Activity & Game Ideas

Having fun while increasing your physical activity level is something we can all get behind no matter your age. Getting active doesn't require costly equipment or a structured program. A little imagination, a little inspiration, and a desire to try is all it takes!

We are continually building this library with new activity and game ideas to help Islanders get active so please check back for updates.

DODGEBALL GAMES

Circle Dodgeball

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: Dodgeballs &Pylons

Mark off a large circular area using pylons with children on the inside and outside. The children in the inside are the dodgers and the children on the outside are the ones throwing the balls. Make sure the throwers aim below the waist. When a thrower hits a dodger they switch positions (better than complete elimination and the game can continue longer). The children on the outside of the circle can pass/throw the ball to other team-mates around the circle to work together to get someone out.

Dodgeball Tag

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: Dodgeballs & Pylons

Use pylons to set a boundary if necessary. Have two or more soft, inflatable balls for the game, depending on the number of children playing. When a child picks up a ball they have 5 seconds to throw it at another child to try and hit them (you can make up different rules such as underhand throwing only or hit only below the shoulders or waist, etc.). The child with the ball is only allowed to take three steps with the ball before they throw it. Once a child is hit with the ball they must do a predetermined exercise to get back into the game. The exercise could be 15 jumping-jacks, 10 push-ups, 20 crunches, 10 burpees, 15 squats, 20 calf raises, etc. It may be a good idea to have a separate area for the children to do their exercise to get back in the game. Also, if a child has a ball in hand they can still be ‘struck out’ by another child who has a ball.

Dodging Bowlers

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: Dodge balls & Bowling Pins

Divide the children into two teams. The gym/area is divided in half with one team on each side. Set up a number of bowling pins at the far end of each team’s area. Place a number of balls in the middle between the two teams. The objective is to knock down the other team’s pins with a ball (by throwing or rolling it) and to acquire more team members (to help accomplish the goal of knocking down all the pins). The pins cannot be set up again if they are knocked down, even if a team knocks down their own pin by accident. If a child is hit below the waist with a ball they must switch teams. The game is over when all the pins on one team are knocked down. A child may choose to guard the pins but if they are not dodging the balls they will quickly find themselves on the other team. If a ball is caught in the air the child that threw it must join the opposite team.

The Gauntlet

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: Dodge balls & Pylons

Mark out a large rectangular shape or use a gymnasium with one group of children lined up at one end. The rest of the children are lined up along the two sidelines. The children on the end are to run to the other end without getting hit with a ball. The children on the sidelines are trying to hit the children running down the middle with soft, inflatable balls. If a child gets hit with a ball then they move to the sidelines and try to hit other players. If a child in the centre catches a ball, the child who threw it has to join him in the middle. Ensure that the children are hitting below the waist – no head shots!

NATURE GAMES

Alphabet Walk

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: Pens & Paper

Divide students into pairs. Each pair gets a sheet with the letters of the alphabet on the page. (Don’t use letters Q, X or Z). Have the pairs work together to find objects during their walk or run that begin with each letter, or each partner may complete half the alphabet. Some students may be asked to cover the area closest to the school. Some students may require the assistance of a buddy who can scan the area for debris or safety hazards. Set ground rules to increase the challenge for students. While students stretch their calf muscles, leg and back muscles, discuss their findings so the students learn about different aspects of nature and the importance of the physical activity they got during this activity.

 

Find the Stick

Ages: Grades 4-6
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: Pylons

This activity encourages the children to think outside of the box, and works best in a semi-forested area with lots of sticks around. The leader maps out a large square box (use pylons if necessary) in the wooded area and selects a unique stick (a small stick in the shape of a Y with all the bark pulled off works well and is easy to distinguish). Explain that the stick will be hidden somewhere inside the box and each child must work individually to find it without letting others know where it is. When a child thinks they have found the stick, they should whisper its location in the counselor's ear so that others don’t know where it is. Remind the campers to whisper quietly, and when they do find it, step out of the box and remain silent. To begin, have the children step outside the box, turn around, and close their eyes. Walk around loudly so the children think you are actually hiding the stick somewhere inside the square (see where this is going?). Quietly and discreetly place the stick behind your ear (if you’re wearing a hat this works really well.). Make sure you stay inside the box. Tell the children they can begin their search for the stick. The only hint is to whisper quietly in your ear once they find it. Make sure the kids don't tell once they find out, and sometimes the last child can catch some flak, so try to put a stop to that as soon as possible. Obviously, it only works once, so choose your timing wisely!

