Hit the Deck! Shipwreck!

Let’s pretend… and get physically active while playing this fun, non-competitive game.

Materials and Set-Up:
Indoor or outdoor space with boundaries using cones or Hop Around Steps.
Tumbling mat(s) placed in center of playing area designated as “the ship.”

Let’s Get Started:
1. Children watch and listen as directions of how to play are demonstrated.
2. The teacher or game leader is designated as the Captain.
3. Commands will be given by the Captain and the children are to react quickly as members of the ship’s crew. (The mats are the ship.)
4. On the command HIT THE DECK all children are to sit cross-legged on the mat.
5. On the command SHIPWRECK all children leave the mat and pretend-swim in the open sea (the space around the mat).
6. On the command LIFEBOATS children leave mat and find a partner. They sit down with legs apart and feet touching. They hold hands across from one another and sing “‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat” as they rock back and forth, pretending to row their lifeboat.
7. On the command SEAGULLS children leave mat and stand in open space with legs apart, arms waving and flapping overhead, making a squawking noise.
8. On the command SCRUB THE DECK children go to mat and get on hands and knees and pretend to clean in a scrubbing action.
9. On the command CAPTAIN’S COMING children stand to attention facing the teacher/game leader and salute.
10. On the command SHARKS children run to the middle of the mat and do a group hug or huddle without pushing or grabbing.

1. Physical activity = any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure.
2. Health-related fitness = components of physical fitness that are related in a positive manner to health and well-being: cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition.
3. Gross motor skills = using the large muscles of the arms, legs and trunk.
4. Listening skills = ability to follow verbal directions.
5. Space awareness = knowing where the body can and should move in relationship to other people in the play space.
6. Agility = quick, easy, lively movements.
7. Cooperative play = games and activities that the participants play together rather than against one another.

1. Introduce the game using only 3-4 commands; add others after children become familiar with the game.
2. Vary the length of time between commands.
3. Try to trick children by repeating a command twice in a row.
4. Let children take turns being Captain and giving commands.
5. Children may devise other commands and actions.
6. A parachute can also be used as the ship, instead of tumbling mats.

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