Raft Game

Age Range: 7 - 11
By: Simon Thomson

Divide the class into small groups.

  • Give each group 2 gym mats.
  • Start the teams at one end of hall, and tell the children that they have to move to the other end without touching the floor, i.e. start on one mat, jump to the next, pass the back mat forward and repeat the sequence.
  • If any of the teams touches the floor, you might want to send them back to the start!

This is a great way to encourage the children to co-operate and builds team spirit.

Extenson ideas for this activity (contributed by Billy Ainscough):

  • As the children are making their way across the hall/yard, one of them should be blindfolded.  This makes the team think more carefully.
  • In the middle of the hall you could place some sort of obstacle that the teams have to climb over or go under.
  • You could also put a time limit on the game.
  • You could make the mats smaller or give the teams sacks that can only take 4/5 pupils at one time.  This now means that one member has to make several trips back and forward.  I call this one 'The Ferryman'.
  • If you're feeling really mean you could encompass all of the above in one game.

Joe Meredith has contributed a variation to this idea:

Have 2 equal teams at one end of the hall with 2 mats per team. The floor is the sea and the mats are the boats. The aim is to get to the other end of the hall without touching the water. Children have to work together using both mats.

Progression - add cones as obstacles or 'icebergs' in the sea they have to avoid. Or, give each team a ball as a cannon. They get 5 shots to hit the other team. If they get hit they are out.


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Wayne Venzlauskas

I have used a similar idea with teams of 4-5 students and give them 30cm x 30cm carpet squares. In this variation - Raft Across The River, each carpet square acts as a safe raft as the group moves across the river about 7-10m wide). However, as soon as a raft is placed on the water, the students must have some body contact with it otherwise it floats away (taken by the teacher).Students can have more than one person on a raft at a time, as long as they are in contact with all rafts that are on the water. Once they step on them they must quickly pick them and pass them to to front (otherwise they float away).This really fosters teamwork and problem-solving abilities in the students.I've used it with Years 5 and 6 for the past five years and they absolutely love it.


julie whelihan

As with Joe's idea, except, I have each team start at opposite sides of playing area so they don't get so obsessed with weather or not they're in the lead.



Thank you. Great ideas and they worked well.


Austin Tibbetts

This is a great idea thank you!



i like this






i love your game