Follow the Leader

Ages: K-3
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: N/A

Use this activity when walking in snow from one area to another or on trails. A teacher will be the leader, making footsteps in the snow for the children to follow. Take big steps, little steps, spin in a circle, move fast and slow, try to make it challenging for the children to follow the footprints – encourage the children to only use the prints you left behind. Variation: Let one of the children lead.

go!NUTS

Ages: Grades 4-6
Duration: 15-20 minutes
Equipment: Beanbags, Soft Ball & Bucket

Children get into two groups: squirrels and foxes. Size the groups based on the ratio of one fox for every 4 or 5 squirrels. The numbers can vary; adjust them to fit your needs. The squirrels have a pile of "nuts" (bean bags that are being guarded by the foxes) that they are trying to collect for the winter and bring back to their tree (a bucket at the other end of the playing field). Squirrels can only put one nut in the bucket at a time, and only one nut is allowed to be active on the playing field at a time (the Leader will need to yell “ACTIVE NUT!” when there is a nut in motion so all the other players know and “LOOSE NUT!” if a nut is dropped. If a squirrel gets tagged by a fox they are then frozen in place. When they're frozen they must drop the nut if they are carrying one. There is also a magic "unfreezing" object (Soft Ball) that is passed from one squirrel to another to unfreeze frozen squirrels. If the squirrel with the unfreezing object gets tagged while they have the unfreezing object in their hand, they drop it and freeze (another squirrel must come and pass them the object to unfreeze them). The squirrels win if they get all their nuts in the bucket. The foxes win if they tag and freeze all the squirrels at one time.

Never Ending Story

Ages: Grads K-6
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: N/A

If you’re going for a walk on a trail split the group up into smaller groups of three to four children. Have one child begin to tell a story and then pass it along to another person to continue the plot and so on. Each child can only complete one sentence before they pass it along. This has been proven as a great way to keep groups of kids hiking together, laughing, and being creative. Leaders can join in on the fun or walk around from group to group listening to the stories.

Rainbow Trail

Ages: Grades K-3
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: N/A

Begin by splitting the group into pairs or groups of three. Have them try to identify things along the trail by the colors of the rainbow and bring them back to show the leader. Once you start looking closely for each color the children will be amazed at how many colors are in nature. Make it a rule that the children cannot move backwards and cannot stop walking. This will keep them on the right direction to your destination. (Have a volunteer at the back of the line in case the children are slowed for some reason.)

Scavenger Hunt

Ages: Grades K-6
Duration: 15-20 minutes
Equipment: Pens & List of objects

Take a group hike through the woods or along a trail. Challenge kids to find items in nature. Make a list of items that are found in your area in that specific season and print off one for each pair of children. Items could include; Wild Flowers, Dead tree, Pine cone, Berries, Vine, Stream or creek, Blade of grass, Clover leaf, Moss, Pine tree, Seeds or seed pod, Eroded soil, Smooth/shiny rock, Mud, Grain of sand, Fern, Y-shaped twig, Trash, Pine needles, Acorn or other nuts, Tree with blossoms, Hole in a tree, Dark green leaf, Small pebble, Unusual shaped leaf, Multicolored rock, Dew on a leaf, Fungus on a tree, Animal tracks, Worm, Caterpillar, Squirrel, Bird, Ant, Butterfly or moth, Snail, Beetle, Feather, Salamander, Frog, Ladybug, Spider web, Birds nest, Insects on a tree, Animal hole, Leaf with insect holes.

