Now that spring has almost officially sprung and your kids have LOTS of pent up energy to expend, let’s get them outside and moving with a fun new tag game for kids!
Kids love tag because of the competitive nature of the game and we therapists love tag because it is full of developmental benefits like motor planning, agility, coordination, balance, and endurance challenges and general gross motor skill practice!
As part of our animal theme, we came up with this version of tag that will have your kids pretending to be their favorite zoo animals – gazelles, kangaroos, monkeys, cheetahs or zebras!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
-A group of kids
-4 objects to mark 4 different areas as “cages” (you can use cones, hula hoops, sidewalk chalk, or even tape!)
WHAT TO DO:
Mark off 4 corners of your yard, the driveway or the playground as the designated “cages” for each type of animal. You could even print out a picture of each of the animals to label the respective areas.
Choose one child to be the Zookeeper (this child is “IT”), one child to be the Monkey (she will cause a little mischief and make the zookeeper’s job harder) and organize remaining the kids into four groups. Each group will be assigned an animal.
-Gazelles will gallop
-Kangaroos will hop
-Cheetahs will run
-Zebras will skip
Now comes the fun!! The animals will be set free and will move around the playing area using each of the designated movements, trying to stay away from the zookeeper.
If the zookeeper tags them, they must return to their cage. The only way they can escape from their cage is if the monkey comes and lets them out!!
You can see how this can quickly become a pretty crazy zoo! The goal is for the zookeeper to get all of the animals back to their cages.
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP:
-Use different animals — try farm animals and a farmer with the goal being for the farmer to return all of the animals to the barn (horses gallop, ducks waddle, pigs crawl, dogs run)
-If getting the animals to 4 different cages becomes frustrating, just designate one central area as the cage for all of the animals.
-Make it a game of freeze tag. If the zookeeper touches you — FREEZE! The monkey is the only person that can unfreeze you and set you off on your adventure again!
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: Gross motor skills, coordination, motor control, balance, endurance, strength, social skills, cognitive skills
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