Playworks for every kid.

Game of the Week: Pony Express

How to play Pony Express -- even more fun than relay races!
July 22, 2012

This week's game makes running fun, builds camaraderie and encourages good sporting behavior. Gather a group and few minor pieces of equipment, and try playing this new game. The Game of the Week is Pony Express!

Group Size: 
 Large group (10 or more)
Age Group: 
 Grades 1+
Length of Activity: 
 10 minutes or more
Developmental Goal: 
 To develop teamwork and cooperation
Equipment: 
 Chalk, Cones, 2 Bean Bags
Before You Start: 

Skills Practiced:  Running, endurance and pacing

  • Demonstrate safe tagging:
    • Light touch, like butterfly wings on the shoulder
    • Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
  • Divide the group into two teams.
  • Have one team line up diagonally at one cone, and the other team line up diagonally at the other cone.
  • Hand a bean bag to the first person in each line.
Set Up: 

A very large square or rectangle

How To Play: 
  • On the leader’s signal, the first person in each line begins to run counterclockwise around the square/rectangle, making sure to run completely around the lines (i.e. no cutting corners).
  • After the first person has run an entire lap, s/he hands off the bean bag to the next person in line, and s/he begins to run a lap.
  • The object for both teams is to catch up to the other team and tag that runner on the shoulder.
  • If someone is tagged, a new round begins at each cone with the first person in line.
Variations: 
  • Try walking, skipping, hopping, etc. (if the space is smaller, or for younger players)
  • With more advanced groups, no equipment is necessary if you have natural boundaries, and they can high-five the next person in line

Find more new and exciting games in our games database!