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 five seconds and then they must go to a new mat.
- If they are tagged, they go to the pickle jar (center circle)Players get out of the pickle jar when another player – grabs their hand and gets them to a mat without getting tagged
- There are “free walkbacks” when a player is freed from the pickle jar if both players raise their hands and return together to a mat.
- 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 who want to be “it” come up to the black line in front of the front wall(teacher wall), then sit cross-legged and raise their hand. The “old its” hand the ball (tagger) to someone waiting patiently for a turn.
- 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 the opposite wall to begin the next game.
- This sequence for picking “new its” continues until nearly all of the students are beginning the game on the opposite wall.
- When the game nears a conclusion the teacher can then adjust the number of people that are “it” so that everyone that wants a turn is able to have one.
- One issue that arises when using mats as bases is that some students jump, flop, or just decide to sit on the mats. To elimiate this problem, students that exhibit unsafe behaviors 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.