Setup and Equipment:
- One gym mat is set up in front of each wall – these are safe bases
- 4 people are designated as “its” – they may throw (shoulders or below) or tag players.
- Yarn balls are generally used in this game.
- The four “its” start the game in the center circle of the gym
- The rest of the players stand on one of the mats to start the game
- Players run from one mat to another and try not to get tagged
- Players may rest on a mat for three seconds and then they must go to a new mat.
- If they are tagged, they go to the pickle jar (center circle).
- There are “free walkbacks” when a player is freed from the pickle jar. Players get out of the pickle jar when a player not in the pickle jar – hooks elbows with them and gets them to a mat without getting tagged. As long as the students are connected they can’t be tagged.
- Play continues for 1:30 -2:00 minutes, or sometimes the length of a song. then new “its” are picked.
- For all tag games, we play a game song for the duration of one turn, then transition music (i.e. Jeopardy Theme) is used to remind students to pick “new its” for a game.
- When this song is played the students return the yarn balls to the container and everyone sits at their gym homes”. The teacher may chose a team of students or just have the students raise their hands in the air if they want to be a new tagger.
- The transition music is set for about forty seconds.
- The “new its” go to the center circle to begin a new game.
- The “old its” go to one of the mats on the floor to begin the next game.
- After choosing the new taggers, everyone else will begin the game on one of the four mats.
- One issue that arises when using mats as bases is that some students jump, flop, or just decide to sit on the mats. To eliminate this problem, students that exhibit unsafe behaviors shall be considered tagged and go to the center circle in the gym. This keeps students playing the game and solves the safety issue.
Note: You can shorten up games and allow more turns by ending one of the “game songs” early and jumping to the transition music.