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Bop Tag: The Incredibly Inclusive Schoolyard Craze

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Photo of Holly (Teach Starter)
Updated | 3 min read

When entering the school grounds during playtime, you may be surprised to see children of all ages running around like mad cats – some are bobbing down in one spot, some are tagging other kids, some are running, some are playing paper-scissors-rock… this, my teaching friend, is the organised chaos of Bop Tag! A take on the old-style game of ‘tag’, but so much more fun and inclusive! If your students have yet to discover this schoolyard game, this is going to be a game-changer.

Kids will be begging to go outside and play this game…

What is Bop Tag?

Bop Tag – sometimes referred to as Mushroom Tag, Everyone’s It, Stand Up Sit Down, Bob Tag… whatever it’s called – it’s been quoted as being an…

…incredibly inclusive game!

And, it has kids solving problems by themselves with no adult input! Keen to find out more?

Here’s how to play bop tag…

  • Everyone is it!
  • When a player gets tagged they have to bob down and watch the person who tagged you.
  • Only when the person that tags them gets tagged are they allowed back in the game.
  • If two people tag each other at the same time – it’s rock, paper, scissors to see who bobs down!

And, that’s it! A super easy-to-understand game that kids of all ages will love!

The paper, scissors, rock addition allows the kids to solve disputes by themselves.

5 Fun Versions of the Traditional ‘Tag’

Tag is always a popular go-to game as it requires no equipment, but it can get a little mundane when students play it again and again. So, here are some other forms of the game tag:

1. Octopus Tag

You need to create a boundary for this version of tag. One person is ‘it’ and acts as an octopus. To begin, the octopus is positioned in the middle of the area and other players line up along one end of the zone. The teacher then blows a whistle to indicate the start of the game and the players need to attempt to cross the area to the other end without getting tagged. If tagged, they become seaweed and sit still at the position of contact. The seaweed may assist the octopus by waving their arms and tagging other players, but they must remain in the same spot!

2. Bandaid Tag

Just like bop tag, all players are ‘it’. Once a person gets tagged, they need to place one hand on the spot they were tagged. If they get tagged a second time, they must place their other hand on that spot. If tagged a third time, they need to go to a designated spot called ‘hospital’ and do ten star jumps to heal their wounds. They can then rejoin the game.

3. Hot Dog Tag

This version is not only lots of fun – but I think a little funny to watch as well. Just like the old version of tag, one person is it. If the other players get tagged, they must lie down on the ground with their hands by their sides and legs together (as if they were a hot dog). To get back into the game, two free players need to lie on either side of the hot dog to form the buns. The last bit of information is that the person who is ‘it’ cannot tag any of the three players creating the hot dog.

4. Link Tag

Just like the name, the kids will end up linking together in this fun version of the tag. One person is ‘it’ and as players get tagged they need to link arms with the person who tagged them. The chain of people then needs to communicate to each other about the best way to move to tag the other players. Anyone in the ‘chain’ can tag players.

5. Freeze Tag

One player is ‘it’ and when a player gets tagged they must stand still in one spot with their legs wide apart. To get back in the game, a free player needs to crawl under their legs. The game ends when all players are tagged and ‘frozen’.

Have your students got a favourite tag game?

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