Running Games for Kids

With the weather beginning to cool down, it's a great time to get the kids outside to run around and play. Here are some running game ideas to encourage your kiddos to get outside and exercise, while having some fun!

Sharks and Minnows

You will need: A rectangular open play area (field or backyard) with boundaries marked with lines or cones.

 

How to play: Choose one kid to be the shark. Everyone else will be minnows. The shark stands in the middle of the field and shouts, “Fishy, fishy, fishy, come swim in my sea!” The minnows line up on one end of the rectangle and respond by saying, “Sharky, sharky, sharky, you can’t catch me!” Then the minnows will attempt to run across the field to the other boundary line while trying to not be tagged by a shark. If a minnow is tagged, they become a shark and will try to tag other minnows. The last minnow standing wins the game!

Where to Run Next? 

You will need: Small pieces of paper with different landmarks or locations written on them.

 

How to play: This game is best played outdoors, in an open area with different landmarks or locations that the kids can run to. Have an adult or coach write down the names of different landmarks in the vicinity, such as a swing set, statue, fence, bleachers, goal post, etc. Put the pieces of paper in a small bag. Have one kid pull out a piece of paper and read the location. Then they all have to run to that location. Once everyone reaches the destination, the adult will continue to pull out pieces of paper and read the next destination. Once all destinations have been read and reached, the kid who reached the most destinations first wins the game.

Capture the Flag

You will need: Cones or other markers to mark the field, two flags, or bandanas (can be placed in a cone).

 

How to play: Divide kids into two even teams. Mark the middle of the field or yard with several cones or markers. Place each team’s flag about 50 feet from the middle of the field. When you blow a whistle or say “go”, each team runs to the other side of the field and tries to grab the other team’s flag. If a player is tagged on the opponent’s side of the field, they go to jail (a designated area on the side of the field). To be rescued, a fellow teammate must come to tag the kid who was jailed. Whichever team captures the flag first and can make it back to the middle of the field without being tagged wins the game.

Water Balloon Relay

 

You will need: Water balloons filled with water.

 

How to play: Divide the kids into two teams. You will use the water balloon as a baton. Have the opposing team members walk down the yard a short distance, creating a relay line. Spread the relay line out for however many kids there are. The two kids with the balloons on opposing teams will run to their teammate and pass them the balloon, and then that kid will run to the next teammate and so on until the established finish line is reached. If a balloon is dropped or popped, then the kid must run back to the bucket and get a new balloon and then rejoin the relay.

Always consult a doctor before starting any new exercise or diet routine and follow all safety protocols for appropriate social distancing.

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