50 Fun Tag Games for Kids [Kids Love These!]

Last Updated on May 3, 2024 by Michele Tripple

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Welcome to the ultimate guide of tag games for kids—a fun-filled journey through the endless variations of this classic game that has been cherished by generations. Tag, a simple game where one player chases others in an attempt to “tag” or touch them, making them “it,” has evolved into countless forms, each bringing its own unique twist and excitement. Whether you’re a parent, teacher, or just someone looking for engaging outdoor activities for kids, you’ve stumbled upon the ultimate list of tag games for kids. 

boy chasing girl in tag with yellow background on left side with white circle with pink writing "the best tag games for kids"

Benefits of Playing Tag

From the high-energy rush of Freeze Tag to the imaginative realms of Zombie Tag, this guide shares so many tag games that promise to keep children active, entertained, and socially engaged. 

These games are not just about running and tagging; they are a playground for creativity, strategy, and teamwork. Playing tag helps improve physical fitness, agility, and even social skills as kids learn to play and interact with each other.

How to Play Tag

No matter the size of your group or the age of the kids, you’ll find a tag game that’s just the right fit for the kids. 

Each game comes with a set of rules, variations, and tips to make playtime as enjoyable and smooth as possible. So, whether you’re planning a birthday party, a family gathering, or just a day out in the park, prepare to dive into a world of laughter, energy, and wholesome fun and tag.

Discovering new tag games that will breathe new life into this timeless activity. Get ready to create memories that children will cherish, all while fostering a love for active play. The game of tag has never been more exciting—let the fun begin!

Tips for Playing Tag

These tips will for playing tag will ensure a fun and safe experience for the kids. 

  • Choose a safe place: Play in an area that is open for the kids to run without thinking about cars or dangers that might be present. Our favorite places to play are in our backyard, the park down the street, and the school playground.
  • Be creative: Kids love new spins on old games! Share a new way of playing with them and they’ll play for days. Encourage them to create their own spin on the game too!
  • Choose the right shoes: The best tag game can be ruined by shoes that won’t stay on! Wear shoes that are easy and comfortable to run in.
  • Designate the boundaries: having a specific play area allows for playing the game instead of just running wild the entire time in a large space and will prevent the person who’s ‘It’ from getting tired quickly.
  • The more, the merrier: Tag just might be the best game for playing with a few friends or large groups! Nobody gets left out because there’s room for everyone. 

Tag Games for Kids

Discover these fun tag games for kids! From classic to creative variations, these games boost fitness, teamwork, and joy. Perfect for active play.

Hot Dog Tag

In hot dog tag, one person is ‘It’. The first person to be tagged becomes a hot dog who needs to find two others who have been tagged to be their “buns.” Once there are three kids lying flat, side by side, they are all allowed to play again.

Pool Tag

Playing tag in the pool is oh, so fun! The person who is ‘It’ can tag the others by touching their hands, feet, or heads. Keep an eye out for them above and below the water! To be freed, the tagged players swim end to end in the pool. Once completed, they’re back in the game! We don’t want anyone slipping on the poolside, so all players must stay in the pool. 

Partner Tag

In Partner Tag, each player has a buddy, and they link arms. One person is ‘It’ and another is eligible to be tagged. The one to be tagged runs away and links up to a partnership. The person on the other end is now trying not to get tagged and runs away. They link up with another partnership to be safe. It’s fast-paced fun!

Cartoon Tag

In Cartoon tag, one person is ‘It’. When someone is tagged, they can be freed by another play, but only after saying the name of their favorite cartoon. 

Underdog Tag

One person is ‘It’ and one person is the underdog in Underdog tag. Once tagged, a person stands with their legs shoulder-width apart. The underdog goes around crawling between legs to free those who have been tagged. Once they free 5 people, they tag someone to be the new underdog. Continue until they’re ready for a snack!

Cops and Robbers Tag

Cops and robbers tag is another fun version of tag. Divide into two groups with equal numbers of players in each group. One group is the cops, and the other group is the robbers. The cops chase the robbers and tag as many as they can. When they are tagged, the cop can take them to the designated area for “jail,” or the ones who is tagged can go by themselves. A robber can free other robbers from jail by tagging them.

