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High Energy Games

Angry Birds (2+ participants)

  • Materials: anything found in/outside your house, a dodgeball (or a ball that is safe to throw)


  • Set up two separate forts (be creative – use your imagination)
  • Create a designated middle line, you may not cross this line
  • Take turns throwing the dodgeball back and forth
  • Last fort standing wins the game


Everybody’s It (2+ participants)


  • Proclaim, "Everybody’s it!" in an open space and the participants begin trying to tag others while avoiding getting tagged.
  • Decide beforehand if simultaneous tags result in both sitting down, and both remaining free.
  • Once tagged, participants sit down, extend their arms, and try to tag those left running around on each team's side or evenly spaced apart if you play in a circle.


Freeze dancing (2+ participants)

  • Materials: music and a speaker


  • Turn the music on and have the participants dance (encourage them to be as crazy as possible!)
  • When the leader presses pause on the music and yells ‘FREEZE!’ all of the participants have to freeze immediately. If caught moving after the stop they are out, or if you don’t want to play with outs, they can do an exercise
  • Repeat until the game has run its course


In the Pond (2+ participants)

  • Materials: rope-like object to create the pond


  • A line of tape separates “in the pond” from “out of the pond”
  • All players line up outside of the pond
  • The leader calls “in the pond” or “out of the pond”
  • The Players then have to get themselves in or out of the pond according to the instructions
  • The game speeds up as it repeats


Red Light, Green Light (2+ participants)


  • Elect a caller for the game
  • The rest of the players line up far away from the caller
  • The caller will be turned facing away from the players and call out “green light” which means the other players can start to run quickly towards the caller
  • The caller will yell out “red light” and rapidly turn towards the players
  • If the caller sees anyone still moving, they can send them back to the start point
  • The game continues in the rotation until a player tags the caller


Run and scream (2+ participants)


  • Participants stand at one end of the field in a straight line
  • On the count of three, all participants run and scream
  • Participants must stop, freeze, and stand still in the spot once they run out of breath and stop screaming.
  • The participant who runs the furthest before running out of breath wins the round


What Time is it Mr. Wolf? (2+ participants)


  • The person is selected as the ‘wolf’ and will stand far away from the other participants facing in away from the other participants so that they cannot see them
  • The non-wolves will stand together and call out “what time is it, Mr. Wolf”
  • The wolf will reply with a time (i.e. 5 o’clock) and the participants will take the number of steps in relation to the time (5 o’clock = 5 steps)
  • The game continues in this turn base system until either a non-wolf sneaks up and reaches the wolf (making them the winner) or the wolf calls “Lunchtime” and turns to try and tag a non-wolf.
  • If a non-wolf reaches the wolf first, they are the new wolf or if the wolf calls lunchtime and tags someone that person is the new wolf


Ah So Ko No (3+ participants)


  • Participants stand in a circle.
  • One person starts by saying “AH” and lifts their arm over their head, pointing towards one way or the other. This decides which way around the circle the game goes.
  • Whichever way the first person passes it, that person says “SO”, with their arm at waist level pointing in whatever direction.
  • The third person who is passed to says “KO” and can send it anywhere in the circle by pointing both arms straight forward.
  • The fourth person can accept or deny the “KO” by saying “AH” to accept or “NO” to deny.
  • If the deny the “KO”, whoever did “KO” does it again and the 2nd person they point to must accept it and recommence the pattern.

Band-Aid Tag (3+ participants)

  • In this variation, when a child is tagged they place a hand on the spot that was tagged. The child must keep a hand on that spot for the rest of the game.
  • If the child gets tagged a second time, a hand must be placed on the second spot. Now the child has used up all the band-aids.
  • If tagged a third time, the child must go to the "hospital" (the sidelines).


