Chasing Games

Age: Young Children

No. of players: 2 or more (4-8 is good)

Equipment: None, although an adult or older child may need to explain the rules and supervise each chasing game.

Time: 5 minutes+

Aim: The aim varies from game to game. Generally, players try to avoid getting tagged.

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There are many Chasing Games, based on one player who chases the other players and tries to catch them. In most games a player is caught when they are tagged; that is, a player touches them with their hand. Some variations include:

Tag is the easiest chasing game for three or more players. One player is chosen as "It" and has to chase any and all of the other players. If "It" tags another player, that player becomes the new "It". The new "It" must count to five before they chase the other players and attempt to tag one of them.

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Shadow Tag is a variation of Tag which is great for sunny days when players have a good shadow. "It" must catch players by jumping on their shadow. An adult or older child may need to act as judge if there is a dispute over whether a tag occurred or not.

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Chain Tag is another variation of Tag. Any player who is tagged must join hands with "It" and together they try to tag the other players. Each player tagged joins the chain. When the chain gets to six players, it can split into two chains of three players, with both chains trying to tag any remaining players. The last player to be tagged is the winner, and becomes the first "It" in the next game.

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Freeze Tag (also known as "Stuck in the Mud") is another variation of Tag. Anyone who is tagged must "freeze" (stay in one place without moving their feet) until another player can "melt" them by touching them. "It" cannot stay near a frozen player; they must chase the other players. A player who is frozen three times becomes the new "It". If "It" can freeze all the other players they win the game and another "It" is chosen for a new game.
To make the game harder, a player who is frozen cannot move unless another player touches both hands with both of their hands. Older children may like to make it even harder by having another player crawl under their legs to melt them (A player is safe while they are under a frozen player's legs).

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Shipwreck Tag is similar to normal Tag and is suitable for three or more younger children. Players are safe if they are on an "island". The islands can be anything like a log, old tyre or a rug. (Make sure the island cannot slip, twist or otherwise cause danger to the players.) Players can stay on their island for up to ten seconds before they must leave for a new island. Anyone who is caught in the open ocean becomes the new "It".

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Crossing the River is known by a number of names including "British Bulldog" and "Red Rover, Cross Over". In its simplest form, two lines (the banks of the river) are marked on the ground with players standing on the banks. "It" is in the middle of the river. When "It" shouts "Go!", players must run from one river bank to the other. Any players tagged must remain in the middle of the river and help "It". The last player to be caught becomes the new "It".

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Catch My Tail is a game for two or more players. Each player must have a handkerchief or strip of cloth tucked into their belt or waist band as a tail. Players try to take other people's tails without allowing anyone to snatch their tail. If your tail is captured, you are immediately out of the game and cannot take anyone's tail. The last player with a tail wins the game.

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