Grade level: 2-6
Equipment: Benches, cones
Game Description: The 2 opposite corners of the court are cornered off with cones – those are the nests. The doves (runners) start from one nest and attempt to get all of them to end up in the other nest. Start with just 1 or 2 Hawks in the other nest (taggers). All the other students are doves. Between the nests, somewhere in the middle of the court is a bench – that is the cage.
The doves start from one of the nest, the hawks from the other. Once the hawks leave their nest, the game starts. Once the hawks leave the nest they cannot enter either nest anymore. The nests become safe areas for the doves. The Hawks tag as many doves as possible. The caught doves stand up on the bench (the cage). The free doves have to go to free them by running to them and tag (touch them). In rare cases all doves manage to end up all together in the opposite nest. Or all are in the cage. Usually some are in the cage, others leave the finish nest to save them and get caught themselves. After some time stop the game and chose another student to be a hawk! (Thanks to Dani Uzunova)
Grade level: 1-6
Game Description: This is a fast-moving tag game, where the tagger is constantly switching (every 10 seconds or sooner). The runners/flee’ers will start in a playing area (maybe within half of the gym) and the remaining players form a line waiting for their shift to tag. They don’t wait long though, as the teacher blows the whistle every 10 seconds or sooner for the next person in line to jump in to tag. Anyone who is tagged simply goes to the back of the line, and the game continues on as such. This is a great game for learning the names of new students. As the players are standing in line, the teacher can talk to them and learn their names. Try it out! To speed it up even more, try having 2 players go in to tag at a time. (Thanks Joel Sweetland for this idea)
Grade level: 2-8
Equipment: 3 hula hoops, 6 foam balls
Game Description: This game is similar to the British-bulldog type of game, except the tagger(s) in the middle area get foam balls. The main object of the game is that the runners will try to go from one end of the gym to the other end without being touched by the submarines’ torpedoes (soft balls) or the mines (participants who got tagged laying on the floor on their stomach).
– 3 hula hoops are placed in center of play area – middle of gym.
– 1 captain in each submarine (hula hoop) each with 2 balls.
– at the signal, runners must try to go across gym without being touched by ball (even if it touched the ground first); if they get touched, they become mines and lay on the floor on their stomach. The only way they can move is by pivoting on their stomach. They try to assist the submarines by touching the passing participants either with their feet or hands.
– the last 3 to survive become the submarines.
– the submarines’ captains must be in their submarine while throwing and can run to fetch their balls but must come back in subs to throw again.
– remember that with the ‘go’ signal, everyone is in play until they reach a safe zone at the other end of gym.
(Thanks to Bernard Boulerice)
Grade level: K-4
Game Description: The Border is a similar type warm-up or tag game to that of British Bulldog:
1) All players line up at one end of the gym (except tagger in the middle).
2) Gym is split into 2 sides with a line straight down the middle.
3) On side 1, you can never have your footsoles on the floor (must crawl, roll, seal walk, etc).
4) On side 2, you can move however you like (example: running).
5) If tagged, you join the taggers team.
6) You choose which side you move on when each round begins BUT you can switch ONE TIME EACH ROUND. This is also the case for the tagger.
(Thanks to Daniel Norrman)
Grade level: 1-8
Equipment: 4 scooters, 4 mats, 4 ropes
Game Description: Object of this game is to “rescue” teammates off of “Danger Land” and get everyone to “Fun Land”. Explain that Danger Land is a dangerous place to live due to earthquakes, fires, flooding, dinosaurs…; while Fun Land is a safe pleasant place. Each team is allowed one boat (a floor scooter) and one rope. Players are not allowed to touch the water or else they will have to return to Danger Land. It is up to each group to figure out the best way to get their team across the ocean (without touching water). Students are allowed to stop at the island, but will want to continue their journey to Fun land, because there is no food on the island. This is not a race (although you could add that challenge for a little bit of competition) – teams just try to make it! If a group finishes first have them repeat again!
(Thanks to Mark McConnell)
Grade level: K-5
Equipment: 4 exercise mats
Game Description: Gingerbread Man Tag is a great stand-alone or Christmas tag game for players to enjoy.
– Set-up mats in the corners (or mats along each end of the gym, if you’d like to play British Bulldog style).
– All players lay down on one of the mats.
– The tagger (baker) stands in the middle and says, “Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man.”