Blob tag (3+ participants)


  • Participants are informed of the boundaries they have to run within
  • Two participants are paired together, and are called “the blob.” These participants are “it”
  • Participants run within the boundaries, trying to avoid the blob. If they are tagged by the blob, they become part of the blob.
  • The blob must stay together all the time, either by linking arms or holding hands
  • The last plater not part of the blob wins
  • If the blob starts getting too big, you can split the blob into two or three and have multiple blobs chasing participants


Camouflage (3+ participants)


  • The Game is begun by a leader shouting "camouflage" at which point the kids scatter and hide
  • The leader counts to thirty out loud with their eyes closed.
  • After the count is over, the leader begins looking around. If the leader recognizes anyone not completely hidden, they call out the name and location of the kid. If they have correctly identified the kid, then the kid is out, if not, the kid does not have to reveal their true identity, and is still in play.
  • Once the leader can no longer identify anyone, they call out "food for 25" - The leader counts out loud to 25 with their eyes closed. The remaining kids have to try and reach the leader, tag them and return to a new hiding spot before the count is over
  • The leader will open their eyes on the count of 25 and attempt to find the hiding kids again. After another unsuccessful round, the leader will drop 5 seconds each round to increase the difficulty (i.e. 25 to 20)
  • The last person to be found by the leader wins


Fainting goat tag (3+ participants)


  • Designate one person as the shepherd. The other participants are the goats. Instruct the goats to spread out around the playing area.
  • When the leader yells ‘GO!’ the shepherd tries to tag one of the goats. If the shepherd successfully tags a goat, that goat becomes the shepherd.
  • The goats can fall to the ground with their feet and arms in the air to avoid being tagged for up to ten seconds. As long as they are on the ground, they are safe. The goat can’t fall to the ground unless the shepherd is 10 feet away or closer.


Frogger (3+ participants)

  • Materials: Dodge balls


  • Participants are in partners and they are facing each other a specified distance apart, forming a gauntlet.
  • Each pair has a ball and they pass it back and forth to their partner.
  • Someone tries to get from one end of the gauntlet to the other without being hit by a ball.
  • The people making up the gauntlet try to hit the person running BELOW THE WAIST with the ball.

Jackpot (3+ participants)

  • Materials: football or some other ball that is easy to throw and catch


  • One person is the thrower and stands across the playing field from the other participants.
  • Everyone else spreads out around the other side of the playing area.
  • The thrower tosses the ball in the air towards everyone else and announces a number between 50 and 200. If a participant catches the ball they get as many points as the thrower yelled. If the ball is missed or dropped, the closest person or the person who tried to catch it loses the same number of points (negative score is possible).
  • If the thrower does not want to be thrower anymore, they can turn around and yell “JACKPOT” throwing the ball behind them toward the other participants. Even if the ball hits the ground, the first person to catch it wins and becomes the thrower.
  • The first person to get 500 points wins and becomes the new catcher.


Ninja (3+ participants)


  • All the players stand with their hands together, facing the center of the circle.

  • Everyone says, “3, 2, 1, NINJA!” and then freezes in a cool ninja pose. (This is the favorite part!)

  • Each player takes a turn doing a ninja move.  Turns move around the circle, just like any other game.

  • The object of the game is to get the other players “out,” one limb at a time.

  • When it’s your turn, you get one move.  You can karate chop another player’s arm below the elbow, or kick their ankle or foot.  You can try to get any player out – it does not need to be the person next to you.  You can take a step as part of your move, but only one step.  For example, you can step forward or backward and do a karate chop with your arm.  The player being attacked can dodge your ninja move.  If you successfully karate chop their arm below the elbow or their foot/ankle, then that limb is out!

  • A player is out of the game when both of their arms and both of their legs are out.

  • The winner is the last ninja standing!


Octopus Tag (3+ participants)

  • Materials: hula hoops


  • Participants stand at one line, and multiple hula hoops are placed around the field (these are the fishes’ homes). These participants are the fish.
  • One participant stands halfway between the two lines. This person is the “octopus.”
  • On the count of three, all the fish leave to find a “home”
  • The octopus runs throughout the field, trying to catch the fish. If the octopus is successful, the fish then becomes a stationary octopus and sits on the ground.
  • The stationary octopuses can catch fish by catching them with their “tentacles” (tagging them with their arms)
  • After the first round, surviving fish return to the start line and some of the hula hoop homes are taken away. Repeat until there is only one fish left, and they are the winner.
  • Alternative: if you don’t have hula hoops handy, just have the fish try to get to the other side of the play area without being tagged.


Pacman (3+ participants)


  • Pacman is like a regular game of tag, but it is usually played in the gym. This is because players must stay on the lines in the gym at all times and move in a linear form like a game of Pacman would be played in an arcade.
  • A tagger will chase people down while staying on the lines.
  • Participants must all stay on lines as well and once they are tagged, they sit down and become a blockade.
  • Last person standing wins.


