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Play Phase session: treasure island

Looking for an activity for 4–6-year-olds? Try treasure island. It's easy to set up.

“Treasure island” is a variation of a tag game where someone tries to tag someone else as they move around an area. The ‘tagger’ could be one player, perhaps even a team. It could even be everyone. Usually, tagging is done by touch. It could also be by stealing a ribbon or tackling away their football.


It's easy to set up. You only need a group of players, cones, spots, bibs and footballs.



The children start on the islands where they can't get tagged. Around the sea, some children will be sharks wearing blue bibs and turtles wearing green bibs.


Game one

The children score one treasure point for every island they get to. If a shark or turtle tags them, they must go to one of the boats and hold a balance for their age. This could be, for example, four seconds for a four-year-old. Encourage the children to travel in different ways, such as hopping, skipping or jumping.


Game two

On the islands, set up some balls on top of cones, which will be coconuts. The children have one piece of 'gold treasure' each to throw at the coconut. The 'gold treasure' could be a beanbag or a smaller ball. They can throw the treasure to knock over a coconut when travelling to the islands. The sharks and turtles are trying to steal the treasure. If they do, a balance must be completed to win it back.

Coaching activity

Watch this video to see the activity in action.

Imaginative play – add a little imagination

Ask the children to explain what animals they see whilst travelling.


Object play – introduce equipment

Ask them what the gold piece of treasure or even the coconuts on the trees look like.


Social play – bring everyone together

Ask the children to follow a friend and copy how they move from one island to another.


Remember to give it a football focus. When the children are ready, encourage them to travel around the islands with a ball. This could be carrying, bouncing, or dribbling it.


Want to get more from the game? Use our idea generator to increase the returns for your players.