot dribbles with it and then a foot trap on top of it for 5 counts. (Players cannot get tagged when they are foot dribbling/trapping their river rocks)
  6. Share that they should be using all their safe moving skills to move to all areas of the forest without bumping/banging into any other forest friends and without getting tagged.
  7. Explain to students that they can keep themselves safe from getting tagged by hooking arms with another forest friend and balancing on their favorite foot for 20 counts.
  8. Remind them that this will take cooperation, to balance together without causing each other to fall over. Demonstrate with a student.
  9. Explain that if they do get tagged, they will safely move over to the dribble practice area to show you their instep kick. Students should raise their hand in a “high-five” sign once they are tagged and exiting the activity space. This will help ensure that the tagging students don’t try to re-tag a player. Explain that they should stand against the side wall in a line until it is their turn to show you their skill.
  10. Ask quick recall questions:
    • What skills are we using? (Locomotors, leap, foot trap, kick, favorite foot awareness)
    • Which skill are we using to get us over the hot lava? (Leap)
    • Which foot are we focusing on when balancing with a friend? (Favorite foot)
    • What should you do if you approach a ball? (Stop the ball with a foot trap for 20 counts)
    • Where will you go if you get tagged? (Dribble practice area)
  11. Choose one student to be the friendly forest ranger (tagger) and give them a safe tagging implement.
  12. Start music to begin activity. (Upbeat sounds of nature music would be motivating)
  13. Check student’s skill in the dribble practice area and reteach as needed.


Ask clean-up crew to pick up and organize all equipment. Ask all others to lock arms with someone and begin walking throughout the activity space.

Variations Small circle rings could be set out in place of jump ropes and could represent puddles of mud to leap over if jump ropes become unsafe to move around.

This is a multi-layered activity. Instruction can begin with just one obstacle, the leap for hot lava, then in the second round of the game the bigger balls can be added to represent boulders to stop by foot trapping and in the third round of the game the small balls could be added for kicking. It may take multiple times of play to build all levels into the game.