Hawks & Doves

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)


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  1. Played this yesterday for the first time and Kinders had a great time with it. We used a balance beam as the cage because it was a bit easier than a bench. Just making sure once the doves leave the first corner they cannot re-enter it? Also, if a dove went to rescue a dove from the cage they could rescue multiple doves, correct?

    • I think it’s actually better if once the doves leave the first corner they CAN re-enter (makes for more strategy). And yes, a dove can rescue multiple!

  2. my son played thois at school and tripped over the bench and split his lip. maybe use a tape line for the cage instead of a bench kids can trip over or fall off of.

    • Sorry to hear he split his lip, but accidents will happen everywhere in life (I wouldn’t blame the bench, but feel free to use a tape line if you really want).

  3. Instead of a bench I would use hoola hoops to sit in

  4. I played it and used hoola hoops for the cages instead of a bench. Way safer!

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