Outdoor Games For School

Classroom games for students of all ages. Games can not only be fun for students, but enhance the learning experience and make it easier for children to learn social skills and well as knowledge in a friendly and fun environment.

Primary School Outdoor Games - Intermediate Students Outdoor Games- High School Students Outdoor Games

Primary School Outdoor Games

Chase the Rabbit

The group kneels in a circle with their hands on each other's shoulders. The one selected to be rabbit runs around the circle and tags some individual. Thereupon that individual must get upon his feet and run to the left around the circle. The rabbit runs to the right around the circle. The rabbit must tag the one who is running around in the opposite direction, and then both endeavor to get back to the hole left in the circle. The one failing to do this becomes the rabbit for the next play.


One of the group is selected to be "It". He stands with his back to the group and counts five, at the end of which he turns rapidly around. If he sees any of the group moving, that one seen must go back to the starting line. While the one "It" is counting, it is the object of the group to progress toward him as rapidly as possible.


This game is similar to the game "Steps," above described, excepting that the players standing behind "It" assume the poses of statues. "It" upon turning around endeavors to detect some movement on the part of the statues, in which case that player takes the place of "It".


The players stand behind a line. Each in turn must cover the space between said line and another line twenty yards distant by a manner of progress different from that used by any of the previous players. For example, the first one called upon to cover the intervening space between the lines walks, the second one runs, the third hops, the fourth crawls, the fifth walks backward, etc., and so on until all of the players have reached the far line. This game taxes the ingenuity of the last players to be called upon, as they have to initiate new methods of progress.

Squirrel in Trees

Players stand in groups of three—two facing one another with hands joined to form hollow trees, and the third within the tree hollow to represent the squirrel. There is also one odd squirrel outside the tree. The teacher or leader claps her hands, when all squirrels must run for other trees, and the odd squirrel tries to secure a tree, the one left out being the odd squirrel the next time. Players' positions may be reversed frequently to give all an equal chance to be squirrels.

Shadow Tag

This game is similar to ordinary tag, with the exception that "It" endeavors to touch or step on the shadow of one of the players. Succeeding in doing this, that player becomes "It".

Handkerchief Tag

A player is selected to be "It". A knotted handkerchief is given to the rest of the players. "It" can only tag the player holding the handkerchief in his hands. The players endeavor to get rid of the handkerchief by throwing it from one to another. Should the handkerchief fall upon the ground, there is no one for "It" to tag until it has been picked up by one of the players.

Puss in Corner

The players are distributed about the playing area, and given goals, such as trees, fence and building corners, etc. One player is selected to be "It". The other players endeavor to change places. "It" can either tag one of the players who is off his corner, on goal, or step into the goal vacated by one of the players. In the first case, the player tagged becomes "It"; in the second, the player left without a goal becomes "It".

Back to Back

This is a tag game in which "It" may tag anyone who is not back to back with one other player.

Peggy in Ring

A blindfolded player takes his place in the center of the group which has joined hands, forming a ring. The ring begins to dance around in a circle until "Peggy", who is blindfolded in the centre, pounds three times with a stick upon the ground or floor. This is the signal for everyone to stand still. "Peggy" then holds out the stick to some one in the circle. The one nearest to it must grasp the end. "Peggy" then asks the one at the other end three questions. The questions may be answered by grunts or groans and "Peggy" endeavors to guess who is thus answering the questions. Succeeding, the one questioned takes "Peggy's" place in the center of the circle and the game proceeds.

Intermediate Students Outdoor Games

Link Race

The group is divided into two teams, and a leader appointed for each. A large square is marked upon the ground and the opposing teams line up upon opposite sides of the square behind their leader, each locking his arms about the waist of the man in front of him. At a signal to go both groups endeavor to tag the rear end of the group in front of them by running about the square, keeping on the lines. Should a group succeed in tagging the rear of the line in front, but it is found that their own line is broken through the effort, it does not count. But the broken line can be tagged by the rear of the line and it will count. So it is up to that part of the line which has broken loose at the rear to catch up with the rest of its team.

