30 Days to Hands on Play : Pretend Islands

Gross MotorToddlersPreschoolers18 Comments



It’s time to get moving now and let imaginations run wild!

Take some pillows, lay them out sporadically.
Ta da! You’ve created islands with the floor as water!
We jumped from island to island to see if we could make it to them all.

Don’t fall in the water and get wet!

To start this activity, I started throwing pillows out on the floor.
Henry inquisitively asked what was going on (throwing pillows, at least many, on the floor is not a normal occurrence).

I told him to hop on one.
Then I acted scared if he touched the floor, telling him he may fall in the water.

Not long and he caught on and was playing right along in the charade.
Mostly having fun jumping, jumping and jumping a lot!

Don’t forget to jump with them!

Can each of you make it to the to all the islands?
What will be in the water if you fall?
Swim back to ‘shore’ or rescue each other!

Or you could stop and take a swim in the water too, like Henry enjoyed doing.
He told me he was swimming in the river!

This ‘Challenge’ is meant to get you started, to spark your creativity with your kids (and their creativity!). I’m excited to see where this activity takes you and your kids today!

Spend (at least) 15 minutes of uninterrupted* time making islands, pretending to be on the islands and even jumping to and from each of them with your child(ren)!

(*uninterrupted : being present with the child. No technology, phones, television, computer, etc. No errands, chores, making dinner, etc.)


  • pillows
  • cushions from couch or chairs
  • ABC mat tiles
  • blankets
  • tape out areas on the floor


  • Make a single island on a blanket for the younger ones.
  • Make it a bridge of pillows instead of islands and balance/walk across.

A badge for you to share that you’re taking part in the Play Challenge!
Share it and be proud to play!

Its not too late to get started!
See what this challenge is all about and how you can join in: 30 Days to Hands on Play Challenge.
Jump in at any time, or go back and start from the beginning!

Please share how you
“stayed out of the water” today
(and where your imaginations took you!)
Here in the comments, and be inspired by more ideas on The Play Network.
Tomorrow, The Imagination Tree has your challenge for Day 5!

Be sure to sign up to receive reminders for the 30 Days to Play Hands on Challenge:

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  1. Ruth@cookarlo says

    You must be reading my mind. Or maybe it´s having kids the same age! Last night I sat planning a pirate weekend for the kids (make maps/find treasure/dress up), so this island game is a perfect warm up to our weekend.

  2. Terra says

    Our islands turned into iceburgs in the kitchen then into trains. The boys discovered then pillows could slide across the floor. I played train engineer pushing, pulling, twisting then across the floor. 45 minutes laters, I am exhausted, who needs the gym!

  3. Monica W. says

    We did this one today. We threw out all the couch cushion and pillows and jumped from one to the next. When we landed in the water, we would swim and catch fish to eat. At the end, we fried up all the fish and ate them. We had ice cream for dessert. Then we took a break and REALLY had ice cream. Right now, they are playing in their fort made of chairs and blankets!

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