Scavenger Hunt 2

Ages: Grades K-3
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: Bean Bags

Good to use as you walk on a nature hike. Ahead of time, walk the trail and find nature objects - specific leaves, a flower, specific rock, moss anything of interest. Bring one of that item back with you and place in a sandwich bag or other container. Before your walk, have each camper pick something to look for on the trail. The group tries to find each object during the walk. Variation: You can bring small objects (bean bags) with you and hide them on the trail ahead of time; throw bright colored bean bags (one for each child) periodically then hike down the trail with a group looking for them until every child has found one.

Twenty Questions

Ages: Grades 4-6
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: N/A

This is a great game to keep children occupied while going for a walk on a trail. Split the group into smaller groups of three to four children. Have one child think of a noun (person, place, or thing). Then the other children in the group take turns asking yes or no questions to figure out what the noun is. The children get one guess after each question and only get twenty questions to ask. If the correct answer is not guessed the child then tells what the noun was. If someone guesses correctly they get to pick the next noun. Make sure everyone gets to have a turn.

PARACHUTE GAMES

Around the World

Ages: Grades 4-6
Duration: 5-10 minutes
Equipment: Parachute

From a sitting position, have children pull the parachute tight at chest level so they have their arms extended fully and are leaning back as much as possible without falling over. Try to maneuver the parachute around in a circle in a cooperative manner. Children should look as if they’re stirring a big pot of stew. Start with a small and slow circle and get larger and faster so the children are eventually being pulled around by the momentum. See how long you can continue before people begin to let go or get drug out of place by the momentum.

Ball in the Bucket

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: Parachute & Coloured Balls 

Only works if there is a hole in the middle of the parachute. Break into two or more "teams." Each team will have a different colored ball (or balls.) They will try to keep their color ball from going into the middle circle, while trying to get the other teams’ color of ball(s) into the hole.

Birthday Switch

Ages: K-6
Duration: 15 minutes
Equipment: Parachute

Create a mushroom cloud with chute and sit under it. The Leader calls out months and the children born on that month jump up and run or crawl to an empty space as quickly as they can. Try to get as many months completed without the chute collapsing. Have the children shuffle positions and start the next game at the month you ended on. (Can alter the game by calling “all boys”, “everyone wearing red shirts”, “everyone”.)

Cat & Mouse

Ages: K-3
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: Parachute

Choose two cats that are on top of parachute and several mice underneath. Those around the edge shake the parachute to make it billow up above the mice so they are not visible to cats. Cats try to catch mice that are crawling around under the parachute and once they are caught (make sure they are not too rough) they come out from under the chute. The last two mice remaining become the cats and the people around the edge switch places with the mice.

Cat, Mouse & Dog

Ages: K-3
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: 2 Parachutes

This game is played with two parachutes, one placed on top of the other. It is basically the same game as Cat & Mouse but this time a dog is added to catch the cats while the cats try to catch the mice. The mice go underneath the first parachute, the cats between the parachutes and the dog on top.

Climb the Mountain

Ages: K-3
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: Parachute

Create a mushroom by having all the children in a circle holding the edge of the parachute move forward a pace then back while pulling taunt then forward again to make parachute billow up in the air. Choose two children to climb on top of the air bubble. The first to reach the middle wins.

Duck, Duck, Goose!

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: Parachute

Create a mushroom cloud with the parachute and sit under it facing the middle. Select someone to go around the inside of the circle playing the classic game, “Duck, Duck, Goose”. The twist is that once they select the Goose they have to run back to their original spot, crawl under the parachute and run around the outside to the Goose’s spot and crawl back inside. The Goose, in turn, has to crawl out their own spot and run around the outside of the parachute to the other available spot. The last person back inside the parachute and sitting down in the opposite person’s spot then begins the next round as the person selecting the next Goose or a new person can be selected at any time. 