Maze Tag

All but two of the players stand in parallel lines or ranks, one behind the other, with ample space between each player and each two ranks. All the players in each rank clasp hands in a long line. This will leave aisles between the ranks and through these a runner and chaser make their way.

The sport of the game consists in sudden changes in the direction of the aisles, brought about by one player who is chosen as leader. He stands aside, giving the commands, "Right face!" or "Left face!" at his discretion. When one of these commands is heard, all of the players standing in the ranks drop hands, face in the direction indicated and quickly clasp hands with the players who are then their neighbors on the right and left. This brings about a change of direction in the aisles and therefore necessitates a change of direction in the course of the two who are running.

The success of the game depends largely upon the judgment of the leader in giving the commands, "Right (or left) face!" These should be given quickly and repeatedly, the leader often choosing a moment when the pursuer seems just about to touch his victim, when the sudden obstruction put in his way by the change in the position of the ranks makes necessary a sudden change of direction on his part. The play continues until the chaser catches his victim, or until the time limit has expired. In either case two new players are then chosen from the ranks to take the places of the first runners.It is a foul to break through the ranks or to tag across the clasped hands.

Turtle Tag

One player is selected to be "It" and chases the rest. In order to avoid being tagged, a player may lie upon his back with both feet and hands off the ground.

Roly Poly

This game must be played in groups, not larger than 12. Holes are dug in the ground with the heels of the shoe. These holes are placed about 6 inches apart in a line. They should be about 3 inches in diameter and at least one inch deep. A line is drawn 6 feet from the first hole. The one who is "It" must stand behind this line and roll a soft ball so that it will drop into one of the holes. If he misses, he continues to roll until he succeeds. If he succeeds, the one, into whose hole the ball rolls, runs forward, picks it up and endeavors to hit any other player from the position in which he picked up the ball. The rest may run in their effort to get away. Should he miss, a goose egg—(a small stone)—is placed in his hole. Should he succeed in hitting a player, a goose egg is placed in the hole of that player. The one to whom is awarded the goose egg is the next to roll the ball from the dead line in the endeavor to get it into a hole. Any player getting three goose eggs has to run the gauntlet, which is the name given to running between two lines of players while they slap at his back. The faster he runs the lighter the slaps. No player is allowed to hit from the front.

Antony Over

A group is divided into two teams, A and B. The game is played around a small building, such as a small school house or wood shed, around which there is free running space. To team A is given a soft ball, such as a tennis or yarn ball. The ball is thrown over the building to team B. If it is caught by one of the players of team B, the whole team slips around the building, all going in the same direction, and trying to hit with the ball some one on team A before they can get around to the opposite side of the building. Team A tries to escape being hit by dodging and running around the building to the opposite side. If a player is hit, he goes to B side. The teams keep their new places and B throws the ball over to A. If the ball is not caught, it is thrown back and forth over the building until caught. The team which first hits all of its opponents wins, or a time limit may be agreed upon and the team having the greatest number of players at the end of that time, wins.

Snake and Bird

Two lines are drawn in the schoolyard about fifty feet apart. The group is divided into two teams. The one team links hands and takes a position between the two lines, and the leader calls, "Birds run". The other team, which is lined up behind one of the lines, endeavors to run across the space between the two lines without being caught by the snake, which endeavors to circle around as many of the second team as it can. A record is kept of the number of boys caught. Then the other team becomes snake and endeavors to coil around as many of the opponents, when they attempt to cross the space between the lines, as possible.

In and Out

The group grasp hands, forming a circle. Two individuals are selected, one to be "It", and the other to be chased. These two are placed on opposite sides of the circle. Then "It" endeavors to tag the other. The one chased may go in and out under the hands of those forming the circle, cut through or run around the circle and "It" has to follow the same course in the pursuit. When "It" succeeds in tagging his partner, two other players take their places.

