Outdoor Games for Kids: Tag

With warmer temperatures and beautiful days there are many opportunities to be outdoors. Why not save the electronics for rainy days? Did you ever play Tag as a child? This is a game where one person is”It” and the other players must avoid being touched or “tagged”. A place (tree, a large rock, a bush, etc) is chosen to be base so everyone can have some time to rest before rejoining. Here are several versions of how to play this fun interactive game.

Some Rules to Establish before Beginning:

  • If players’ skills are uneven, set a time limit for how long someone can be It.
  • Have a base so players can go to catch their breath or rest. They must return to the game after they have had sufficient time to rejoin the game. Stop the game when players are getting fatigued.
  • Ask children to gently tap other players to avoid injury. Anyone who hits someone hard must apologize and sit out the remainder of that game or do ten jumping jacks.

Freeze Tag Try this chilly version of tag. When a player is tagged, he or she must stop where they are and wait until another player touches (unfreezes) them.

Bandaid Tag This is fun because everyone tags players. Once a person is tagged, he/she must put a hand on the spot where they were tagged to create a bandaid, and keep running. Another player can tag them to “heal” them. If tagged twice, then that person becomes the new “It”.

Chain Tag- In this large group game of tag one person begins as “It”. As other players get tagged, they link arms with the person chosen to be “It” and form a chain. The chain of people must work together and communicate as they try to tag the remaining players. The last player to get tagged is the winner and a new game can begin.

Zoo Tag- Mark 1-4 different areas as “cages” depending upon the size of your group and decide on one person to be “the “zookeeper”. Divide the remaining players into groups and designate one person to play the part of the “monkey” — the mischievous player whose role it is to free the others from the cages. Each group chooses an animal and a movement for the game, i.e. kangaroos can hop, cheetahs can run, horses can gallop, etc. To begin, the animals are set free to move around, but if tagged must return to their respective cage. While the zookeeper is trying to lock up all the animals, the monkey is letting everyone loose! After a few minutes choose a zookeeper and a new monkey.

Hot Dog Tag– This delicious deviation from the classic starts with one person designated as “it”. When a player is tagged, he or she must lay flat on the floor with hands by their side and legs together, as if they were a hot dog. To get back into the game, two free players need to lie on either side of the “hot dog” to form the buns. The person who is “it” cannot tag any of the three players completing the hot dog, as they are allowed to join back in.

Cookie Jar Tag- For this fun game for younger players, you will need a “cookie jar”—a box, basket, or bucket. Designate a start line and choose two players to be “It.” Divide the rest of the players in half and give one group small balls, bean bags, or small stuffed animals. The goal is to reach the cookie jar and put in their “cookies” without being tagged. They can choose to throw their cookies to another player. Once all the cookies are in the jar, the game is over.

Wood Tag– Played like traditional tag, a player is safe if he/ she touches something that is made of wood.

Tail Tag- A scrap of fabric, old tie, or bandanna is tucked into each player’s waistband creating a “tail.” Everyone grabs as many tails as they can and the person who collects the most wins the game. Just be sure that the tail can be pulled easily to avoid injury or clothes being ripped.

Drop It Tag- Give about a third of the players a foam pool noodle, a ball, or a bean bag. The rest of the players chase and tag the ones holding something. When someone is tagged, they must drop what they are holding. The tagger picks it up and begins to be chased.

Some of these ideas were mine, but others came from these two websites: https://icebreakerideas.com/tag-games/ and https://activeforlife.com/transform-the-game-of-tag/

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

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