Tag is one of the most popular outdoor activities here. Hardly a day goes by without at least one game of tag. The problem with tag is the size of my yard. The total playspace is just 20 feet by 30 feet and most of that is filled with obstacles. The largest open area is just 10 feet by 10 feet.
The youngest children in the group have no problem with the space restrictions when the older children are not here. For them the game is mostly about running around laughing and having fun. The older ones tend to be more competative and manipulative – often reckless in their attempt to ensure victory.
Although we have gone to the park to play tag in a bigger space they still like to play tag here too. With our limited space and the vast difference in the childrens’ physical size the game is unfair.
To level the playing field we tried something different. Instead of running, all the players must keep both feet together and hop;
We’ve also added a rule about using only one finger to tag in order to combat the problem with punching or slapping instead of tagging. A couple of the children don’t like this rule claiming ‘it hurts their finger to tag like that’ — those that are being tagged like it much better.
The children have also created a game they call ‘Quiet Tag’. In this version the child who is it stands still in the middle of the walkway with their eyes closed. The other children try to get sneak from one end of the walkway to the other and back without getting tagged.
You have to be really quiet when you pass by because if ‘It’ hears you they can easily reach out and tag you. Those who get tagged are added to It’s team until there is only one person left trying to sneak by several ‘Its’ standing on the walkway.
Tag is definitely their favorite game.