Fox and Rabbit

The group link hands and form a circle. Two players are selected, one to be "It" and the other to be chased, as in the preceding game. In this game, however, it is not necessary that the fox follow the same course the rabbit pursues, in his endeavor to tag him, but both can go in and out of the circle at will. The players in the circle endeavor to assist the rabbit and impede the fox in his chase, as much as possible. When the fox has caught the rabbit, two other players are selected to take their places.

Chicken Market

One player is selected to be a buyer, another to be the market man. The rest of the players are to be chickens. They stoop down in a row, clasping their hands under their knees. The buyer inquires of the market man, "Have you chickens for sale?" The market man says, "Yes, plenty of them". Thereupon the buyer goes along the line and examines the chickens. He finds one too tough, one too fat, etc., until at last he comes to one which suits his fancy, and he so informs the market man. He takes one arm and the market man takes the other and between them they swing the chicken back and forth. If the chicken maintains the grasp of its hands beneath its knees, it is accepted by the buyer and is led off to the home of the buyer, marked upon the ground. The game continues until all the chickens are sold.

Chickidy Hand

The player who is selected to be "It" interlocks the fingers of his hands and holds them against a post, which is known as the goal. The other players fold their hands in the same way and place them against the post. To start the game, "It" counts ten, whereupon the players leave the goal and "It" endeavors to tag one of them. The hands must be kept folded until tagged. The one tagged joins hands with "It" and continues with him in an effort to tag others. The players endeavor to keep from being tagged by the line and try to break through the line. Succeeding in this, the individual towards the head of the line, next to the break, drops out of the game. Those in the line cannot tag a player who has rushed in and succeeded in breaking the line until the line reforms.

Pass Ball

The group form a circle and are counted off in 2's. The Number 1's are given a ball or some other object easily tossed, at one side of the circle and the Number 2's a like object on the other side of the circle. Then 1 competes against 2 in an endeavor, by passing the object around the circle, to have it overtake that passed by the other team. When the object passed by one team has overtaken and passed that of the other, it counts one point and the game starts over, with the objects on opposite sides of the circle.


The group forms a circle, linking hands. In the center of the circle is placed on end a short log about a foot long. (A tall bottle may be used in place of the log). By it is lying a soft playground baseball or a yarn ball. The circle begins to rotate around the log, the object being to keep from knocking the club over, on the one hand, but to force some one else in the circle to knock it over. The instant it falls, the circle dissolves and all the players except the one who knocks over the club run, while he picks up the ball and throws it at the running players. If he succeeds in hitting some one, the one hit is out of the game. If he fails, he is out. So the game continues until but two players are left.

Fox Trail

A large circle is drawn upon the ground. This should measure from 30 to 40 feet in radius. Another circle is drawn within this first circle and should have a radius 10 feet less than the first. Eight or 10 spokes are drawn from the center to the circumference. Where these spokes intercept the outer circle a small circle is drawn. These small circles are known as "dens". A player is placed in each one of these dens. Another player is known as the hunter and stands at the hub of the wheel. The players in the dens are known as foxes. There is to be one more fox than den. This odd fox can stand anywhere else on the rim, where he tries to get a den whenever he can. The object of the game is that the foxes run from den to den without being caught by the hunter. The method of running, however, is restricted. Both foxes and hunter are obliged to keep to the trails running only on the lines of the diagram. It is considered poor play to run from den to den on the outer rim, as there is practically no risk in this. Foxes may run in any direction on the trail, on the spokes or on either of the rims. They may not turn back, however, when they have started on a given trail, until they have run across to the intersection of another line. If the hunter succeeds in tagging a fox, the two exchange places, the fox becoming the hunter. This is a good game to play in the snow marking the trails in the snow.

