Follow the trail

3-5 years
Child Development
Vocabulary (position words: over, under, through, beside, between, along); pretending
10 metres of string, wool, or rope
Physical Activity

Developing movement skills (body control skills and spatial awareness); creativity

Where this can be played
Indoors or outdoors
How to Play
  1. Outline a winding trail on the floor, carpet, grassy area or down the hall. Have the children follow the trail using crawling and creeping actions.
  2. Suggest, or ask the children to suggest, different ways of moving along the trail (e.g. scampering like a squirrel, stalking like a cat, creeping backwards).
    1. Some children have difficulty inventing movement ideas; they can benefit from copying other’s responses before creating their own movements.
  3. Read the “Caterpillar” poem together, and take turns doing small tickles up each other’s backs.
    1. CATERPILLAR by Anonymous

      “Who’s that tickin’ my back?” said the wall, (crawl fingers up the child’s back)
      “Me,” said a small caterpillar. “I’m learning to crawl.”
Change it up / Alternatives / Additional Options
  • Arrange the trail to go over, under, between and around objects. Out loud, describe where the trail goes and invite the children to do the same. Have the children design the trail.
  • Introduce number sequences: “creep three paces forward; crawl back four; shake like a wet dog, then crawl forward six more.”
  • Older children can work in pairs, one child leading the creeping/crawling while the other child follows behind holding onto the leader’s ankles; take turns and rotate positions.
  • After reading We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, pretend the rope is the trail to the bear’s cave…and join the children in sequencing and reversing all the actions along the way.

Excerpt from the HOP Early Learning Practitioners Resource (Decoda Literacy Solutions)