Parachute Run

Ages: K-3
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: Parachute

Have the children take turns running on the parachute as it lies on the ground, while the other children make waves. See how long the children can manoeuvre on the waves before falling down. The length of turns can be determined by songs that the children choose to sing.

Poisonous Snakes

Ages: K-3
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: Parachute, Jump Ropes and/or Balls

Place three or four jump ropes onto the chute (make sure they have soft handles). Have one or two children stand in the middle. Everyone shakes the parachute to get the “poisonous snakes” moving and the people in the middle try to move around avoiding getting "bitten". Vary the amount of snakes (can also use Poison Balls) and the amount of children in the middle.

Popcorn

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: Parachute & Coloured Balls

You need a parachute with a hole in the middle, and 20 or more bouncing balls - one for each player. Number the balls and assign one to each player. Every player places his/her ball on the parachute and everyone grabs and lifts the parachute with two hands. Then everyone starts (usually after the Leader says "go!") pumping the chute up and down to remove the balls. The player with their ball on the chute last wins. This game can be done in smaller groups if there is no way to mark the balls – just use different colors for each child (works in groups of 4-6).

Popcorn 2

Ages: Grades 4-6
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: Parachute & Beanbags/Balls

Place a number of beanbags and/or small balls onto the parachute. Shake continuously to make them pop up like "popcorn". When the Leader yells “Popcorn” the children all dive into the middle and whoever collects the most objects wins.

Shark Attack

Ages: K-3
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: Parachute

Everyone sits with legs stretched out underneath the chute, which is held chest-high. One or two children are the "sharks" and crawl around under the parachute and try to grab people’s legs to pull them under the chute. Have two or three people outside the chute as the “lifeguards” trying to pull the people back to safety. When a person is being rescued by a lifeguard the shark must let that person go and move on to another victim. The "eaten" children become sharks too. Reset the game often before there are too few remaining. Sharks should not attempt to pull off shoes or pants.

The Wave

Ages: Grades 4-6
Duration: 5-10 minutes
Equipment: Parachute & Ball

Try to keep a ball rolling only along the outer edge of the parachute around the circle. As it comes toward you, cooperatively lower your edge. As it rolls just past you, raise it. The ball and the actions should mimic the actions of “a wave” created by fans at a sporting venue.

Turtle Race

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: Parachute(s) & Pylons

Imagine that the parachute is the shell of a turtle. The children are asked to go underneath the parachute and hold the edge in front of them, keeping their backs to the middle of the parachute. Explain to the children that they have to work together and if not the turtle will not move as one and will collapse. If you have two parachutes set up a race using two equal teams. Set a reasonable distance and shuffle the team members often. On “go!” everyone lifts the parachute and crawls under it bringing it back down as it becomes a giant turtle shell with everyone underneath it on hands and knees. Then they work together to get the turtle to move as quickly as possible to the end of the race before the other team. The turtle shell must remain along the ground; no standing. If you only have one parachute, time the group and see if they can beat their time the next attempt or see if they can beat their distance before the parachute collapses. (Can set up an obstacle course of pylons the turtle has to maneuver around as an added challenge.)

Volleyball 1

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: Parachute & Large Rubber Ball

Divide children into two teams. One large rubber ball is thrown into the middle and each team must try and send the ball flying off their opponent’s side in order to win a point. You could also use a soft toy animal instead of the ball. After the first couple of tries you can select one child for each team to go underneath the parachute and help their team by hitting the ball over the heads of their opponents. Make sure the division on each side is clear to all players.

Volleyball 2

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: Parachute & Coloured Balls

You can use beanbags for this game but small coloured balls work best. Children can then be divided into two teams on either side of the parachute or boys against girls and one colour will obviously represent each team. All the children stand around the parachute holding it tight and then making large waves. Throw the balls onto the parachute and watch them fly off in all directions. The team that bounces off all the other teams colour balls first wins.