Weavers Race

A group forms a circle which is counted off by 2's. The Number 1's in the circle constitute team A, and the Number 2's team B. Two captains stand side by side in the circle. Each holds a small stick. At a signal to go both start racing in opposite directions around the circle, going to the rear of the first player, to the front of the second, to the rear of the third, etc., weaving their way in and out. When they meet at the further side of the circle they must join hands and spin around once in the circle before continuing to weave their way back and forth from the point in the circle from which they left. Thereupon number 1 of A team tags the next player on his team in the direction in which he ran. Number 1 of B team tags the next one on his team who starts in the direction in which the first ran. The race continues until everyone in the team has completed his run around the circle in the required way.

Circle Chase

The group forms a circle and counts off by 4's. The leader takes his place in the center of the circle. He calls any number from 1 to 4, and all of the men holding that number step back and run around the outside of the circle to the right, endeavoring to tag the man who is running just ahead of him. The leader blows a whistle, which is the signal for the men to return to their original places in the circle, with the exception of those who have been tagged out. The latter are supposed to take a position within the circle. The leader next calls another number and they proceed as did the first. As the game continues, the circle grows smaller. The individual wins who succeeds in tagging out all those of his number.

Reuben and Rachel

The group forms a circle, joining hands. One of the players is blindfolded and placed in the center of the circle. All the rest in the ring dance around him until he points at some one. That one enters the circle and the blind man calls out, "Rachel". The other must answer, "Here, Reuben", and move about in the circle so as to escape being tagged by Reuben. Every time Reuben calls out, "Rachel", she must reply, "Here, Reuben", and so it goes on until she is caught. Reuben must guess who she is and if he guesses correctly Rachel is blindfolded and the game goes on as before. If not, the same individual continues as Reuben and he points out a new Rachel to come into the circle.

Channel Tag

The group forms a circle, faces to the right and assumes a stride position. The one selected to be "It" takes his place in the center of the circle. The others pass a ball or bean bag either backward or forward between their legs. The one in the center tries to capture the ball or bag. If he succeeds, the one last touching it must take his place in the center of the circle. Every one must touch the ball or bag when it passes by them, either forward or backward.

Soak 'em

A sock stuffed with straw is used in this game. A circle is drawn upon the ground. The group is divided into two teams. One team takes its place in the center of the circle, the other lines up around the circumference. Those on the outside of the ring endeavor, without stepping over the line, to throw and hit those within. Succeeding, the one hit must lie upon the ground within the ring. The others endeavor to avoid being hit by dodging here and there. When all of the first team in the ring have been hit, they take their position outside of the ring and throw at their opponents. The team succeeding in hitting all of the opponents in the quickest time, wins.

The Dummy

One of the group, known as the "dummy", must take a position 30 feet in front of a line and stands with his back to the rest of the group. A soft ball is thrown at him and he endeavors to guess who hit him. If he succeeds, that one must take his place.

Oriental Tag

Similar to ordinary tag, except that the one "It" cannot tag any one who has his forehead to the ground.

Ball Tag

The one who is "It" is armed with a soft ball. He attempts to tag another by means of hitting him with the ball. The one who is hit becomes "It".

Couple Tag

Similar to ordinary tag, except that the group is arranged in couples. Couples must lock arms. The couple which is "It" endeavors to tag some other couple. If either of the men making up the "It" couple succeeds in tagging either man of another couple, that group is "It".

High School Students Classroom Games

Dresden Tag

The group forms a circle with at least three feet space between each individual in the circle. One individual is selected to be "It", another to be chased. Those in the circle are to place their hands upon their knees and assume a stooping position, as for leap frog. "It" endeavors to tag the individual he is to chase before said individual can leap over the back of any one forming the circle. Should he leap over the back of some one, the one over whose back he jumped is then subject to being tagged by "It". Should "It" tag the one chased, then "It" must leap over some one's back to escape from being tagged. After leaping over a back, the individual who made the leap takes the position of the one who left that place in the circle.