Last Man Standing

In Last Man Standing, one person is ‘It’. Once tagged, they are frozen. There’s no unfreezing in this game. The last person standing is, indeed, the last man–or woman–standing.

Toilet Tag

Ready for another fun game of tag, then perhaps toilet tag is just what you are looking for! All players except the one who is ‘It’ spins around, making a flushing sound. When they are tagged, they are frozen with their thumb up. They are free when someone comes and pushes their thumb down to “flush the toilet.” The boys love this one!

Freeze Tag

Freeze tag is played like a traditional game of tag with one player being “It”, when tagged, the person must freeze. This can be tricky when you’re in the middle of taking a step or have an arm way up in the air! They can move their eyes, but must stay frozen with legs shoulder-width apart. They can be unfrozen if another player crawls through their legs without being tagged.

Flashlight Tag

Darkness makes a simple game of tag a little more tricky, and that is why my older kids always beg to play flashlight tag! The one who is “it” has the flashlight, closes their eyes, and counts. While they count, everyone hides. We like to wear headlamps so we can see when we’re running to hide, and then we turn them off once we are hidden. When the person who is “It” finishes counting, they turn on their flashlight and start searching. When the light shines on you, you’re “It”!

Pink and white background, black block letters "Tag Games For Kids". A pink stripe with white cursive words "Cops and Robbers Tag". White box with tag description.

Octopus Tag

In Octopus tag, the person who is ‘It’ is an octopus. The remaining players are all fish. Once tagged, the fish become crabs. They have to stay where they are but can tag other fish as they run past. The last fish that is tagged is the next octopus. Make a funny hat with streamers like octopus tentacles to make this game even more fun!

Triangle Tag

Players are divided into groups of five in Triangle tag. Three of the players will form a circle and hold hands. One player will be the runner, and another will be the tagger. The tagger wants to tag the runner, but the runner is being helped and protected by the others in the circle. The rules: the tagger isn’t allowed inside the circle, and the players who are in the circle cannot let go of each other. When the runner has been tagged, trade roles so everyone gets a chance to be the tagger, the runner, and a member of the circle of protectors.

Blob Tag

In Blob tag, two people are ‘It’. They hold hands and run around tagging other players. When someone is tagged, they hold hands with the person who tagged them and become part of the human ‘It’ chain. Only those who have a free hand are able to tag others. When everyone has been tagged and is part of the It Blob, the game ends.

Spider Tag

To play spider tag, you’ll need some washcloths, handkerchiefs, or small pieces of fabric. The fabric will be balled up in the hand of the person who is ‘It.’ When they want to tag someone, they toss the fabric. If the fabric lands on the person, they are caught in the web. They hold the piece of fabric in one hand with both arms outstretched. They can be released from the web by someone who hasn’t been tagged yet tapping both of their arms to free them. Once they are released, they drop the fabric for the spider to use again.

Cookie Monster Tag

Grab a bin, box, or basket that can be used as a “cookie jar” and several small, soft objects (stuffed animals, bean bags, tennis balls) to be used as “cookies” to play cookie monster tag. If you have a large group, you can divide into teams and give each team a collection of “cookies” Two players are ‘It’. The goal is to get all the cookies across the field and into the cookie jar without being tagged by the Cookie Monster. When tagged, their cookies are surrendered to the Cookie Monster. They can throw their cookies to another player to keep it from the Cookie Monster. If they drop a cookie or try to throw it to the other Cookie Monster, it can be intercepted and placed in the cookie jar. Careful though, don’t let them tag you when you try to steal the cookie back!

Band-Aid Tag

Everybody is ‘It’ in Band-Aid Tag! When someone touches someone else, they are tagged. The person who is tagged has to put their hand over the spot where they were tagged, like a Band-Aid. The next time they are tagged, they will put their other hand over that spot. When they are tagged the third time, they go to “the hospital,” which is an area that is designated in their play area before the game starts. When all of the players are admitted to the hospital, it’s game over. If you want the game to keep going, you can give them a task to do like picking up 5 pieces of garbage for the dumpster or doing 10 push-ups to get released.

