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.


  • 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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Take A Chance


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.


  • 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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Hoop d’Jour

Setup and Equipment:

  • Equipment: Hula Hoops and a sash or jersey for the “its”
  • Twenty five – thirty hula hoops are spread out across the floor.
  • Four – Six students are designated as “its” and stand in the middle of the gym. They will be kicking any of the hoops to try to get them to slide across the floor to hit the players that are running across the floor filled with hoops.
  • The rest of the class starts the game at one end of the gym.
  • This is a a tag game that lasts for one – two minutes for each set of taggers. It works best to make sure that everyone gets a turn. They really enjoy the way the hoops slide on the floor.


  • The teacher starts the music and  the runners will try to navigate themselves through the hoops without stepping on or being being tagged by a sliding hula hoop.
  • Players that touch or are tagged on the feet by a moving hula hoop must stop running and stand frozen and balance on one foot inside of a hoop. They can be defrosted and return to playing when one of their classmates gives them a high-five.
  • When the runners have made it to the other side or are frozen and balancing on one foot the teacher stops the game. When everyone is standing on the end line, restart the music and the players will try to run back their original starting line.
  • Continue having students run back and fort for a couple of minutes, then choose new taggers to kick the hula hoops.
  • Repeat the same game format for each new set of taggers until everyone has a turn.
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Polyspot Basketball: All Grades


Setup and Equipment:

  • Polyspots are lined up in half/circle fashion in front of four basketball hoops. It helps to have basketball hoops of different heights.
  • Each team (6 teams) has a basketball to dribble to a spot on the floor.
  • Set up the spots so that the green and yellow spots are at the taller hoops and harder shots. The purple and orange spots will be the easiest shots at the shortest hoops.
  • 20 points for yellow – 20 points for green
  • 10 points for red and blue
  • 5 points for purple- 5 points for orange

Rules :

  • On the start signal, one player from each team will dribble to a spot and try score a basket.
  • The players may have both feet on the spot, or one foot in back and one foot on the spot. No feet in front of the spot.
  • If they miss the shot, they have one more opportunity to make it.
  • If both shots are missed, they must dribble back to their relay team and pass to the next player in line.
  • If the shot is made on the first or second try, the player should pick up that spot and dribble the ball in one hand and carry the spot in the other hand back to their relay team. Pass the ball to the next player in line and go to the end of the line.
  • A maximum of one polyspot per turn.
  • Each team will start a pile of spots and try to accumulate the most points.
  • Remind players that they must dribble to and from the polyspots.
  • At the end of the game, teams may count up their points.
  • The Most Fun Wins!
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Offense vs. Defense: Soccer Style Take a Chance

foam+bowlingSetup and Equipment

  • Soft balls that can be kicked in the gym.
  • Enough pins/targets for each pair of players.
  • Form two lines next to each other at one end of the gym. One line is offense, the other line is defense. (Use cones to designate).
  • One player from the offensive line enters the game with their defensive partner
    • The defensive partner picks up a foam target and sets in down on a a spot. They will be trying to protect their team’s target.
    • The offensive partner picks up a foam soccer ball. They will be moving anywhere in the gym in an attempt to knock over other targets by kicking the ball. They cannot work to help their defensive partner.
  • The teacher will need to stand at the beginning of the lines, to help students get a ball for the offense and a target/pin for the defense. It will help the game to move along if the teacher stays in that area during the game.
  • Have 3 or 4 people in the “next in line ” to start the game.


  • Play begins…
  • The object of the game is for the defensive player on each team to block any shots at their target.
  • The offensive partner will be moving around the gym and attempt to knock over other targets by using soccer skills, while kicking ball. keep your target up while knocking other targets over.
  • When a foam target is knocked down -the defensive player should tell their offensive partner that they are out. Then they bring their target to the line and hand it to the next person in the defensive line.
  • Now the players will switch their roles in the game. The defensive player goes to the end of  the offensive line, while the offensive player will now go to the end of the defensive line.
  • Players always switch from offense to defense after each turn.
  • Game continues for as long as time permits.


