The Shark is Coming


In The Shark is Coming, the children ‘swim’ around before running away at a high-intensity pace back to the ‘their house’ to avoid being caught by the shark.


  1. One child is the shark (with an adult, if necessary), who stands in a hula hoop in the middle of the play area.
  2. The other children divide themselves between the hula hoops (preferably two in the beginning) placed at an equal distance from the middle.
  3. The children are given names according to the colour of the hula hoop in which they are standing, for example, yellow fish, red fish and so forth.
  4. The shark/adult calls out the names of the fish who will be going swimming.
  5. The fish, whose names have been called out, run around the shark until the shark shouts: “The shark is coming!”
  6. The fish shall now swim as fast as they can home to their house, whilst the shark tries to catch as many fish as possible.
  7. This caught fish now become sharks and stand in the hula hoop in the middle of the play area.


  • If you want to work with, for example, shapes, you can use different shapes for ‘home’ instead of hula hoops. The names of the fish will then be the shapes they are standing in. For instance, skipping ropes can be used to create shapes or chalk can be used to draw them on the ground.
  • For progression in the game, you can add more types of fish and increase the distance the children have to run to get home.
  • As a variation, different movements could be used, for example, walking, hopping, crawling, or they could be different animals.


Three different coloured hula hoops


0 - 2 years
3 - 5 years


Large space
Small space

Motor skills

Learning areas

Activity type