Pizza Tag

Select two players to be the Chef in Pizza tag. The remaining players are divided into groups. Each group will be named a pizza topping (pepperoni, pineapple, olives, etc.). When their topping is called, their goal is to run from one end of the play area to the other end without being tagged by either of the chefs. If they are tagged, they’re out.

Shadow Tag

Shadow tag is my favorite version of tag! When it’s nice and sunny outside and you can see your shadow, it’s a good day for playing. Each person who is playing is trying to keep their shadow from being stepped on by another person. Once a player’s shadow has been stepped on, they’re out for 30 seconds, and then they can join the game again. 

Pokemon Tag

In Pokemon tag, you’ll need some colored cones and coordinating colors of fabric (yellow is Pikachu, blue is Squirtles, green are Schychers, and red are Charmarders). Place the blue cone at one end of the field or play area and a red cone at the other end. Place the yellow cone in the middle and the green cone across from it. You’ll need a pretty big area to play in. The players are broken up into 4 teams and given a piece of fabric that coordinates with the cone. One team, Pikachu, for example, will be the taggers for the first round. When tagged, they go to their colored cone. To be freed, they’ll do a physical skill, such as galloping or jumping jacks for 1 minute. Once complete, they re-enter the game. Change up the tagging teams for variety.

Scarecrow Tag

Two players will be taggers in Scarecrow tag. The remaining players spread out in the play area with one soccer ball. Their goal is to pass the ball without the taggers getting it. If one of the taggers is able to get the ball, the person who kicked it immediately becomes a scarecrow by standing with feet shoulder-width apart and arms straight out. They can be freed if a teammate can kick the ball through their legs.

Pink, purple, green, blue, and white background, black block letters "Tag Games For Kids". A purple stripe with white cursive words "Flashlight Tag". White box with tag description.

Color Tag

If you are looking for a fun activity to improve spelling skills, then color tag is for you. Get some cones, bean bags, or hula-hoops in different colors. There’s one person who’s ‘It’. When a person is tagged, they have to choose a cone, bean bag, or hula-hoop, go to it, and do jumping jacks while spelling the color of the item correctly. You can mix this up by placing different objects in place of the cones, bean bags, or hula-hoops. We’ve played this with a spoon, a chair, a basket, and a bowl to work on spelling words. Spelling was fun! 

Tsunami Tag

Tsunami tag is best played in an area with lots of places to climb. One person is ‘It’. The goal is to get to higher ground to avoid the tagger. They can climb on a playset, a jungle gym, a rock, a tree, etc., and by doing so, they’re safe from being tagged. They do have to come back down after 30 seconds to run. They can climb again, but it can’t be the same object they just came down from.

Everybody’s It Tag

In everybody’s it tag, you will want to choose an area that is adequate for your group size to have enough room to run, but small enough to make it competitive. Everybody’s ‘It’ in this game, so set a timer for 3-10 minutes (depending on the ages and abilities of the players). During the allotted time, all players will tag as many people as they can. The key: honestly counting and remembering how many people you tagged. When someone is tagged, they sit down where they are. The one who tagged the most players wins.

Pac Man Tag

Pac Man tag requires a gym with painted lines on the floor. Players will spread out all over the gym, but they have to stand on a line and stay on a line. One person will be Pac Man and will wave their hands in front of them, just like Pac Man. Each person they tag becomes Pac Man. The game is over when everyone is a Pac Man!

Animal Tag

Animal tag is the game of tag to choose when you want it to last for a while. Players are divided up into four groups of animals. They can decide as a group what animal they want to be or it can be assigned. Whatever animal they are, they have to move like that animal. One player will be the zookeeper and one player will be a monkey. The zookeeper is tasked with getting the animals together in their designated area (horses by the tree, kangaroos by the swingset, etc.). The monkey can release the animals by tagging them. Once the zookeeper gets all of the animals of one type caged without the monkey releasing them, they stay caged. The game is over when all four types of animals are gathered and caged correctly.

Zombie Tag

Zombie tag will require a little prep beforehand. You’ll need small, soft objects to be thrown at the zombies. Try using socks folded into a ball, softballs, or stuffed animals. The person who is ‘It’ is the zombie. Anyone who is tagged becomes a zombie too. The uninfected players fight off the zombies by tossing the soft objects at them. When the zombie is hit, they freeze and count aloud to 15. During this time, the uninfected players can get away. The game is over when everyone is a zombie.