Tails (3+ participants)

  • Materials: pinnies


  • Each person takes one pinnie and tucks it into their back pocket, so it looks like a tail.
  • There is a leader stationed with a box of pennies to the side of the field.
  • Participants are instructed to spread out around the playing area. When the leader shouts ‘GO!’ the participants must try to steal each other’s tails.
  • Each time someone steals a tail or loses a tail, they must run as fast as they can to the leader to get a new tail or drop off the one they stole.
  • The game can keep going until participants get tired or lose interest.


Tunnel Tag (3+ participants)


  • Tunnel tag is a variation on freeze tag.
  • In freeze tag, kids "freeze" in the position they are in when tagged.
  • In tunnel tag, someone has to crawl through a child's feet to "unfreeze" them, so they can rejoin the game.


Animal Party (4+ participants)


  • All participants sit in a circle with one person starting as 'it' in the middle.
  • Everyone picks an animal that they will become in the game. The game starts with someone as a target, they pass the target by saying their animal and someone else's animal.
  • Once the tagger gets the target they switch spots (tagger goes into the circle and target becomes tagger).
  • If the tagger sits down before restarting the game they are still the tagger and the target goes back in the circle unless they sit down before starting the game. EXAMPLE: Dog to cat, cat to giraffe, giraffe to... (if the tagger tags the person who is a giraffe that person goes in the circle)


Bamba (4+ participants)

  • Materials: 1 dodge ball


  • Participants stand in a circle, with some space between each person
  • One participant goes to the middle
  • The middle person closes their eyes and counts to fifteen, putting one arm up straight after 5 seconds, the second arm up after 10 seconds, and slapping their hands together above their heads and yelling ‘BAMBA’ at 15 seconds.
  • Meanwhile, the group is passing the ball from person to person.
  • When the middle person yells “BAMBA,” whoever has the ball becomes the new middle person and the middle person takes their spot, sitting down with their legs out in front of them.
  • This continues, and people near the participants sitting down must jump over their legs in order to pass on the ball each round.
  • This continues until there is one winner.


Fruit Salad (4+ participants)


  • Line participants up on one side of the gym or playing field. Assign each of them the name of a fruit (Apples, bananas, and grapes)
  • A leader stands in the middle and calls out the name of one of the fruits. All players with that name try to run to the other side without being tagged.
  • When the leader calls out ‘Fruit Salad!’ everyone runs.
  • The last surviving fruit wins


Horses, Knights, and Cavaliers (4+ participants)


  • Participants are told to pair off.
  • Explain the three different positions (horse: one partner goes on all fours on the ground as a horse while the other pretends to be riding them, knights: one partner kneels on one knee while the other sits on their knee and puts their “sword” into the air, cavaliers: one partner lifts the other in the air, or pretends to)
  • Have participants walk all over a designated area, ensuring that partners are not sticking close to one another.
  • When you call out one of the three positions, partners have to find each other and get in the positions as fast as they can.
  • The last team to successfully get into each position is out and can help you call out the positions.
  • Make sure to give a few practice rounds.


Huckle Buckle (4+ participants)


  • All participants find a partner
  • Participants line up, one partner on one line, another partner on a line any distance away, facing each other.
  • The leader yells out “Huckle buckle” and a body part, or two body parts (examples, “knee to knee” or “elbow to ear”)
  • Partners run to meet each other halfway, join their body parts, hold the position for three seconds, and then run back to their spots.
  • The last to make it back to their spots are out and helps the leader come up with new body parts to call out, or they can act as judges.


Key Pad (4+ participants)

  • Materials: Ice cream tops (or any circular object) numbered 1-30, rope


  • Ice cream tops are placed within the rope.
  • Participants are split into two teams.
  • Team A is timed while they try to hit all 30 ice cream tops. The catch is, two people cannot reach in the circle to try to hit the same ice cream top or the team has to start over. One person cannot tap two ice cream tops in a row.
  • Once Team A is done and timed, Team B gets the chance to beat their time.
  • This can continue for as many rounds as you like.


Non-violent red rover (4+ participants)


  • Participants are split up into two equal teams. Each team stands in a line, facing the other team.
  • Participants put their hands out in front of them, palms up
  • Team A calls “Red Rover Red, Red River, we call __________ over!”
  • At this time, the member from the other team who was called over runs to the other team and sneakily slaps the hands of someone


Picket Fence (4+ participants)


  • One participant is chosen as the tagger, another as the runner.
  • Everyone else is placed shoulder to shoulder, facing alternate directions in a straight line.
  • The tagger and runner run around the circle, the tagger trying to tag the runner.
  • The tagger can tap someone from the picket fence from behind, and that person becomes the new tagger.
  • If the tagger is successful in catching the runner, the runner becomes the tagger and vice versa.


