Engaging Kids with Afterschool Tag Activities

Last Updated on April 11, 2024 by Miranda Zavala
afterschool tag activities for kids

Written By Miranda Zavala  |  Afterschool, Elementary School  |  0 Comments | April 1, 2024

Afterschool tag activities are fun games that can be played by all ages. You can tweak the rules to make it perfect for the group you’re working with. 

The beauty of afterschool tag activities lies in their versatility – they can be adapted and modified to suit different age groups, skill levels, and interests.

Integrating tag activities into after-school youth programs makes for a great school experience while keeping students healthy and engaged.

Table Of Contents:

Active Group Games in After-School Programs

Active group games are integral to after-school program activities. They catalyze physical activity, fostering teamwork and sportsmanship while incorporating strategic thinking skills among students.

Consider the Turkey Feather Relay – an active game that demands balance and hand-eye coordination from participants. Teams work together to pass along the “turkey feather” (a light object or ball) without dropping it, getting kids moving and promoting cooperation within each team towards their shared objective.

Engaging Kids with Blob Tag

Blob Tag is a group-based game that encourages collaboration among the kids. The rules are simple: once tagged by ‘the blob’, players join hands with it forming an ever-expanding blob aiming at tagging remaining players.

This twist on the traditional tag game keeps all participants involved and engaged. In addition, it helps to nurture social skill development through the consistent interaction between students during gameplay. 

A fascinating variation is Alien Orbit which necessitates keeping a ball in orbit around two alien entity-forming players while others evade contact with them or the orb itself – integrating elements of strategy alongside physical exertion for those active kids participating in this unique take on tag games.

Engaging Kids with Afterschool Tag Activities

Tag games provide many advantages such as developed cooperation skills, physical fitness, and problem-solving strategies. Let’s explore some exciting tag games that can keep kids engaged and active after school.

Old Man’s Island – Taking Afterschool Tag Activities to the Next Level

Players must work together to avoid being tagged by “the old man.” Participants are required to think on their feet, coming up with creative ways to help each other evade the “old man.” This game promotes effective teamwork and problem-solving skills while ensuring kids have a blast.

Acteva Health & Wellness Programs

Student Hires, an organization dedicated to providing quality extended learning time programs, introduces Acteva as a health and wellness program to encourage an active and healthy lifestyle among youth. This program offers unique tag activities to heighten the traditional tag experience. 

Afterschool.org offers various lesson plans that are available for educators who may be interested in tag activities for students.

Key Takeaway: 

Tag activities like ‘Old Man’s Island’ provide kids with a fun way to stay active, but also foster teamwork, strategic thinking, and problem-solving skills. 

Promoting Physical Activity 

Huckle Buckle Beanstalk is an engaging hunt-and-find game designed to encourage physical activity among children, making it an ideal addition to after-school programs seeking to promote active play.

Huckle Buckle Beanstalk is an engaging hide-and-seek game that gets kids moving. The rules are straightforward: one player hides an object while the others strive to find it without being spotted by the ‘it’ person.

Merging Learning with Playtime Activities

These games can serve dual purposes when integrated with learning elements like vocabulary or mathematical problems. 

An educator might consider hiding objects related to specific words or concepts taught during school hours; upon finding them, students must correctly identify these items, thereby reinforcing what they’ve learned earlier in a fun-filled manner.

Cultivating Social Skills Through Active Group Game

Beyond promoting physical fitness and cognitive growth, hunt-and-find games foster social interaction among peers – another vital facet of holistic child development.

Introducing Sports through Modified Games in After School Programs

Incorporating sports into after-school programs can pose challenges when working with young students who are at different stages of physical development. The solution is modified games.

Modified games serve as simplified versions of traditional sports that have been adapted for younger players by altering the rules or equipment used. These modifications make it easier for children to grasp the basics while keeping them engaged.

Balloon Volleyball – A Gentle Introduction

Balloon volleyball is a creative adaptation of traditional volleyball using balloons instead of volleyballs. This modification reduces the pace of the game, making it accessible for beginners while maintaining high levels of enjoyment and physical activity.

Rather than emphasizing competition, Balloon Volleyball prioritizes skill-building, such as serving and volleying techniques, which promotes hand-eye coordination among kids working together. 

Trench Ball – Dodgeball Game With a Twist

Moving beyond conventional dodgeball games, we find Trench Ball; another engaging group game designed with strategy at its core, which encourages both mental acuity and physical fitness among participants.

  1. In Trench Ball, teams work collaboratively to avoid getting hit and to rescue team members ‘trapped’ in trenches (designated areas).
  2. This combination requires strategic thinking along with agility, thereby promoting both mental acuity and physical fitness among participants. 

Encouraging Teamwork with Wizard Ball

Afterschool programs often look for ways to keep kids moving, and one of the most effective methods is through active group games. One game that fosters teamwork among children while keeping them physically engaged is Wizard Ball.

This dodgeball-style tag game requires players to protect a designated ‘wizard’ on their team from being hit by balls thrown by opponents. The unique twist here lies in its strategic aspect which goes beyond traditional dodgeball or any other school program activities.

The Gameplay of Wizard Ball

In this fun active group game, two teams compete against each other, each having an appointed wizard within their ranks. The goal? Protect your wizard while trying to hit the opponent’s wizard using soft foam or rubber balls.

Players who are hit with an opposing ball or have their throws caught by another player will be temporarily removed from the game until the next round begins, but when a wizard catches an incoming throw, all eliminated teammates can rejoin. However, when wizards catch incoming throws, all eliminated teammates get back into play.

