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Partner Tag: Continuous, inclusive tag game you can play anywhere!

Hello friends! I just returned from the PHE Canada Conference 2018 held in Whistler, BC. What an inspiring event shared with health and physical education teachers and shareholders from all across our incredible country. I was fortunate to be invited to present a workshop on integrating Intercultural Games into PE, and was blown away by the energy and enthusiasm of all the participants. Play is for adults, too!

This post will mark the beginning of a series of games I would like to share with you that I play with my students, and share with educators. Whether you're a teacher, recreation staff, summer camp leader, parent (or anyone else!) I hope you will embrace play everyday and have fun being active.

Partner Tag is one of my favourite games because:

  • It's continuous - there are no outs; everyone is involved at all times

  • It's inclusive - it doesn't matter if you're feeling a little tired, or low, or didn't wear the "right" shoes

  • You can play it anywhere! - indoors, outdoors, in large space, in a small space, in a swimming pool...

  • It supports the development of physical literacy by providing opportunities to practice different forms of locomotion

  • You don't need to be a fast runner to be successful at this game and have fun!

What you need:

  • A partner

  • A space to move (with boundaries determined)

How it's played:

  • Pick who will be "it" first and how you will both be traveling

(ie. running, walking slow motion, skipping, hopping, side shuffling, rolling, lunging, crawling, etc.)

  • On the signal to begin, the "it" person covers their eyes and spins in a circle 3 times (don't feel like you need to spin if it makes you uncomfortable) to give their partner a head start. Once the spins are completed the "it" player opens their eyes and moves to try to tag their partner

  • If the "it" player tags their partner, the partner is now the new "it" and must close their eyes and spin 3 times

  • Play continues with partners chasing each other until the teacher/leader stops play

Teacher Tips:

  • Freeze play often to change the way the participants are travelling

  • Allow older groups of students to choose their own style of locomotion to encourage creativity

  • Partner students by energy levels and/or by footwear (if you have participants in flip flops, they can be partners and choose to travel in slow motion walking, "tight rope walking", crawling, or other ways to safely travel)

  • Groups of 3 work well together, too

Here is a short clip of my PHE Canada participants showing us how it's done! Notice every pair is moving in their own way and everyone is involved at all times. Feel free to post comments of questions :)