Running Games

Cone Run – Place cones in a large circle so that children can run around cones on the outside, inside and zigzag.  Teacher can call out “change” and children change direction.  If you don’t have cones use recycled milk containers filled partway with sand.  Explore running at different speeds (slow walk, fast walk, jog, run sprint).  

Movement Stories – Children move to the actions described in fun stories such as “The Gingerbread Man”, “The Hare And The Tortoise” and “We’re going on a bear hunt”.  

Scarf Tag – Children tuck a scarf into their back pocket or waistband like a tail.  They run around trying to catch as many tails as they can.  Try in pairs or as a group.  You may need to encourage children to hand the tail back after they have caught it.  You could also have the children tuck the scarf into their sock or shoe and have the others try to stand on it.  

Colour Run – The teacher calls out a colour.  Children must run to something that is that colour, touch it and return back to the teacher.  The teacher can substitute colours with objects.   They can also be instructed to touch the colour with a part of their body, for example, run to something red and touch with your elbow.  

Hoop Chase – Each child is given a hoop.  The child rolls the hoop and chases it before it falls down.  You can replace the hoop with a ball to play ball chase.  

What’ the time Mr Wolf – As per the traditional game children ask “What’s the time Mr Wolf?” to the teacher who responds with a time.  The teacher chooses a locomotive skill (e.g. jump or hop) and the children jump or hop forward that number.  When the teacher calls “lunchtime” the children run back to the start before the wolf catches them.  

Rob the Nest – Set up hula hoops in a large circle.  In the centre place lots of bean bags inside a hoop.  Children stand in the outside hoops.  They run to the centre hoop, grab one beanbag at a time and return it to their hoop.  Continue until all the bean bags are removed from the centre.  Repeat using different locomotor skills; jump, hop, crab walk.  

Musical Hoops – Put hoops down on the floor one for each child.  Put music on and children dance, run, skip or hop around the hoops.  When the music stops children jump into the closest hoop.  Each time the music starts again more hoops are taken away.  Eventually children have to start squeezing in with other children and sharing.

Traffic Lights – Give each child a hoop to use as a steering wheel.  The children pretend to be cars driving around. Have three large cardboard circles (one red, one green, one orange) for the traffic lights.  Green light = run quickly in the area, Orange light = march slowly and carefully, Red light = stop immediately and jog on the spot or freeze.  Alternatively call the colours out.  

Stuck in the Mud – On “Go”, the taggers (teachers) chase the runners, attempting to tag them on the back.  If tagged, runners stand with their legs out wide until freed by another runner crawling through their legs.  Don’t worry too much if the children start tagging as well as long as they are running around and having fun.  

Follow the Leader –  Have an adult as the leader and have all of the children following the adult’s movements.  Get children to move around in space rather than in a line and continue to watch and listen to the leader for the change in movement. Children follow the leader’s speed, direction, arm movements, locomotor movement.  Movements: Walking forwards, sideways, backwards, jumping, marching, giant steps, on tippy toes, legs kicked out straight in front (wooden soldier), circling arms, punching arms, stretches etc.