Tips for Incorporating This Game Into Your Lesson Plan

For afterschool educators looking forward to incorporating this seasonally themed activity into lesson planning, our team suggests starting slow.

Begin with simple instructions followed by demonstrations before allowing students full freedom over this engaging endeavor. Always ensure safety guidelines are communicated so everyone understands what’s expected during gameplay.

Key Takeaway: 

Wizard Ball not only keeps kids physically active but also fosters teamwork and strategic thinking. It enhances social skills and hand-eye coordination while providing an exciting learning experience.

Engaging Kids with Afterschool Tag Activities

By creating opportunities for students to foster their collaboration skills, bonds will grow between students within a program. Variety keeps the interest alive, by introducing diverse variations to your students, you can stimulate their creativity while keeping them physically active.

Fishy Fun: Sharks and Minnows

Moving away from traditional land-based games, we dive into an aquatic-themed variation – Sharks and Minnows. The ‘shark’ tries catching the ‘minnows’, who evade capture by jumping out of bounds momentarily – a creative way indeed to encourage physical activity among kids.

Banana Tag: Adding Humor Into Playtime

In this engaging variant, once tagged by ‘it’, players have to stand like bananas until they’re freed by other participants. It’s not just about being funny but also gets those little feet running around, making it one exciting school program science center idea.

The Hot Lava Monster 

We then move on to a fantasy-inspired version – Hot Lava Monster. Here, certain areas are designated as ‘hot lava’ zones that need avoiding, thus requiring strategic thinking alongside agility for successful navigation across the gym space. This twist ensures mental stimulation and physical exertion, making learning more enjoyable.

Effective Behavior Management through Games

Active games play a pivotal role in behavior management in the realm of afterschool programs. One such game that stands out is ‘Not in My Yard’. This fun-filled activity not only gets kids moving but also instills discipline and teamwork.

‘Not In My Yard’ – An Engaging Approach to Discipline

This engaging group game involves dividing children into teams, each with its yard. The goal is to keep as many balls out of your yard when the whistle blows. It’s all about strategic thinking and effective communication among team members while keeping them physically active.

Educators’ Role in Implementing These Strategies 

An educator’s approach to setting clear expectations before starting any activity plays a key part here. Consistently reinforcing those rules throughout helps ensure smooth execution.

Creating a safe environment where children feel comfortable expressing themselves is the primary goal. Consistent feedback helps kids understand their actions and improve their behavior.

Patience indeed holds great value here; changes won’t happen overnight, but consistency will eventually lead to desired results.

Encouraging Interest in Science Through Play

Stimulating curiosity for science among kids can be a challenging task. However, blending scientific concepts with play makes this endeavor not only achievable but also enjoyable.

Unleashing Astronomical Concepts via Active Group Games

The first step to kindling interest in science is by making it relatable – a feat easily achieved using the ‘Alien Orbit’ game as part of your school afterschool programs science center ideas. This tag game requires children to keep a ball within certain boundaries – akin to celestial bodies staying within their orbits due to gravity.

Apart from getting them moving, such activities help cultivate a teamwork spirit which is crucial across all aspects of life beyond just academics.

Crafting Activities That Foster Scientific Understanding

Craft activities present another avenue for merging learning with playtime. One idea is to create mini-greenhouses from recycled materials, a hands-on project that teaches the basics of sustainability.

Combining traditional classroom instruction with experiential learning opportunities provides students with an engaging program that they will be excited to come back to!

Incorporating Active Games into Lesson Plans

A well-crafted school lesson plan should weave together these categories: active group games along with conventional teaching methods.

Such approaches foster curiosity toward scientific phenomena while nurturing vital skills, including problem-solving abilities.

Key Takeaway: 

Sparking kids’ interest in science doesn’t have to be a chore. By incorporating play, such as active group games and crafting activities into lesson plans, we can make learning fun while teaching scientific principles. 

FAQs about Afterschool Tag Activities

What are the most popular after-school activities?

Sports, arts and crafts, music lessons, drama clubs, coding classes, and homework help are among the top afterschool activities that kids enjoy.

How do you play space tag?

In Space Tag, players navigate a designated ‘cosmic’ playground. One player is ‘it’, chasing others to tag them while they attempt to evade capture using strategic moves.

What is the top and bottom game?

The Top and Bottom game involves two teams competing to keep their ball on top of a stack in the middle of the playing area. It combines strategy with physical activity.

How do you play tag for kids?

In traditional tag games for kids, one child is selected as ‘it’. The goal for ‘it’ is to touch or ‘tag’ another player who then becomes ‘it’, promoting active fun.


Afterschool tag activities can be tailored to meet the needs of various ages and ability levels.

Blob Tag, Old Man’s Island, Space Tag… each game has its unique charm and benefits.

Hunt-and-find games like Huckle Buckle Beanstalk keep kids physically active while honing their problem-solving skills.

Sports-inspired games allow youth to experience modified versions of their familiar sports, providing an easy access point for beginners.

And let’s not forget about variations on classic tag that spark creativity or those that double as effective behavior management tools during downtime!

Incorporating science-themed play further enriches after-school programs by seamlessly blending learning with fun.

Afterschool.org is transforming what afterschool programming looks like for students which promotes a healthy lifestyle that involves sports, exercise, nutrition education, and mindfulness practices. Join the mission by starting a high-quality afterschool program near you.

Last Updated on April 11, 2024 by Miranda Zavala

Miranda Zavala

Miranda Zavala is currently a student at California State University of San Bernardino earning her degree in Design with a concentration in marketing. Miranda enjoys inspiring students, and helping them find their passion just like her.

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