Fox and Geese

One player is chosen to be fox, another to be gander. The remaining players all stand in single file behind the gander, each with his hands upon the shoulders of the one next in front. The gander tries to protect his flock of geese from being caught by the fox and to do this stretches out his arms and dodges around in any way he sees fit to circumvent the efforts of the fox. Only the last goose in the line may be tagged, unless the line be very long, then the last five or ten players may be tagged, as decided beforehand. It will be seen that the geese all may co-operate with the gander by doubling and redoubling their line to prevent the fox from tagging the last goose. Should the fox tag the last goose or one of the last five or ten, if that be permissible, that goose becomes fox and the fox becomes gander.

Plug the Hole

The players form in a circle with their legs in a stride position, their toes touching those of the next player. The one who is "It" takes his place in the centre of the circle. A partner to "It" takes his place on the outside of the circle. "It" is given a salt bag stuffed with saw dust or an old basketball cover stuffed with rags or some similar object. "It" endeavors to throw the stuffed bag between the legs of any of the players making up the circle. The players in the circle must keep their hands upon their knees until they see the bag coming towards them. They can then intercept it with their hands but are not allowed to move their feet. Should "It" succeed in throwing the bag between the legs of any player, his partner on the outside may capture it and endeavor to throw it back into the circle by the same method by which it came out, while the one between whose legs the bag was thrown takes "It's" place. Should "It's" partner on the outside succeed in throwing the ball into the circle between the legs of any player, that player takes the partner's place on the outside.

Partner Swat Tag

Form a circle in pairs, partners linking arms together. Two stuffed clubs (made by stuffing stockings with waste or rags), are placed in the hands of one of the couples selected to be "It". This couple runs about the circle and hands the clubs to another set of partners in the circle. Thereupon the others, receiving the clubs, chase the couple at their right around the circle, beating them with the clubs until they have reached their original place in the circle. The couple holding the clubs then go around the circle and hand the clubs to another couple, who proceed to chase the others at their right and so the game continues.

Freight Train Tag

The boys are divided into groups of three's. Each three line up, one behind the other, with their arms locked around the waist of the man in front. The first man in the group is the engine, and the last man the caboose. One man is selected to be "It", another to be chased. In order to avoid being tagged by "It", the man chased endeavors to hitch on the rear of a freight train by locking his arms around the caboose. Thereupon the engine, or the man at the front of the train, is subject to being tagged by "It" until he can hitch on to some other train. Those individuals making up a train endeavor to keep any one from hitching on to their caboose. "It", having tagged another, is subject to being tagged back immediately, provided he has not hitched on the rear of some train.

Roll Ball

The players form in a circle, grasping the hands of their neighbors. The one selected to be "It" takes his place in the center and is given a basketball or a stuffed sack, which he endeavors to kick outside of the ring. The players in the circle endeavor to prevent same by interfering with their legs. Should "It" succeed in kicking the ball outside the circle, the player between whose legs it went or to whose right it went, must take "It's" place.

Take Away

The group is divided into two teams. One team is given a ball or some other object which can be easily caught. The object of the game is to keep the ball away from the opponents as long as possible. Should the opponents capture the ball, they in turn endeavor to pass it among themselves, keeping it away from the other team.

Red, White and Blue

Two lines are marked upon the ground, about fifteen feet apart. The group is divided into three equal teams; one team is known as the red, the other the blue, and the third the white. The blue team takes its position between the two lines, with the red team beyond one line and the white beyond the other. A ball or some other soft object easily thrown is given to the red team. Any member of that team may try to hit a member of the blue team, with the ball, without stepping over the line. Should he succeed, it counts one point for the red. Should he miss and the ball go across to where the white team is stationed, any member of the white team endeavors to hit one of the blue and scores a point if successful. Should the ball fail to return to either the red or the white team, a member of either of those teams may run into the blue territory to recover it, but must return or toss the ball back to his team beyond the line before it is again in play. The playing time of the game is divided into thirds. The reds change places with the blues in the second third, and the whites with the reds in the last third. Only the team between the lines is subject to being thrown at. The team having the most hits to its record at the end of the game, wins.

