Sample Games
to Develop
Running & Jumping

1.  JUMP ACROSS THE RIVER - Play outside.  Make two parallel lines fairly close together.  Draw them or use sticks, string, or ropes placed on the ground.  Players take turns jumping across the river.  After each set of turns, make the lines further apart.  Anyone landing in the river is out.  Last player to jump across the river without falling wins.

- The best place to play this game is on the grass.  Loosely tie a string between two chairs and have players try to jump over it.  Each turn, raise the string a little higher.  Any player breaking the string is out.  Last player to jump over the string successfully wins.

3.  WORLD RECORDS (JUMPING) - Each player jumps as high or as far as he can.  This starts his or her world record.  Over the next few weeks and months players try to continually establish new world jumping records by breaking their old ones.

- Each player selects a distance to run, such as fifty yards, around the block, or whatever distance would prove interesting.  Time each player's efforts with a stopwatch or watch that indicates seconds.  Over the next few weeks and months players try to continually establish new world running records by breaking their old ones.

5.CIRCLE HOP - With a piece of chalk, draw circles on the cement in a row.  Some of the circles can be quite small, some large, but all must be large enough for a player to hop with one foot and land inside without touching the lines.  Players take turns trying to hop on one foot from one circle to the next.  If a player steps on a line, or loses his balance and steps down with his other foot, his turn is over.  Player able to hop correctly in the most circles wins.  As players increase their skills, you may want to add further interest and challenge to the game by varying the distances between the circles and creating a trail with abrupt changes in direction.  Part of the fun can be creating new and unusual trails.
6.  MYSTERY FOOTBALL - Set aside a rectangular area for your football field.  The width should not be so wide that a fast runner could get away easily.  If this does happen, narrow your field.  Play like regular football, but with a few dramatic and fun differences.  Instead of using a regular football, use a small object that can be hidden in a closed hand (piece of chalk, small rock, marble, penny, etc.).  Play starts on what would be equivalent to the twenty-yard line.  During each huddle, one of the offensive players is given the football to hold in his closed, right hand.  Coming out of the huddle all players hold their hands as if they were holding the football, and all start running toward the goal line.  The defensive players try to figure out who is carrying the football and tag him or her.  As soon as a player is tagged, he must immediately freeze and yell yes or no as to whether he is the real football carrier.  As soon as the right player is tagged, the down is over.  Each team gets four downs, then the other team takes over.  Touchdowns score six points.  The other team then starts their offensive plays from their twenty-yard line.  Team with the most points when time is called, or after a decided number of turns wins.
7.  STEAL-THE-BACON - Two teams of three or more players each, a game leader, and two lines twenty or more feet apart.  Teams stand just behind their lines.  Each team assigns each of their players a number, such as player number 1, player number 2, etc.  Place an object (a stick, chalkboard eraser, a rolled up sock, etc.) in the middle of the playing area, an equal distance from both teams.  Leader calls out a number.  Players representing that number race toward the object.  First player to pick it up must get back to his team line without being tagged.  If successful, his team gets a point.  If he is tagged, his team gets no points.  Put object back and start again.  Team with the most points when time is called wins.

- Select one player to start the game as IT.  He then tries to tag the other players.  Every player tagged becomes part of the IT team and tries to tag other players until everyone has been tagged.  Players try to see how long they can keep from being tagged.  Last player tagged is the starting IT for the new game.
9.  SCRAMBLED-WORD RACE - Individual players or teams.  For each player or team, leader places on a table a set of letters face down that when put in correct order would make a word.  Players have a base a certain distance away (30 feet, etc.).  At the starting signal, players race to the table and take a card back to their respective base.  They can then make a guess as to the scrambled word.  If the guess is incorrect, next player (if a team) races to the table and takes a second letter.  The team can then make another guess.  This continues until a player or team wins the game by being first to identify the correct word.

- Same as above, but use playing cards face down.  The object of the game is to achieve a certain score.  Jacks are worth eleven, Queens are worth twelve, Kings are worth thirteen, and Aces are worth one.  For example, the winner of the game might be the first player or team to reach a score of twenty.  Other game objectives could be certain combinations of cards, such as three of a kind, or a full house.
11.  RUN ACROSS THE RIVER (JAWS) - Indicate sideline out-of-bounds as well as a goal line at each end of the playing area.  One player stands in the middle of the playing area as the shark.  The other players start behind one of the goal lines.  When the shark yells JAWS, the players try to run from one goal line to the other without being tagged or going out-of-bounds.  Any players tagged also become sharks, and they try to catch the remaining runners the next time the first shark yells JAWS again.  Last player to be tagged becomes the beginning shark for the next game.
12.  HOP ACROSS THE RIVER (RABBITS) - This game is played like Jaws above, but players hop on one foot instead of run.  Indicate sideline out-of-bounds and a goal line at each end of the playing area.  Also establish a small island in the center of the field.  One player stands somewhere in the playing area as the RABBIT.  The other players line up along one of the goal lines.  When the RABBIT yells hop, the other players try to hop on one foot from one goal line to the other without being tagged or going out-of-bounds.  Each player tagged becomes an additional RABBIT, and tries to catch the remaining hoppers the next time the LEADER RABBIT yells hop again.  If a RABBIT makes a mistake and touches his other foot to the ground while hopping, he must go back to the island before chasing another player.  a hopping player is considered tagged if he touches his other foot to the ground while hopping.  Last player to be tagged becomes the beginning RABBIT for the next game.
13.  SPOT TAG - Players caught must hold with one hand the spot tagged while trying to tag someone else.  For example, if the spot tagged was the left elbow, all players must hold onto their left elbows until a new player is tagged and a new spot comes into play.

