Holiday Police: Stop the Grinch!


Prerequisites: How to safely chase, tag and flee from others.

Objective: To provide students an opportunity to work on cardiovascular fitness while working on chasing and fleeing skills in a fun holiday environment.

Suggested Grade Level: K-5

Materials Needed: three or four green coated-foam balls, 3-4 blue coated-foam balls, poly-spots for bases, cones for boundaries.

Spatial Organizations:  Large open space free of obstacles (basketball court area works well), place cones on sideline to use for out of bounds, use four poly-spots on floor for bases.  Two poly-spots near three-point line on each side of gym for a total of four.

How to Play Holiday Police:

Explain to the students that Grinches don’t want the winter holidays to occur but that everyone else wants them to happen (all winter holidays). Choose 3-4 students to be the Grinches; they will each have a green foam ball and they start in the center circle.  Everyone else is a Holiday Helper (HH) and will start on a designated starting line.  Choose 3 -4 students to be Holiday Police (HP), they will carry the blue foam balls and start on one of the bases (the bases are the police station).  No balls are ever thrown in this game.

Explain that the gym is the Holiday Town, and they are very busy this time of year running around town to get all the gifts, baking, greetings ready for the different holidays.  However, the Grinch has come into the town and is trying to get the Holiday Helpers to stop working by tagging them. If a HH is safely tagged (use green foam ball) by a Grinch (s)he can no longer work and “freezes” and sits down at the spot of the tag. Holiday Police are stationed around the workshop to help if Grinches should come to town.   If the HP sees a frozen helper, then they run to the frozen player and hands them the blue foam ball.  The person who received the blue foam ball is now unfrozen and has turned into the Holiday Police (so the rescuer and the frozen player switch roles).  The person who did the unfreezing (handed the ball to the frozen player) is now a holiday helper (HH). 

Holiday Police are safe on the poly-spots.  There can be one on a base.  They can stay on base as long as possible.  This base is not safe for anyone else.  They can switch bases to an empty base if needed.

No “Guarding “is permitted anytime during the game.

If the Holiday Police gets tagged, then they must give the blue foam ball to the teacher.  If all Holiday Police are tagged then game is over.  Choose new Grinches and Police if time permits.  Add more Police or more Grinches if necessary

Switch taggers every 3-5 minutes if holiday police are not getting tagged.

General Safety Rules:

Anyone going out of bounds is automatically tagged.  Tags should be gentle and friendly.  NO pushing.  Any tag to the head/neck is a head safety and the runner is not tagged.  There is no jumping, sliding, or diving to avoid being tagged or to get on a base, this results in an automatic tag.  Any student not following proper safety rules will not be permitted to play.  Add any other rule you deem necessary for the safety of the students.


You can change the loco-motor movements to skipping, galloping etc.  Police can rescue other police instead of turning the blue foam ball into the teachers. 

Assessment Ideas/Closing:

Prior to and after the game, have the students take their pulse (if they have prior knowledge) so they can see how their heart worked by running.   Remind students what skills were worked on during this game:  cardiovascular fitness, agility, chasing, fleeing, and dodging, helping others, and being kind.

About the Author:

2 Responses

  1. Hi.

    Grinches can be tagged if you would like them to be tagged. You can change the game and modify for your students. If, you are going to have Grinches tagged then, I suggest you add green bases (mountain) where Grinches can be safe from the Holiday Police otherwise, Holiday Police will just go for Grinches and not rescue. If a Grinch does get tagged, they could sit down where they were tagged and wait for another Grinch to rescue them. If all Grinches end up tagged, game is over. Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured Resources


5 Ways Small Sided Games Make a BIG Impact

Author: Jessica Shawley

A Brand New Tool for PE You Didn’t Know You Needed!

Author: Brett Fuller

5 Skill-Based Floor Hockey Games

Author: Michael Beringer

16 Parachute Team Building Activities

Author: Tim Mueller

Motivating Unmotivated Students​

Author: Dr. Robert Pangrazi, Jessica Shawley, and Tim Mueller

Promoting Activity and Success Through Adapted PE

Author: Dr. Robert Pangrazi, Marci Pope and Maria Corte

Bin Ball

Author: Randy Spring



Sign up to receive the latest physical education resources, activities, and more from educational professionals like you straight to your inbox!