Tag! You’re It!

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The next time children start wiggling, roaming, wandering,
whispering, and dallying during your lesson, don’t groan. The fun
is about to begin! Just announce one of these fun games of Tag to
get children jumping and giggling. Before you know it, you’ll have
recaptured that fleeting attention span and will be on your way
with the rest of your lesson.

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Squirt Tag
You’ll need one empty squirt bottle and water. On a hot day, take
the children outside to a grassy play area. Ask for a volunteer to
be “The Squirter.” Give the Squirter an empty shampoo or food
bottle with a squirt top. *Say: We’re going to play Squirt Tag. The
Squirter will try to get people wet by squirting water at them. Run
around and see how long you can stay dry. Remind the Squirter not
to aim at people’s faces. Then begin the game. When everyone’s wet,
have a volunteer chase the Squirter and get him or her wet, too.
Then *say: Now that we’re all wet, let’s splash back to our
lesson.

Foot Tag
You’ll need at least one squirt bottle. On a warm day, ask children
to take off their shoes and socks and go outside. *Say: We’re going
to play Foot Tag. I need someone to be “It.” (Give that person a
squirt bottle full of water.) Here are the rules: On “go,” everyone
can run away from It. The only way It can tag you is by squirting
your feet. Once your feet get wet, you’ve been tagged and must sit
down for the rest of the round. We’ll play for one minute, then
start over with a new person as It. Ready? Go! Play as many rounds
as you like. Afterward, form a circle. Take the squirt bottle and
spray everyone’s feet. Then *say: Now that everybody’s been tagged,
let’s “squirt” our way back to our lesson. Variation: If you have
more than a dozen children in class, you may want to consider
having two people as It.

Color Tag
*Say: This seems like a good time to play Color Tag. Look at the
colors you’re wearing-not counting your shoes and socks. When I
name a color, anyone wearing that color must run and try not to be
tagged. If you aren’t wearing that color, tag someone who is. Once
you’re tagged, freeze until we start the game again. When kids
understand the rules, start the game by calling out any color. Play
as many rounds as you like. Finish the game by *saying: Anyone
wearing blue chase everyone else back to the lesson.

Bubble Tag
Form groups of three and call these groups “bubbles.” Choose a
group to be “It.” *Say to the other groups: Your group’s goal is to
remain in a circle without being tagged by the bubble that’s It. If
your group is tagged, your bubble bursts, and all your group
members must join the It bubble. That means the It bubble gets
bigger each time someone in another bubble is tagged. Play the game
twice. Then have the original bubble group chase everyone back to
the lesson.

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Partner Tag
Take children to an outdoor playground area. Then form pairs. *Say:
We’re going to play Partner Tag. With your partner, decide who’ll
be the runner and who’ll be the chaser. When the chaser tags the
runner, switch roles so the runner becomes the chaser. Everybody
will be doing the same thing so there will be lots of people
running. When everyone understands the rules, start the game. Let
children play for a few minutes. Then *say: Let’s chase each other
back to our lesson.

Excerpted from Children’s Ministry Magazine. Don’t
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