Building Active Bodies and Brains

Lava Land – Balance, Jump and Leap

This game can be played inside or outside. All you need is some space on the ground and a few markers, such as cushions or coloured dots, chalk marks on pavement or hoops on the grass.

Pretend the ground is hot lava, or anything that your child finds fun, such as a river with crocodiles in it or perhaps something magical. Your child can leap, jump or hop from one marker to the next. You can adapt the game to suit your child. Younger children may find it easier to leapfrog or do a double step or leap to get to the next marker. Older children could try jumping or hopping.

Initially you can put the markers quite close together. Once this is achieved, you can widen the gap between each marker. For very young children, you could pile cushions together and simply walking over them helps them to practise their balance on uneven surfaces. You could pretend the cushions are a wobbly bridge.

Helpful Hint: As your child learns how to master the jump, you can help your child by telling them to have their eyes forward, swing arms back, then lift off and land on two feet with knees bent and arms forward, in a “motorbike landing”.