Walking on Air

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: Parachute & Coloured Balls

You can use beanbags for this game but small coloured balls work best. Children can then be divided into two teams on either side of the parachute or boys against girls and one colour will obviously represent each team. All the children stand around the parachute holding it tight and then making large waves. Throw the balls onto the parachute and watch them fly off in all directions. The team that bounces off all the other teams colour balls first wins.

Washing Machine

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: Parachute & Coloured Balls

You can use beanbags for this game but small coloured balls work best. Children can then be divided into two teams on either side of the parachute or boys against girls and one colour will obviously represent each team. All the children stand around the parachute holding it tight and then making large waves. Throw the balls onto the parachute and watch them fly off in all directions. The team that bounces off all the other teams colour balls first wins.

TAG GAMES

Amoeba

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: N/A

Two people are it. They hold hands and chase people. Any person they catch joins the chain by linking hands. When another person is caught they can stay together or spilt 2 and 2, but they must split even numbers and can link together at will. This game is played until nobody is left.

Back to Back

Ages: K-3
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: N/A

Two people hold hands start off as being "it." They can try to tag any other player but they can only use their free hands. When they tag someone, that person joins onto them by holding hands. Remember, other players can only be tagged with one of the two free hands. Players are safe from being tagged if they find another player and stand back to back with them. They can stand back to back and be safe for only 10 seconds before they can be tagged. The game continues until everyone is tagged.

Ball Relay

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: 2 Basketballs

Split into two equal teams. Divide each team in half. Half line up at each end of the gym or court facing each other. Have them dribble the basketballs to their teammates at the opposite end and hand the ball off. Have everyone go until they are in their original starting positions – everyone will have to dribble the ball down the court twice. Demonstrate first if needed. First team with everyone in their original position wins. Do this game with their left hands or switching hands to make it harder.

Band-Aid

Ages: Grades 4-6
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: N/A

One person is "it." Whenever someone is tagged by "it" they must hold a band-aid (their hand) on the spot where they were tagged. “It” can’t tag the same person twice in a row! Then the game continues. When someone runs out of band-aids, (they get tagged three different times), they are frozen until two other people come over to them and "operate." The two other people need to tag the frozen person at the same time and count to five. Each game should last only a short time. Reset often to switch "it".

Basketball

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: 2 Basketballs

Split into two equal teams. Divide each team in half. Half line up at each end of the gym or court facing each other. Have them dribble the basketballs to their teammates at the opposite end and hand the ball off. Have everyone go until they are in their original starting positions – everyone will have to dribble the ball down the court twice. Demonstrate first if needed. First team with everyone in their original position wins. Do this game with their left hands or switching hands to make it harder.

Bench Ball

Ages: Grades 4-6
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: 2 Benches & Indoors

Two teams are separated by the center line. There is a bench located on each team’s side within throwing distance of the other side. Each team starts with a teammate on the opposite bench. During the game the object is to get your whole team on the other bench and you complete this by throwing balls to your teammate on the bench. If your teammate catches the ball without falling off the bench then the person who threw it goes over to join them on the bench. You keep doing this until everyone is on the bench. You can also defend the other team’s bench by swatting balls from their bench players. You cannot touch another player on the bench or cross the center line. Have lots of balls in play and if you want to make it tougher have anyone that falls off the bench at any time go back to their side.

Blob

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: N/A

This game is similar to Amoeba Tag. Choose someone as IT. IT starts the game as regular tag, but when he catches someone, they must join hands with IT to create a large Blob. Once the Blob has six people, it can split into groups of three only, and may split into groups of three any time thereafter. The person left without being tagged, is IT and the game starts again.

Bump

Ages: K-3
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: N/A

Have the group get into pairs of two and lock elbows. These groups of two cannot move. Spread the groups around a large area. Select two people; one person that is IT and another to be the Bumper (you can have two Bumpers if there is an odd number of people). The Bumper will then run from the person who is IT. If tagged they then become IT, but they can reach safety if they lock elbows with another person. The person on the other end of the now group of three gets bumped off (has to let go immediately) and becomes the new Bumper being chased.

