Want to get your participants into a playful mood early in the program? Try this sequence of three tag activities that will have your participants gasping for air -- but only because they are laughing so hard! (Adults, believe it or now, love these)
Open space for movement. Boundaries.
We're going to begin with a game of tag (pause for the inevitable groans). But this tag game is unlike the tag you grew up with in a couple of important ways:
Everyone is it at the same time. That's right, you are trying to tag anyone else and avoid being tagged by anyone else. AND
There's no running. There's no walking, really. Actually, you can only take one step at a time.
So here's how it plays. I will be counting out "1, 2, 3, Step" in a loud voice; when I say "Step," you must immediately move one and only one foot in any direction as much or as little as you like. While you do that, attempt to tag (with your hands) anyone standing near you and avoid anyone trying to tag you (by moving your body if possible, but not your feet). If you get tagged, you simply stand up straight, cross your arms, and are now an obstacle that others may maneuver around. If you're not tagged, then we repeat the process of "1, 2, 3, Step." Any questions? [Make sure that you explain what happens when two people tag each other at the same time ... what is that? You decide, it's your game!] OK, before we start you might want to move somewhere in the room so that you're not standing right next to someone else at the very start ... Ready? 1, 2, 3, Step.
Notes: Most of the people in your group will get the idea, but some won't understand until they get tagged out; plan on playing this two times so that everyone gets a chance. Also, this game works very well until there are only 3-4 people left in a large room with everyone else just standing: add the additional rule that all steps must now be towards another remaining player to promote a quicker finish. Variation: Once tagged, you take a seat but you're not completely out -- you can tag anyone still standing who comes near you except for the person who tagged you.
We need everyone to get into groups of 8-10 and hold hands in a circle facing in. In this game, you are trying to tag the person on either side of you without being tagged by either of them. A tag is made by touching the top of their foot with the bottom of yours [NOTE: with a partner, demonstrate for them what this looks like -- a gentle tag, NOT A STOMP].
If you are tagged, you call STOP and everyone in your group freezes. You step out of the circle, the two people who were on either side of you join hands, and play resumes. Any questions? Ready, set ...
Notes: This is a very active and ends rather quickly -- the aerobic factor of everyone frenetically keeping their feet moving and tagging places a definite outer limit in terms of time. One fun way to finish is to have the "champions" of each team circle up to find the Grand Champion Toe Tagger for the day.
This game is a combination of the two previous activities. Once again, I will be calling out "1,2,3 Step," and once again, you must move one foot when I say "step." Once again, you are trying to tag anyone else without being tagged by anyone else. This time, however, there is no tagging with hands -- all tags are made by touching the top of someone else's foot with your foot. Any questions? 1, 2, 3, Step!"
Notes: You will see some excellent stretching techniques on this one.
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