How to play Cookie Jar Tag

Do your students love tag? Teaching fun tag games with clear safety rules can make your playground more exciting and manageable to recess monitors. The Game of the Week is Cookie Jar Tag!

Group Size:  10+

Age Group:  PreK-Grade 4
Length of Activity:   Less than 10 minutes
Developmental Goal:  To develop active listening and evasion skills.
Equipment:  None

Before You Start: ​

  • Demonstrate safe tagging:
    • Light touch, like a butterfly wings, on the shoulder, upper arm or upper back.
    • Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall.
  • Review what to do when you get tagged
  • Make sure players know where the hospital is and how to be fixed.

Set Up: 

Set up a rectangular play area with enough space in between for the group to run around.

How to Play: 

  • Explain that the students are cookies and you are the Cookie Monster. It is almost lunchtime for you and you may be hungry.
  • The players must ask you, “Cookie Monster, Cookie Monster are you hungry?”
    • If you say “yes” they must try to run across the play area without getting tagged by you.
    • If you say “no” they must remain where they are and ask again until you say “yes.”
  • If someone gets tagged they become one of your helpers. 


  • Modify for older kids who may not relate to cookie monster, i.e. “Boogie monster”.
  • Once the game is understood, allow one of the students to be the Cookie Monster.

Love implementing Game of the Week? Playworks offers professional development programs that will teach your staff to use recess and playtime to improve health and support learning. Curious to learn more? Submit the Training Assessment form and a local Playworks representative will respond directly.


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