Clothespin

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: Clothes Pins

Hand any number of clothespins to all the kids (the more clothes-pins everyone starts with the longer the game will last. Have them pin them to their shirt sleeves, hems, pockets, etc. (They can spread them out all over their body or keep them all in one place but they can’t be hidden.) Then have the kids scatter on the playing field. On the signal, everyone runs around snatching clothes-pins from one another, kneeling down to attach their newly acquired prizes. Nobody can be targeted if they are on a knee, attaching new clothespins. At the end of the game (usually a time-limit), the one with the most clothespins wins.

Dead Ants

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: N/A

Make really big boundaries. One person is "it". This person has to chase the others. When he tags someone, that person must lay down with both hands and feet sticking straight up, like a dead ant (because everyone knows that's what dead ants look like). In order for the dead ant to come alive, four people must tag one limb each. Once a limb is tagged the dead ant can lower that limb to the ground. A person may only tag one limb on a dead ant. Once someone has been a dead ant three times (this is on the honor system), they are now "it". It's always possible to have multiple people being "it" and makes it crazier when you don't know who to run from.

Dodgeball

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: 2+ Inflatable Balls

Have two or more soft, inflatable balls for the game, depending on the number of children playing. When a child picks up a ball they have 5 seconds to throw it at another child to try and hit them (you can make up different rules such as underhand throwing only or hit only below the shoulders or waist, etc.). The child with the ball is only allowed to take three steps with the ball before they throw it. Once a child is hit with the ball they must do a predetermined exercise to get back into the game. The exercise could be 15 jumping-jacks, 10 push-ups, 20 crunches, 10 burpees, 15 squats, 20 calf raises, etc. It may be a good idea to have a separate area for the children to do their exercise to get back in the game. Also, if a child has a ball in hand they can still be ‘struck out’ by another child who has a ball.

Donkey

Ages: K-3
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: Various coloured pinnies

Choose five students to be “it” and give them green pinnies to wear. The remaining students take any other color pinnies and tuck them in their waistbands like tails. Have the students in green pinnies stand in the centre of the activity area. On a signal, have the rest of the students run throughout the activity area. The students in green try to capture the tails of the others. If they succeed, they place the tails in the centre and try to capture another. Students who lose their tails must crab walk to the circle, retrieve a tail, reattach it (like pin the tail on the “donkey”), and rejoin the game. Stop the game every few minutes to rotate the people who are “it” until everyone gets a turn.

Germ

Ages: K-3
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: N/A

This is a form of tag where there are 4 sponge balls in play (2 red, 2 blue). Four students will be given the sponge balls and the two with the red balls are the ‘germs’. The two with the blue balls are the ‘medicine’. The two students with the red balls run around trying to tag others with their red ball. If a student gets tagged they must lie on their backs and make funny sick noises until a student with the blue ‘medicine’ ball comes and tags them. After a minute or two stop the game and have new students carry the sponge balls.

Hopscotch

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: Pylons, Chalk & Beanbags 

Define the play area by using pylons in close proximity to the hopscotch patterns. Choose several students to be “it”. The students who are “it” move around the play area trying to tag the rest of the students. When students are tagged, they go to the hopscotch patterns and hop and jump through the pattern. Players cannot be tagged while they are completing the hopscotch. Once a student finishes jumping the patterns, he or she is back in the game. Change the students who are “it” often so that all get a chance to tag others.

Jailbreak

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: N/A

Every child is IT and runs around tagging anyone he or she can catch while trying to avoid being tagged themselves. When someone is tagged they must stop, standstill, and put their hands on their head. When the leader yells ‘Jailbreak’, everyone is free again. When they are getting tired let the game go until there is only one or two players left.

Jumpin'

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: Pinnies

Select 3–4 students to be “it” and have them put on a marker or pinnie. Have students travel around the activity area and avoid being tagged by the players who are “it”. Students who are tagged jump until they are “freed”. Students can do such jumps as star jumps, tuck jumps, and stride jumps. A student may be freed if another student jumps to give them a “high five”. Select new students to be “it” every few minutes.

