Imaginary worlds: A mermaid’s tale

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By Jenni Tavenerearly years teacher and writer

Get into character and take a step into the imaginary world of pirates and mermaids

A mermaid's tale

1 Who’s in the cave?

Play an action game based on who’s hiding in a cave

Physical Development

Using Equipment and Materials

Development matters: put together a sequence of actions (16-26 months); understand that equipment and tools have to be used safely (30-50 months).

Early learning goal: use a range of small and large equipment.

What you need

Group size: large groups.

Two copies of the activity sheets ‘Who’s in the cave? (1)’ and ‘Who’s in the cave? (2)’; safe indoor or outdoor space; soft play equipment; drum or tambourine.

What to do

Encourage the children to identify the four imaginary world characters that are hiding in each cave on the activity sheets, for example, a troll, a dragon, a pirate and a mermaid.

Use the pictures as components for an action game, by placing one set of pictures in the four corners of a room to represent four caves. Place the matching set of pictures, face down, nearby.

Invite the children to imagine that they are on a trek in search of imaginary world characters. Encourage them to pretend to climb up hills, slide down valleys, swim across rivers, stomp through swamps and swing through trees. Use small and large obstacles to help set this imaginary scene.

As the children move around the room, make a loud crashing sound using a drum or tambourine to represent a thunderstorm. On hearing the thunder, the children should dash for one of the four corners of the room to shelter with one of the characters.

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