Farmers (Variation of Sharks and Minnows)

  • Any Size

  • Grades 3-5

  • None

Development Goal

To develop readiness, cooperation, and spatial awareness

Before You Start

  • Review safe, butterfly tagging
  • Identify the boundaries
  • Divide the students into different groups of animals, i.e. horse, sheep, pig.
  • Choose students to be taggers in the middle of the tag area.

Set Up

Can be played outside or in a gym. Define the boundaries of your tag area by chalk, cones, lines on the gym floor, etc.

How to Play

  • Have the students who were chosen to be “Farmers” (taggers) stand in the middle of the tag area.
  • The other students are animals on the farm and they are given the role of one of three animals, i.e. horse, sheep, and pig.
  • The Farmers call out an animal (i.e. Horse) and the students who are “horses” have to run to the other side of the tag area without getting tagged.
  • If you get tagged, you have to sit down.  As you’re sitting you can try to tag another person as they run by.
  • There is one way to get back up.  If you were a horse and you are sitting down after you got tagged, you can tag another “horse” and that student sits down and you get back up (same for sheep, pigs, etc.)
  • The Farmers can also call out “Barnyard” for all the animals to run across.


  • An alternate way to get back in is to tag a different animal.  For example if you were a horse and you were sitting down and tagged a sheep, you can stand back up, but you’re a sheep now, and the person who you tagged is a horse.
  • Choose different animals, even if they aren’t typical farm animals (i.e. elephant, penguin, etc.)
  • Have the students act the part of their animal (i.e. gallop like a horse, hop like a rabbit, moo like a cow, etc).  Be silly and have fun!