Soccer Tag

In Soccer tag, two players are ‘It’. Each has a soccer ball to dribble. When the soccer ball touches the foot or leg of another player, they are out. The winner is the player that doesn’t get tagged. A fun variation is to have every player dribble a soccer ball while one player is ‘It’ and tries to take them while also kicking their own soccer ball. 

Stick It Tag

In Stick It Tag, you’ll need vests with velcro on the backs and balls that will stick to them. Half of the players will be one color and the other half of the players will be another color. Teammates with the same color vests will race to get all their team color’s balls stuck to the other team’s backs. The first team to get all their balls stuck to the other team wins!

Crab Tag

Crab Tag can be played in a smaller area than most games of Tag. One player is ‘It’. All players, including the tagger, move around on all fours like a crab. The tagger can use their hands and feet to tag other players. Once tagged, they’re out.

Dragon Tag

In Dragon Tag, players form two teams and link arms to make a long line. A piece of fabric is tucked into the last person in the line’s waistband. The goal: move together as a team to remove the fabric from the other team’s waistband. The first to get the other team’s dragon tail is the winner! Switch up the teams and play again and again!

Blue, green, and white background, black block letters "Tag Games For Kids". A blue stripe with white cursive words "Blob Tag". White box with tag description.

Water Freeze Tag

Who doesn’t love a good game of freeze tag!? Add some water, and it’s even better! In Water Freeze Tag, the person who is ‘It’ gets a water gun. When the tagger hits another person with water, the tagged person freezes in their tracks!  They are free after they count to 32 aloud.

Dead Ant Tag

Two players are ‘It’ when you play dead ant tag. When someone is tagged, they lie on their backs with arms and legs straight up in the air like a dead ant. Another player can release them by touching each limb (both hands and both feet) so they can return to play.

Chain Tag

One person is ‘It’ in Chain Tag. When someone is tagged, they join the tagger by linking arms. As more people are tagged, the chain grows. The last person to be tagged is ‘It’ in the next game.

Turtle Tag

One player is ‘It’ as you play Turtle Tag. When they tag someone, they freeze in place until touched to be freed by another player. They can avoid being tagged altogether, though, if they lay down with their arms and legs in the air, like a turtle on its shell. They are safe until they count (aloud) to 10, and then they can be tagged! The person who is ‘It’ can wait for them to get up, or they can try to tag others who are still running.

Robot Tag

As you play robot tag, one person is ‘It’ and when they tag someone, that person turns into a robot! They are required to talk and move like a robot for 30 seconds. They might try to get tagged just to be able to be a robot!

Ball Tag

Ball Tag is a fun combo of Dodgeball and Tag, the tagger tosses a softball (below the waist). Once tagged, the person is out. They will remain where they were when they were tagged, but after catching a ball, they’re back in the game!

Amoeba Tag

In Amoeba Tag, two players will be ‘It’. They are amoeba! All other players are spread out in the play area. The two amoebae hold hands and work together to tag the other players. When someone is tagged, they join the amoeba. When there are 4 amoeba, they divide into two pairs. They’ll continue growing until they have 4 people, and then they will split again. The last person to survive the amoeba is the winner!


One player is ‘It’ in Banana Tag. Once a player is tagged, they will put their arms up over their head and link their hands like a banana! It takes two players to peel them; one player will touch one arm, and another player can touch the other arm. Once the banana is peeled, they are back in the game!

Star Wars Tag

The Star Wars fans in your life will love this Star Wars Tag game! It’s a bit complex, but this video has all the information you’ll need to play! If you have kids who love Star Wars and would be over the moon to use a lightsaber to tag people, this is for you!

Compliment Tag

In the game of tag Compliment tag, two people are ‘It’. When someone is tagged, they sit down. They are freed when another player gives them a hand up, and the one who was sitting gives a compliment to the one who came to free them.

Blue, green, pink, purple and white 
polka dot background, black block letters "Tag Games For Kids". A green stripe with white cursive words "Band-Aid Tag". White box with tag description.

