5 children playing outsideSharks and Octopuses is an engaging outside activity for children which promotes physical activity and fair play. This planned activity relates to NQF outcome 3.2 and 2.3.

Plan Type

Child Requested


  • To encourage children to play outside and use/develop their skills of running, dodging and strategy.
  • To develop honesty and fairness during play, particularly in acknowledging when they are tagged.
  • To develop awareness around physical safety when playing in a confined area with others.
  • To ensure physical well-being with regard to sun safety in an outdoor setting e.g. sunscreen and wearing of hats.

NQF Outcomes

2.3 Children become aware of fairness

3.2 Children take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing

Activity Description

This activity requires a group of 10 or more participants. The number of children involved will determine the size of the field of play.

Everyone starts the game as an octopus and stands on one side of the field.

One child is selected to be a shark and they stand in the middle of the playing area.

The shark calls out ‘Octopus, octopus come swim in my ocean’.

All players must run form one side of the field to the other past the shark in the centre.

If a child is touched/tagged by the shark, they must sit down where they were tagged and they then become seaweed (shark helpers).

When the shark calls out ‘Octopus, octopus come swim in my ocean’ all the other players must run back to the other side of the field.

Anyone who runs within reach of the seaweed (shark helpers) and are tagged, must also sit down.

The game continues until there is only one octopus left.


  • How did children respond to being made the shark?
  • Were there any arguments about tagging? How were they resolved?
  • Were all children able to participate equally? Was there any bias observed in the game e.g. gender or age?
  • Were there any safety concerns? What was done to improve the safety of the game?
  • Were any other NQF outcomes achieved during the activity?

Other Planned Activities

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