Pin Ball

This game is played with the same rules as basketball, except that in place of the baskets a 6 foot circle is drawn in the center of each end of the playing space, and in the center of each circle a short flat end log about 14 inches long and 3 inches in diameter stands upon its end. Seven players constitute a team. A pin guard is placed within each circle, with the pin and he is the only one that is allowed to step inside the circle. The object of the game is to knock down the opponent's pin by hitting it with the ball. It is a foul to carry the ball or to hold an opponent. Where basketball rules are known to the players, use the same rules for this game. In case of a foul, a 15 foot line measured from the pin in the circle is used as a free throw line. In a free throw the guard is not allowed to interfere with the ball hitting the pin. A stuffed sack can be used in place of a ball in this game.

Kick Ball

An inflated ball about the size of a basketball is best for this game, but a bean bag can be used. The group is divided into two teams. One team is at the bat and the other in the field, arranged as in regular baseball with the exception that there is a short stop on both sides of the pitcher. The home base is marked upon the ground in form of a rectangle 4 feet long and 3 feet wide. The ball is tossed with an underhand toss, so that it passes over the base not higher than the level of the knee of the batter. Three strikes and four balls are allowed, as in baseball. Three men out retire a side. The principal difference is that the batter kicks the ball and may be put out by being hit with the ball when running between bases.

Hand Baseball

This game is like regular baseball, with the exception that a tennis ball or soft rubber ball is used for a ball and the hand is used for a bat. The pitcher throws the ball so that it bounds just in front of the batter. If on the bound it passes over the home plate above the knees and below the shoulders of the batter, it constitutes a strike. The home plate is marked upon the ground and is 2 feet square. The batter hits the ball with the open palm of his hand and runs bases, as in regular baseball. Four balls and 3 strikes count as in regular games.

Last Couple Out

This is an old Swedish game and one which can still be played and thoroughly enjoyed. The players are arranged in double file. One player is selected to be "It" and takes a position about 10 feet in front of the file, with his back to it. He calls, "Last couple out". Thereupon the last two in the double file run forward, one on either side of the line and endeavor to join hands in front of "It", without being tagged. "It" cannot look behind or start to chase until the last couple are on a line with him. The couple are allowed to circle as far out from the double line as they wish in their endeavor to avoid "It", and may join hands in any position, so long as they are in front of "It's" original position. Should "It" tag one of them before they have had an opportunity of joining hands, the one tagged becomes "It", and the one who was "It" unites with the extra player at the head of the double column. Otherwise "It" remains "It".

Spanish Fly

This is an old leap frog game. One player is chosen to be "down". The others follow the leader in taking frog leaps over the back of the one downed. At the first leap the leader says, "Spanish fly". All the others must repeat those words upon taking their leap. At his second leap, the leader says, "Handlings", and squeezes his fingers into the back of "Down". The others must do as he did. The leader next says, "Knucklings" and doubles his knuckles up on the back of "Down" in leaping over. The next command is "Spurrings", and the leader hits "Down" with the heel of his right foot in making the leap. The next command is "Dump the apple cart", and the leader grasps the clothes of the boy in going over and endeavors to pull him forward. The next is "Hats on deck", and the leader places his hat on the back of the boy as he passes over him. The next boy after the leader places his hat upon that of the leader and so on until all of the boys have their hats on the back. The next command is "Hats off deck", and the last boy to place his hat upon the back is the first to leap over, endeavoring to pick his hat off without knocking any of the others off. Should any of those following the leader fail in accomplishing the trick they are supposed to do, they become "Down" and the boy who was downed becomes the leader.

Tony Says

This is a good game to follow formal gymnastic exercises, maintaining the same formation. The players are lined up in open order upon the playing space. The leader asks for a number of exercises for the arms and legs. The players execute these upon command provided the words "Tony says" precede the command. For example, Tony says "Attention"; Tony says "Raise arms to side horizontal"; Tony says "Arms down." If the leader fails to say "Tony says" before the command, the players are not to execute the command. Should a player execute the command at the time when he is not supposed to, he is required to run to a given point behind the leader and return to his original place. This is required of every player making a mistake.

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