Do you have a bunch of flag football belts in your PE closet that you’d like to use more often? I’ve got just the solution! I’ll share two engaging flag games for kids! Your students will love these games and they allow for extra use of those belts. Don’t have flag belts? Juggling scarves, cut up towels, or t-shirts work just as well.
Fish and Tadpoles for Elementary PE
The first game, called Fish and Tadpoles, is for elementary students. To introduce this flag activity, I talk to the kids about what fish like to eat. Then I talk about frogs and how they start as tadpoles and we have a mini science lesson (a great tie in for core subject matter).
To set up the activity, tell students that as soon as they put the flags on their body, they transform into tadpoles. Transform a few other students into fish by giving them a rubber fish (get yours here!) to use as a tagger. The kids love it!
The concept of the game is similar to most chase and tag games. The fish try to eat as many tadpoles as they can in a set amount of time. Each tadpole starts with at least two tails, and when they are out of tails, they go to the marsh to begin life again. To do so, they complete an activity or exercise to earn two new tails.
At the end of the time limit, the fish tally up the number of tadpoles they “ate” and you select new fish for the next round. Add a fun and silly twist by having students perform different animal walks like elephants, horses, or a favorite of mine, crabs.
Another flag activity that I use in my high school classes is called Survivor. This is a fun game similar to capture the flag. For this game students are divided into as many teams as you would like, we typically do four teams.
When the game begins, students try to remove the flag belts of the other team members. The team with the last person with a flag belt on earns a point, and then I have my class start again. If they choose, teams are permitted to form alliances with other teams, but we always caution that while you may make an alliance, it does not always mean that teams will uphold the pact.
We keep the playing field to about 40 yards x 40 yards, but with a bigger class you may need to expand. If a student steps out of bounds or has his/her flag removed, they jog around the perimeter of the field and encourage teammates.
Because my classes have male and female students from 8th to 12th grade mixed together, we sometimes will have grade challenges. It is a fun way to mix things up, and our students really enjoy the competitiveness of the game.
These are two of my favorite flag games for kids. For those of you not familiar with flag belts, there are two different types: Belts where the entire belt detaches and belts where just the flags detach. Gopher has a variety of options for both including: Magnetized or standard buckles, stationary or movable flags, and even belts with nylon loops instead of standard flags.
I strongly encourage all of you to look at not only the flag belts in your closet, but all your equipment, and think of ways to use them in multiple activities. It is a great way to get more for your money, and with budgets being reduced we all need to be more creative!