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One-Armed Tag: another game idea that doesn’t require anything

One Armed Tag

Posted by Shell Grayston.
First Published Nov 2014; updated May 2023.

Everyone knows how to play tag, right? Well here's a twist on the classic game: one-armed tag! Great fun to play with the kids outside.

This is a tag, but not as you know it...

Everybody loves to play tag. It's a game all children know and love to play.

Children love the thrill of being chased, and the thought of winning adds to the excitement of the game.

This tag game is a little different and can be played anywhere with open space to run around. We played it in a forest whilst out on a walk.

One Armed Tag - The Rules

The principles of the game are the same as normal tag.  Set the boundaries for the game, and off you go!

  1. Everyone places one hand on their lower back - palm outwards. This is where people can tag you. They must touch the palm of your hand to tag you.
  2. In their other hand, have them point their index finger. This is the only part of their body they can tag people with.
  3. Everyone is 'it' and runs around trying to tag each other. Creative methods of running around are ensured!
  4. If you are tagged, you are out for 20 seconds. You can then rejoin the game.

Adapting the game for different groups

This game can be adapted to suit the group.

  • For older children, you could increase the boundaries of the area to play in, with more running around!
  • You could have one winner where players can remain out of the game.
  • A different location could change the dynamics of the game.
  • Play it in the dark with torches (head torches ideally).

We had a lot of fun playing this one-armed tag. It's a great way to burn some energy and break up a walk.

More Ideas

This activity was inspired by the Learning with Nature book.