– The players then run to get to a different mat while trying not to get tagged by the baker. If they get tagged they help in the next round. Players that make it to a mat without getting caught just lay down on the mats to prepare for the next round.
This is an easy game and a great game as it involves running and jumping up to run which is always a blast in the gym. Teacher can even start as the baker which really gives the kids a kick. (Thanks to Shari Wenzel for this game idea).
Grade level: 2-8
Equipment: Exercise mats
Game Description: Mystery Tag is a tag game with the familiar back-and-forth style used in games like British Bulldog…players must cross from one side of the gym to the other without being tagged. If they are tagged they become “It”. It works great for all grades 2-8.
To set up the game, folded gym mats are standing upright around the gym (maybe start with three mats standing in the middle of the gym). Designate start and finish lines on the gym (ex. you must run from green line closest to the wall, to the green line closest to the far wall). Use Pylons to mark safety lines if needed. To start a round the person who is “It” or teacher will say “face the wall”, to notify players to face the wall. When players face the wall, the teacher or “It” person will count back from 5 seconds allowing the “It” person to hide behind a mat. When the “It” or teacher says zero, the round starts and players are free to run across the gym. Who ever is tagged is instantly it and can tag other runners. When everyone makes it across safely, the round is done and the “It” people will now say “face the wall” once more. This process repeats until everyone is “It”.
– If players are tagged, they are it
– If players touch a mat, they are it
– If players peek, they are it
– Add more mats scattered around the gym for more places to hide
– Longer hide period
Hope you enjoy Mystery tag.
(Thanks to Kris Barchuk. This game is also played as “Hideout” found in “The Great Games Handbook” by Kevin Tiller found here: http://www.physedreview.weebly.com – check it out!)
Grade level: 2-8
Equipment: Beanbags, Nerf Footballs, Poly spots
Game Description: This game can be a football lead-up game, or a stand-alone fun activity (can use different throwing skill besides football if you’d like to switch it up). Basically, 2 teams will face-off in an exciting sliding and throwing match, trying to put eachother into their jail (endzone) and escape from a jail by catching a ball thrown to them.
1. Split class into 2 teams – use pinnies to distinguish teams
2. Split court in half
3. Start game with bean bags and nerf footballs in the middle of the court and players on their respective walls
4. The goal is to try to get players from the other team in jail by sliding the bean bag on the floor to hit his/her foot (above the ankle does not count)
5. When hit in the foot with a bean bag, that player goes in the opposing team’s jail
6. To get out of jail, one of your teammates must throw the nerf football and it must be caught in the air in the end zone – when caught the player can return to their team’s side
7. Teams can have some defenders trying to intercept balls before the jailed players catch to keep them in jail
8. If players are in jail for awhile, call for a jailbreak
-agility, throwing, sliding, catching, football vocabulary: Quarterback (throwers), receivers (catchers), defense (interceptions), complete vs. incomplete passes
(Thanks Brittany Dougher for this game idea)
Grade level: 2-7
Game Description: Bump Tag is a simple, yet incredibly fun, tag game or start-up/warm-up activity. Start with all players sitting in pairs somewhere in the playing area or gym floor. Have one pair split up into a chaser and a flee’er. The chaser will try to tag the flee’er. Whenever a flee’er is tagged by the chaser, they switch roles. The flee’er is always trying to run towards any pair who are sitting on the floor and sit beside them. Once sitting, the opposite (far player in the pair) gets “bumped” and must stand up to become the new flee’er who will try to run from the chaser. This “bumping” of players happens over and over again every time the flee’er sits beside any pair. Eventually implement 2 chasers and 2 fleers, or 3 of each to increase the challenge and activity level. This is just another game that’s proven to get students running and having a great time!
(Thanks to Tim Herr for this game idea)
Grade level: 2-6
Equipment: Exercise mats, footballs (suitable for indoors)
Game Description: Mat Football is a very simple and fun idea to work on throwing the football: teams will try to throw as many footballs as they can into the opponents target area (exercise mats set up on their ends). Split the gym into two halves, one team on each half. Set-up the mat target areas. Throw in a bunch of footballs. Make a throwing line where players can’t cross. Play 4 quarters (each 2-3 mins). Count footballs in each mat area after every quarter to add points. Move throwing line after each quarter to increase or decrease difficulty. Play with or without blocking. Have fun and practice skills as usual! Could be played with foam balls or indoor frisbees for a different challenge.
(Thanks to Dan Kirsch for this game idea)