Tunnel Tag

One player is ‘It’ as kids play Tunnel Tag. When tagged, they freeze in place with their legs shoulder-width apart to create a tunnel. If another player crawls under the leg tunnel, then they are free. When everyone has been tagged, a new ‘It’ can be chosen, and the game starts again.

Time Tag

In this version of tag, (Time Tag) it is ideal for young children. Have an adult play Mr. Wolf for the first round or two while the kids learn how to play. All of the players will line up across from Mr. Wolf, facing him/her. The players call out, “What’s the time, Mr. Wolf?” If he tells them a time, like 3 o’clock, then they take 3 steps forward. When he tells them, “Dinner Time!” he/she chases them and tags as many as he can. Those who are tagged are out. Those who make it back to their original starting line are safe.

Shipwreck Tag

In the game, Shipwreck tag there is are designated areas that are safe. You’ll want two less safe places than the total number of players. So if 4 players are playing, then have two safe spots. One player is ‘It’. Only one player is allowed in each safe space at a time and can stay there for 10 seconds. They have to go from one safe space to another safe space and cannot go to the same safe space twice in a row. When someone is tagged, they become ‘It’. 

Cat and Mouse Tag

In Cat and Mouse tag, all players sit in a large circle. One person is the cat. They tap each person in the circle on the head and say, “Bird”. When they’re ready, they will tap a person’s head and say, “Mouse!”. The mouse gets up to chase them around the circle. If the mouse can tag the cat before the cat gets back to the place the mouse was sitting, the cat is still it. If the cat makes it to the mouse’s seat, they take the seat, and the mouse is now that cat.

Tail Tag

Each player has a piece of cloth (a bandana, a small towel, a strip of fabric, or an old tie) tucked in their waistband to create a “tail” as they play tail tag. The object of the game is to grab as many “tails” as possible. The player with the most tails is the winner!

Turkey Tag

Each player has two clothespins on the back of their shirt in Turkey Tag. The person who is ‘It’ says, “Run, Turkey, Run!”. Everyone runs and collects as many clothespins as they can. When the person who is ‘It’ says, “Stop, Turkey, Stop!” then everyone freezes immediately. You can change the person who is ‘It’ as often as you’d like and continue for as long as they love playing! The person with the most clothespins at the end wins.

Drop It Tag

In Drop It tag, about ⅓ of the players get an object (bean bag, ball, pool noodle, frisbee, etc.) to hold in their hands. The players without an object chase and tag those who have an object. Once tagged, the person has to drop the object. The one who tagged them picks it up, and now they’re being chased!

Wood Tag

Wood tag is played the same way the traditional tag game is played, but if a player is touching something made of wood, they are safe!

Obstacle Tag

In Obstacle Tag, you combine an obstacle course with a game of tag is a sure way to challenge and thrill even the best athletes. One person is ‘It’ and tries to tag players as they navigate the obstacle course. Once someone is tagged, they are out. 

Food Chain Tag

Players are divided into three teams in Food Chain Tag: producers, consumers, and decomposers. The producers are plants that use energy from the sun to grow. Consumers are animals that eat plants or other animals to grow. Decomposers are fungi, bacteria, and invertebrates that eat dead or decaying material to grow. Jerseys are helpful to be able to tell who’s on which team. The goal: tag as many of your prey! Careful, if you tag your predator, you’re eaten up!

Kiss Tag

Kiss Tag is my favorite game to play with my kids at home. When it’s bedtime, and they just can’t seem to settle, I am ‘It.’ The only safe places are the bathroom sink while brushing their teeth (no running allowed with toothbrushes!) and lying down on their beds. If they are jumping, sitting, or standing on their beds, I can tag them! If I tag them, they get kisses and tickles. My little girl loves it when I tell her I’m stealing ALL of her kisses! To be freed, they chose either to read the bedtime story to me or an extra little chore the next day. 

There you have it—a huge collection of tag games for kids that promise endless fun and activity for kids! Do you have a tag game that brings joy and laughter to your gatherings that we didn’t mention? We’d love to hear about it! Share your favorite tag games in the comments below, and let’s create an even bigger playground of ideas together. Happy tagging!

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