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Hospital Tag

Setup and Equipment:

  • The boundaries are the black lines in front of each wall in the gym.
  • All players must stay inside of the black lines.
  • If a player goes outside of the boundaries they must perform one the fitness exercises (listed below).


  • Everyone is “it”and may tag others with a gentle two finger touch.
  • You may not tag the students next to you at the beginning of the game.
  • If you are tagged you may continue running but must put a hand over the area of your body that was tagged.
  • If you are tagged a second time you may continue running, but now your other hand should cover the second tagged spot.
  • On the third tag, you must go outside of the black line and perform a “ten count” strength building or flexibility activity.

Examples of Exercises after 3rd Tag:

  • For Strength Building: ten sit -ups, ten count v-sit, or ten push – ups (modified are acceptable)
  • For Flexibility: Hamstring, shoulder, or calf stretch performed for twenty seconds.
  • Skill Building: Dribble ten times with one hand and ten times with the other.
  • Other Options:
  • Climb the wall and touch your hand above the highest handhold.
  • Run up the stairs in the gym, touch the door, and run down the stairs.
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Knee Tag

Knee Tag: Everybody It

Setup and Equipment: No equipment needed.


  • This is an “Everybody It” Game:
  • The object of this game is to tag other players on the knee
  • If you get tagged on the knee, you immediately go down to one knee and extend a hand. You may continue playing the game after a classmate gives you a “five” with their hand.
  • Variation: You may have students do a 5 second or 5 repetition exercise such as push-ups, sit-ups, etc.
  • You are immune from getting tagged whenever you are standing still with your hands covering your knees. This is the same as standing on a base in many other tag games.
  • Players may only have hands on knees for three seconds, then they have to move.
  • You may not move or run with hands on your knees.
  • This is continuous game.
  • Speed Up Variation: To add some excitement near the end of the activity– The Teacher stops the music and asks everyone to raise their hands in the air. For the next minute you cannot cover your knees so there are no bases and the other tag rules remain.
  • After a minute is up, stop the music and everyone returns to the regular Knee Tag rules.
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Valentine Hug Tag

Setup and Equipment:

  • Four soft red balls for the “cupid – its”
  • Practice the hug: Lean forward with two soft taps
  • Practice the Macho Hug: Do a thumb handshake with two hand taps on the other person’s back
  • Practice becoming a “heart” by lifting arms (elbows up) above their heads and pointing their hands downwards to the top of their head.
  • When a person is tagged they stand frozen in this position.


  • The “cupid – its” attempt to tag players by throwing or tagging them with the red ball
  • If a player is tagged, they stand frozen in the “heart” position
  • A heart is unfrozen and the player returns to the game when another player gives them a hug – or a “macho hug”
  • Continue the game by having the “old its” pick “new its”until turns are completed by each student.


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Bump Basketball (Official Rules)

Setup and Equipment: 2 Basketballs, Basketball Court – Free Line marked

Objective: The object of the game is to “bump” the other players out of the game by making a shot before the person in back of you in the line does.

  • Order is established by forming a line at the free throw line.
  • All players must attempt their first shot from this point.
  • The first and second players in the line get a basketball. Play begins with the first person in line taking the first shot.
  • After the 1st player shoots, the 2nd player may shoot.
  • If the first shot by a player is missed they must follow their rebound and try to make a basket from anywhere on the court.
  • The game at this point is between player #1 and #2
  • If player #2 makes a shot before the first player, then player #1 is “bumped” from the game.
  • If Player #1 makes a shot, the ball should be rebounded and immediately passed to the third player in line. The contest is now between players #2 and #3.
  • Players may only touch their own ball. There is no basketball skill involved in hitting a basketball with another basketball, so this is not allowed in the official rules of “Bump”.


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