Pool Noodle Hockey (4+ participants)

  • Materials: Pool noodles cut in half (two different colors with equal numbers of each), ball or puck, something with which to create goals


  • Use your pool noodles as hockey sticks, with the color of the pool noodles designating who is on which team.
  • To keep things simple, use the same rules you would for soccer, but using the pool noodle as a hockey stick to move the ball/ puck
  • Offensive players only allowed in the defensive red zone for five seconds at a time (red zone being 15 yards from the goal)


Stalking (4+ participants)

  • Materials: Twigs or small object


  • Get all participants together in a circle and decide on one person to be the 'prey'.
  • The person who is the prey will sit with their legs crossed with a pile of twigs in their lap.
  • The other participants are then the 'predators'. The prey will close their eyes while the predators sneak towards the prey (the end goal is to steal one of the twigs from the prey's lap).
  • The prey will need to use their hearing to listen for the predators' movements and can point out the predators (without opening their eyes).
  • The game ends when every predator has a twig or the predator has lost all three of their lives


Angel/Secret Agent (5+ participants)


  • Participants choose, in their head, someone to be their ‘angel’ and someone to be their ‘secret agent.’
  • Once the leader says go, participants need to keep directly in between their angel and secret agent, while everyone else tries to do the same.


Salt & Pepper (5+ participants)


  • Select someone to be a big shaker and have everyone else find a partner and stand back-to-back, elbows linked.
  • When the big shaker calls out “Salt & Pepper, SHAKE!” partners break arms and scatter as the big shaker tries to tag someone before they can link arms with a new partner. Anyone tagged becomes the next big shaker.
  • Alternatives: 1. Increase the number of big shakers or the number of people who can link together. 2/ Designate half the group as pepper and half as salt. Tape a white or black piece of paper to their short and only salt and pepper can pair up; no salt and salt or pepper and pepper combinations allowed.


Chuck the Chicken (6+ participants)

  • Material: 1 rubber chicken or 1 rubber trout


  • Participants are split into two teams.
  • Team A stands in a straight line, passing the rubber chicken/ trout over and under, over and under until it gets to the back of the line.
  • Meanwhile, Team B is formed in a circle with one person running around the outside of the circle. Each time the runner runs one full lap of the circle, Team B scores a point.
  • When the chicken/ trout gets to the back of Team A’s line, Team A yells “CHUCK THE CHICKEN!” or “THROW THE TROUT!”
  • At this time, Team B runs to grab the chicken/ trout and begins to pass it over and under while Team A forms a circle and begins running to score points.
  • Each time Team A or B is required to do the laps around their circle, a different person must do the running.
  • You can make this game go as long as you like; 10, 20, 30 points, etc.


Rocks (6+ participants)

  • Materials: Hula hoops, beanbags


  • Participants are split into two teams.
  • There is a rope splitting the field/area in half.
  • Each team has a hula hoop at the back of their ‘zone’ filled with beanbags, balls, etc. Both hula hoops must have the same number of objects in them to start.
  • The goal is to reach the hula hoop at the back of the opposing team’s side, without being tagged, retrieve the beanbags, etc. and return to your hula hoop without being tagged.
  • A participant can only be tagged when they are on the opposing team’s side.
  • If tagged, participants must drop their beanbag and it is returned to its proper hula hoop.
  • Once a participant is tagged, they are frozen in that spot and must sit down until a teammate saves them.
  • A person can be saved only if a teammate comes to retrieve them and tags them without being taggers themselves.
  • A participant cannot save a teammate and retrieve a beanbag in the same run; they must choose one or the other.
  • The game goes until one team has all of the beanbags in their hula hoop, or an entire team has been tagged and is frozen.


Steal the Bacon (6+ participants)

  • Materials: One object to ‘steal’


  • Divide the group into two teams. Everybody on Team 1 gets a number and everybody on Team 2 gets a number.
  • Both teams face each other about 15-20 yards apart.
  • The leaders call the number and both of these people have to race out and grab the cone and run back past their line without getting tagged. If they get past the line, they are awarded a point.
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