Leap Frog

Ages: K-3
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: N/A

One child is IT (the frog catcher). If a child gets tagged they must kneel on the ground, resting their head on the ground, covered by their hands. They are frozen in this position until another child leaps over them, leap frog style. Change frog catchers often and/or have more than one frog catcher.

Mr. Wolf

Ages: K-3
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: N/A

One child is IT (the frog catcher). If a child gets tagged they must kneel on the ground, resting their head on the ground, covered by their hands. They are frozen in this position until another child leaps over them, leap frog style. Change frog catchers often and/or have more than one frog catcher.

OTHER GAMES

One by One

Ages: K-3
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: N/A

One child is IT (the frog catcher). If a child gets tagged they must kneel on the ground, resting their head on the ground, covered by their hands. They are frozen in this position until another child leaps over them, leap frog style. Change frog catchers often and/or have more than one frog catcher.

Out at Sea

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: N/A

In this game everyone lines up shoulder to shoulder at one end line. There is one child (the fisherman) in the middle of the area. Each child in line is given a name – always use three different names such as “whale, shark and tuna” or “seahorse, jelly-fish and star-fish” and so on. The fisherman yells out one of the three names, “starfish!” and all the children who are starfish must try to run to the other end line without going out of bounds and without getting tagged by the fisherman. If they get caught then they must remain in the middle and become a fisherman as well. At any point the fishermen can yell out, “stormy seas!” and all the children have to run to the opposite side of where they are, so sometimes children may be running from both sides. You can change the name of this game depending on your theme. If the fishermen are continuously yelling “stormy seas!” the Program Leader can call out the commands from the sidelines.

Plain Ol' Tag

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: N/A

One child is IT. The ‘tagger’ tries to tag someone. If you get tagged you are now IT – the new ‘tagger’ – and must try to tag someone else. Variation: changing the loco-motor skills involved: speed walk, crawl on hands and feet, hop on one foot, skip, gallop, crab walk, etc.

Rock, Paper, Scissors...RUN!

Ages: Grades 4-6
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: N/A

Make 1 centerline and 2 back lines at the ends of a yard or field (leave space past these back lines so those running full tilt have room to stop). Make 2 equal (or almost equal) teams. Each team then huddles at opposite ends of the field and chooses which hand signal to throw (must agree and all do the same action). (In case you've forgotten: rock breaks scissors, scissors cuts paper, paper covers rock.) Have the teams gather 2 feet from the center line facing the opposite team. Together (and with gusto), all chant: "Rock, paper, scissors, shoot!" On "shoot!”, players quickly throw their pre-chosen selection. The team that loses the shoot must race for the safety of its own back line, trying to avoid being tagged by the winning team. Any player who gets tagged must defect to the other side. If both teams throw the same shoot, all must quickly sit down. The last one person to hit the ground switches teams. At the end of each round reset and have the groups choose another selection. The game ends when all players are on one team or time is up.

Shadow

Ages: K-3
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: N/A

It variation of tag (that involves no actual touching) can only be played on a sunny day. One person is "it". Their job is to try to tag the shadow of the other players by stepping on it. When a person's shadow gets stepped on, they are frozen until another player steps on their shadow.

Slo-Mo

Ages: K-3
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: N/A

Ask each player in the group to find their own personal space within the boundary area. Make sure there is enough room so no one is able to take one step towards someone and tag them. Adjust the boundaries out a bit if needed. Explain the guidelines and then let players adjust themselves before you start. Select one or two players to be “it”. You, as the leader, will be calling out, “Step”. At this time, each player can move one of their feet in any direction they want to avoid the “it”. If a player is tagged, s/he will sit down right where they are – they become “ankle biters”. Every time the Leader, says, “Step” each player can take ONE step. If anyone moves both feet during a step, they sit down to become ankle biters. The ankle biters, sitting on their bottoms at all times, can tag the players below the knee if they get close enough. Play down to the last two or three players or the game may last too long. Have everyone stand up and play again.