14.  DRAGON'S DUNGEON (CIRCLE-HOP TAG) - Draw various size circles on the pavement, close enough for players to jump from one to the other.  Vary the distances to make some jumps more challenging than others.  Mark one of the circles as the DRAGON'S DUNGEON.  Players play a game of tag, but with the added challenge of having to jump from one circle to the other without touching any lines.  One player is selected to start the game as the DRAGON.  The DRAGON starts the game in the DRAGON'S DUNGEON.  The other players start in any circle of their choice.  At a chosen signal, the game begins with the DRAGON hopping after the other players.  If the DRAGON touches a line, he must go back to his DUNGEON and start again.  Any player tagged, or who touches a line, is considered caught.  There are several ways to play the game.

  • If a player is caught, he becomes the new DRAGON.

  • Any player caught becomes an additional DRAGON who then helps try to catch the other players.

  • Any player caught is placed in the DRAGON'S DUNGEON and must remain there until one of the other players can get to him and free him.  (You may decide to have two DRAGONS in this version of the game.)

The game can be made different each time by creatively designing new and challenging patterns of circles.

15.  PAIRS AND TRIOS TAG - Play like regular tag, but all players run in pairs or trios while holding hands.  Each pair or trio must continue to hold hands while either trying to tag others or trying to avoid being tagged.  The playing area should have definite and limited boundaries that keep play within a relatively small area.  This creates more close encounters requiring dodging movements rather than just pure running speech.

- Play like regular tag, but each player has a piece of cloth hanging out of his belt or pocket that can be snatched by the chaser to indicate he or she has been officially tagged.  Another version is to have all players try to grab the flags from each other.  Any player losing his flag is out of the game.  Last player with a flag wins.
17.  BOUNDARY TAG - Play like regular tag, but establish a playing area with definite boundaries.  Players are not allowed to go out of the playing area.  Any player stepping over the boundary is considered tagged.

18.  CHOICE TAG - Play like regular tag, but chaser indicates the method of locomotion, which may change as the game progresses.  For example, he may say, everyone must:

hop on right foot
do somersaults
roll like logs
walk with stiff legs
walk or run backwards
duck walk
crab walk

19.  TRAILS TAG - Play like regular tag, but players must remain within marked trails.  Players first use creativity to draw interesting trail systems on the pavement or ground.  Here is a spoke pattern:

Any player going off the trail or stepping on a line is considered caught.

20.  JOG, TALK, AND WALK - Two or more players make it a habit to spend a certain amount of time together each day to walk and jog a certain route through the neighborhood or at the local school track.  It's a good time to talk and enjoy each other.  Jog for while, walk for awhile, run awhile.  Do what your body feels like doing.  Gradually, you will find yourself able to cover more distance with less effort.

21.  FUNNY RELAYS - Players think of funny things for players to do as part of a relay race.  Two or more teams.  First team to have all of its players finish the relay wins.  Players could:


  • Run to a chair and pop a balloon by sitting on it.

  • Open a suitcase of clothes, put on the clothes, take off the clothes, put them back in the suitcase, and run back.

  • Eat three crackers and whistle.

  • Sing a particular song while standing on a box.

  • Put on a glove and, using only that hand, crack open an unshelled peanut and eat it.

- Place a number of taped, empty milk cartons at each end of the playing area.  (You could use other items, such as cans or wooden blocks.)  The game can be played by individual players or with teams (relay).  Players run to one end and start a stack by placing one carton on the ground, then run to the other end of the playing area and place one carton on the ground, then back to the starting area and place a second carton on the first one, etc.  Players may use only one hand.  If one or more cartons falls off, player may only put one back during that turn.  First player or team to get a stack a certain number high wins.  (For example, 7 high.)
23.  SHORTAGE - Place a certain number of items a distance away from the players.  There should be one less item than players.  When the leader yells shortage, players run and try to get one of the items.  One player won't be able to get one.  He is out of the game.  Again, items are placed a distance away.  Make sure there is one less than the number of remaining players.  They race again to get one.  This continues until only one player is left.  He is the winner.  You could have two sets of items, one along one line, and another set along a line a distance away.  This way, runners could go back and forth in the race to get remaining items.