Looking for some good run-around games to play outside this summer? Here’s a few ideas to get you started!
Drop the Handkerchief
This game is best played with 8 or more players from ages 3-7. You’ll need a handkerchief or a piece of cloth. To begin, have all the kids sit in a circle except for one. The remaining child is “it” and begins to walk around the circle. This game is similar to duck, duck, goose, but instead of tagging someone, “it” drops the cloth behind the person that he chooses. Once the handerchief has been dropped, the “chosen” child scoops it up and begins to chase after “it”. “It” must race around the circle to sit in the now open spot. If “it” is caught, he must try again. Otherwise, the newly chosen child will be “it”.
Run for Your Supper
In this game, 10 or more players are best, ages 4-8. Children all begin standing in a circle holding hands except for one. The one remaining child walks slowly around the circle and unexpectedly pulls two players hands apart while walking the perimeter of the circle. She shouts, “Run for your supper!” and the two children whose hands were pulled apart must run in opposite directions to make it back to the original hole. Whoever arrives last is the new “it” and begins to walk around the circle slowly.
Steal the Bacon
Set up a large rectangular area and designate clear boundary lines. Use a bean bag or shoe as the “bacon” and divide kids into two teams. Give each player a number, making sure there are the same numbers on each side (sometimes I write the numbers on kids hands to help them remember). Place the “bacon” in the center of the playing area and assign each team one goal line at either end of the playing area. An adult calls out a number and all students with that number run to pick up the “bacon.” The person who gets the “bacon” first tries to run across his goal line without being tagged. The person whose number was called who did not get the “bacon” should try to tag the other player before they get across the goal line. If a player makes it back to their team with the bacon, they get a point. If they get tagged, the opposite (tagging) team gets the point.
In this game, a hungry lion, guarded by a keeper waits in its den for a chance to capture taunting onlookers. First, choose a player to be the lion and place them inside a “den” (a hula hoop would work well). Choose another child to be the keeper. All the other players stand around the den, changing “Red Lion, Red Lion, Come out of your Den!” The keeper, at any given moment shouts “Go!” to the lion and the lion charges out of the den to catch another player. Whoever he catches then becomes a lion as well and the game repeats. The keeper can also make up rules such as “Lions wearing red may go!” if they choose.
Find More Games:
Most of the games above came from the book: Great Big Book of Children’s Games: Over 450 Indoor & Outdoor Games for Kids, Ages 3-14.