Pickle Tag

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.

Rules:

  • 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.

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Castle Builder

Castle Ball

The object of this game is to throw dodgeballs to knock over opposing team’s castles while simultaneously protecting your own team’s castle from being hit.

  • Separate class into four teams.
  • Divide the gym space into fourths, giving each team a quadrant to defend.
  • Provide each team with six hula hoops and have them create their team castle.
    • Build the castle by placing one hoop flat on the floor. Balance four hoops vertically and lean them toward the center. Secure the four hoops with the sixth hoop horizontally on top.
  • Place soft dodgeballs into the center of the quadrants for teams to collect.
  • The game begins when the music plays!

Agility:  Students will run back and forth in their quadrant keeping their eyes on dodgeballs threatening their castle.

Coordination:  Students will collect dodgeballs and throw them at opposing team’s castles. They will build hand-eye coordination by throwing and catching dodgeballs.

Balance:  Students will take turns being in charge of rebuilding their team’s hula hoop castle. Rebuilding the castle will require patience, balance, and focus before the students switch back to defense mode.

Variations:  You can play Castle Ball with designated offense and defense, assigning who will be throwing and who will be guarding and rebuilding the castle OR allowing all students to play all roles during game play.

 

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Jack Frost Tag

Setup and Equipment:

  •  K-2: Four stuffed animal taggers
  •  Four hula hoops for the Heat Meisters (Optional for primary grades)

Guidelines:

  • Students that are chosen as taggers (Jack Frost) may tag or throw the stuffed animal or ball.
  • When a student is tagged they are immediately frozen and they stand perfectly straight up and down
  • Students have one way to avoid being tagged. They can do three very slow jumping jacks to simulate a standing snow angel. After 3 seconds they must continue moving and trying not to be tagged by jack frost.
  • The three “heat meisters” carry a hula hoop which is the defroster for this game.
  • They must put the hoop over and down over the frozen player to defrost them.
  • The game continues for about 2 minutes, then new taggers and “heat meisters” are chosen.

 

 

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Hands Down Four Square

Hands Down Four Square

  • Fingers always point down. No holding ball during play.
  • 4 square serves to 1 square. A good serve is bounced on the blacktop, then hit to the one square. If you win three times in square 4, go to the end on the line.
  • All line balls are good, so always play the ball. When a player is out, they must go to the end of the line and players move up to fill vacated square.
  • You are out when:
  • You hit the ball out of bounds
  • The ball hits twice in your square.
  • You touch the ball when it’s in the air.
  • Who’s out? The “judge” 1st person in line decides disputed calls.  
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Bear Sighting Freeze Tag

Setup and Equipment:

  • Everybody It Version: No equipment needed

Guidelines:

  • Students are tagged with a two finger (peace sign) tag on someone’s knees.
  • If someone is tagged in this game; make themselves as big as they can by spreading legs and stretching out hands.These are  the protocols for a bear sighting in the woods near Spencer Butte. Remain standing in this frozen position until saved by a classmate.
  • To be saved from a frozen state, classmates will give them a high five to get back in the game.
  • Students have one way to avoid being tagged.  They are safe in in this game when they are pivoting on one foot. Students may do this for three turns, then they can move again.
  • Game changer: No bases. For 30 seconds there is no pivoting.
  • The game continues for about about five minutes or so.
  • Variation: Choose taggers who can use yarn balls as taggers.

 

 

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Octopus Run

Octopus Run: 

Setup and Equipment;

  • Select three people to be the octopuses (octopi). They stand on the center line to be the taggers. They will will try to tag people using the two-finger peace tag on the upper back of their classmates.
  • The rest of the class are crabs (octopus prey) and stands on one of the lines at one end of the gym, facing  the octopi.

Guidelines:

  • The game starts when the teacher starts the music.
  • The octopi are allowed to run anywhere in the gym and use their tentacles (hands) to tag others.
  • When someone is tagged by an octopus, they become seaweed and their feet attach to the ocean floor. Their arms are outstretched and they wave in the air as they attempt to tag people when they run by them.
  • After most of the crabs have made it to the other side the music is stopped. The students that are running turn around and face the wall they came from.
  • The teacher restarts the music and the crabs attempt to run back to their original starting line.
  • Play continues in this manner until most of the players have had a turn.
  • Anytime an octopus gets tired they may switch with one of the seaweed.
  • The game is over when most of the crabs have been turned into seaweed.
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Pac-Person Tag

Setup and Equipment:

  • Yarn balls (taggers)
  • Connecting lines on the gym floor
  • Chose 4-6 people to be the ghosts (taggers)
  • Everyone else spreads themselves out with both feet on a line on the gym floor.

Guidelines:

  • Four to six students are the ghosts and they can move anywhere in the gym and try to tag the Pac-people. If you have the class divided into six groups, then you can have students from one group at a time be the taggers.
  • The pac-people can only move while they are on the lines on the floor. For gym floors that do not have a lot of lines, you may need to allow some jumping from one line to another.
  • When one of the pac-people are tagged by a ghost, they stop and balance on one foot and raise their hand in the air.
  • To be freed from this frozen position, one of their fellow pac-people will give them a high five. They can now return to the game.
  • After one or two minutes, stop the game and choose new “ghosts”

 

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Take A Chance

foam+bowling

Setup and Equipment

  • Using polyspots or floor markings to designate placement of the targets will help spread the game out and encourage individual play.
  •  You will need 10-20 soft balls and and enough targets, so there are 3-4 people left to start in the line. Everyone who has a target does not have to start with a ball.
  • Line up students and hand a ball and target to most students in the class. Leave 3 or 4 students to form a line for entering back into the game.
  • Students spread  the targets are at least 3-4 feet per player. No placing them in a corner or against a wall.

Guidelines

  • Play begins…
  • The object of the game is to keep your target up while knocking other targets over.
  • Player may not venture more than 2 steps from their target.
  • When a foam target is knocked down -students should bring their target to the line and hand it to the next person in line.
  • They now go to the end of the line and return to the game when they move to the front of the line.
  • Game continues for as long as time permits.

 

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Popcorn (Bouncers and Chasers)

This game is from the Project Adventure Curriculum. Check out their website: http://www.pa.org/

Setup and Equipment:

  • Pail
  • Whiffle golf balls (simulated  popcorn)
  • Break the class in half. 1/2 = bouncers, 1/2=chasers. With four color teams: 2 teams are bouncers and two are chasers

Rules:

  • The game is set up in the center circle in the gym. An empty pail is set up in the center (absolute) of the circle. The “bouncers” sit on the black line that circles around the pail (about three feet from the pail).
  • The job of the “bouncers” is to sit on the center circle line in the gym and attempt to bounce the balls into the bucket. The attempt works best with one bounce. However, with younger students (K,1,2) you will probably need to make an exception to this rule.
  • The job of the chasers is to retrieve the balls that the teacher throws into the air and roll them to their classmates who are the “bouncers”. Chasers are not allowed to bounce balls into the bucket.
  • The game begins when all of the chasers circle around the teacher who has a full bucket of golf whiffle balls which are thrown at once high up into the air. (Note: A surprising number of students will like to stand close and have these balls land on their heads!)
  • Chasers may not run with the balls, but must roll them to their classmates in the center circle.
  • The teacher will time this activity.
  • When the last ball is bounced into the empty bucket, the time is stopped and now the class should change “jobs”.
  • The bouncers are now the chasers and vice versa.
  • The teacher will start this game in the same manner as before and time it again
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