A fun warm-up game. Teaches children in a fun active way about the life and habits of limpets.


A clear open space where running is possible.


4 Cones (or other marker objects); a flag and/ or rope to signify a base. (All resources can be improvised using markings in the sand and things found on the beach if necessary)

Relevance and Aims:

Running the Activity:

Clear game area of hazards and set up a home scar (base) at one end, large enough for all players to fit in.

4 (or more) cones are spread around the game area these are ‘food’.

(The game can also be played in a playground or school hall, where existing floor markings could be used)

Explain what a limpet is and tell the group that they are now going to pretend to be limpets. Explain that the home scar is a patch on the rock, made by limpets who, return to it for safety when the tide goes out. Everyone starts by returning to their home scar. Explain the commands and actions and explain how they relate to real limpets. After a practice, the last child to react correctly or anyone who does the wrong action is out and ‘helps you judge’.  This element of competition is optional and the game can be effective without anyone being out. The commands and actions are:

Tide in”: Leave the home scar and move around the game area (Do not stop moving!). This relates to time spent foraging while the tide is in.

“Tide out”: Return to the home scar (relates to home scar behaviour in real limpets).

“Feed”: Touch a piece of food (cone) and feed by making a rasping noise (This is the noise that a feeding limpet makes when scraping rocks with its toothed tongue)

“Starfish”: Stamp or jump up and down (relates to limpets ‘stamping’ to defend against approaching starfish.)

“catcher”: Crouch down on the ground (relates to limpets clamping down to protect against oystercatchers.)

When explaining the commands, include some information about how the real life actions of a limpet are adaptations to help protect it from predators and to help it live in a difficult environment.



Group Size

up to 35


up to 30 mins

Ocean Literacy Links