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A group of older elementary kids running around outside while playing a game of tag.
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5 Ways to Put a New Spin on the Classic Game of Tag

Here are five varieties of tag that can provide a new spin on a classic game.


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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

Say: 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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5 Ways to Put a New Spin on the Class...

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