Snap, Crackle & Pop

Ages: Grades 3-6
Duration: 20 minutes
Equipment: N/A

Split the group into four teams and have them line up an equal distance apart around a circle. In the center of the circle there are 3 balls. Each player in a line gets designated as snap, crackle, or pop (If there are more kids than 3 on a team you choose other key words, maybe using cereal names?). Eg, the first person in line is snap, second is crackle….. The leader calls out one of the key words. Whoever is chosen in each line must then get up and race around the circle to get back to their own line. Once back at their line they must crawl through the legs of their teammates to get to the middle of the circle and retrieve a ball. Every team to get a ball gets a point. If you have different colored balls have them worth different amounts of points. Try not to eliminate teams

Snow

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: Spray Bottle, Water & Food Colouring

The more snow the better with this game. The concept is the same as original tag. Play ‘follow the leader’ with the kids to mark out a path in the snow such as a ‘wheel’ with spokes into the middle, a square with a cross in the middle, etc. Once this is done, one child is IT and all the children must stay on the path. If a child gets tagged they become the new ‘tagger.’ An easier way to mark out the play area is to use a spray bottle filled with water and food coloring. It will show up in the snow better than foot prints and makes it easier for the children to see and more fun.

Sock

Ages: K-5
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: Socks, Pinnies or Attachable Flags

(Can be played with flag football flags or other flag-like objects.) Everyone takes off a sock and puts it in the back of their pants so that it looks like a tail. The object of the game is to steal other socks without having yours taken. If your sock is taken, you must stand frozen and you can try to take other people's socks if they come near you but can only move your upper body. If you steal someone else's sock and you still have your own, you can keep that sock in case your own is taken, then can use your reserve sock as a backup and you're still in the game. The winner is the last person who is left in the middle.

Sponge Ball

Ages: K-2
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: Pylons & 2 Sponge Balls

Divide the group in half making two equal lines. The object of the game is to have all the children in the lines finish the relay as a team as quickly as possible. A sponge ball is placed between the first child’s knees in each line. They have to run to the pylon placed a suitable distance away, go around it, and return without dropping the ball. If they drop it they must pick it back up and continue from there. When they come back to the starting line they hand the ball to the next person and they take their turn.

Train Tracks

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10 minutes
Equipment: Pylons & Soft Balls

Divide the group in half. Beginning at opposite corners of the field, everyone on each team lies down side by side (shoulder to shoulder) about two feet apart. To make the game harder have every second person lay down with their head at the feet of the other person next to them. It is like a version of leap frog only laying down and handing (no throwing) a soft ball down the line until you get all the way around the perimeter of the field. Have each group start in opposite corners and travel the same direction. After handing off the ball the person at the end of the line must get up and run to the beginning of the line. First team back to the beginning with their ball wins.

Tree

Ages: K-6
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Equipment: N/A

One child is IT. The ‘tagger’ tries to tag someone. If you get tagged you are now IT – the new ‘tagger’ – and must try to tag someone else. Players can avoid being tagged by touching a certain kind of tree (or other nature object that the Leader determines before the game). Players can only hold on to a safety object for 5 seconds at a time and IT has to move on to someone else.

OTHER RESOURCES

Remember

  • Be creative - mix traditional rules with new fun ones, change up the venue, the sky's the limit;
  • Be inclusive - everyone should be part of the fun as an activity leader and participant;
  • Be upbeat - it's not about wins or losses, it's about having fun;
  • Be spontaneous - stop playing before everyone's tired; they'll be asking when they can do it again;
  • Be healthy - stay hydrated and have healthy snacks to keep everyone's energy up;
  • Be outdoor ready - don't forget the sunscreen, even in winter, insect repellant and extra layers on unpredictable weather days. Sunburns, bug bites, and being cold are never fun.