Everyone has played tag. Kids love it, and it’s a great way to help them let off some steam. Tag is an especially great game to play if you have a lot of rowdy kids. But the “regular version of tag can get boring very quickly. Sometimes it is fun to shake it up a little bit. Here are some of my favorite tag variations to have kids I care for play.
Snake- In this version of tag, all the kids hold hands to become the “snake.” The one at the front of the line is the “head” and the one at the back of the line is the “tail.” The object of the game is for the head to tag the tail while the other kids in the middle try to keep the head from succeeding. When the head tags the tail, the head becomes the new tail and the next one in line becomes the new head. Have the kids play this until all the kids get to be the head and the tail. Or, if you have a lot of kids, until they seem to be getting tired of playing.
Hook, Line, Sinker- The game starts out with just one “hook.” The hook tries to tag the rest of the kids. When hook tags someone, that person holds hands with the hook and becomes a part of the “line.” Now the line and the hook can try to tag other kids. The kids may not break the line. When all the kids are a part of the line the game is over. It’s a “sinker.”
Pop culture- In this game of tag, “it” chases kids just like in normal tag. When a child is about to get tagged, have them sit quickly, and yell out the name of a television character, actor, singer, etc. If they are able to say the name before they are tagged, they save themselves from becoming the new “it.”
This variation of tag is a great game to play as an icebreaker, because most of the characters and people the kids say will help the other kids find out about things they have in common.
Zombie Take Over- The game starts out with only one “infected zombie.” The zombie has to stagger around to tag kids, thus “infecting” them. When he infects another person, that child also becomes a zombie. The game is over when all the kids are zombies.
This is a great game to play when it is close to Halloween, or with kids who love to be dramatic and pretend.
Operation- I remember playing this game a lot when I was a child. It was so much fun.
To start this game, “it” must try to tag other kids. When it tags someone, that child must put their hand on the place they were tagged, this is their “injury,” and continue to avoid being tagged. Once both hands are holding an injury, the child must freeze and wait for two other kids to “operate.” Two kids who are not it must run up, touch the child at the same time while counting to five. This game can be played as long as the kids want, but please remember to change “it” often.
Activity is very important for kids, and it does not have to be boring. By adding variety to their game play, you will show them that exercise can be fun, and will encourage them to make up their own games to play.