How to play Rock Paper Scissor Tag

It's time to head back to recess! One of the best games to teach at the beginning of the school year is Rock Paper Scissors. Once students know how to play, you can use it throughout recess and the school day to empower them to solve simple conflicts on their own (and what a relief it is for students to solve their own conflicts!) Teaching and reinforcing Rock Paper Scissors can be down actively and with fun by teaching games like, the Game of the Week: Rock Paper Scissors Tag!

Group Size:  2+

Age Group:  Kinder+
Length of Activity:   Less than 10 minutes
Developmental Goal:  To increase social comfort and to improve non-verbal communication.
Equipment:  None

Before You Start: ​

  • Review the rules of Rock Paper Scissors (also called Ro Sham Bo).
  • Explain the rules to Rock Paper Scissors Tag and check for understanding.
  • Split the group into two teams fairly.

Set Up: 

  • You will need a rectangular space with two sidelines and a center line.

How to Play: 

  • Everyone each team stands on an outside line facing each other.
  • When the leader gives the signal, teams walk to the center line and pair up with a player on the opposite team.
  • On another signal, each pair plays Rock Paper Scissor. The player who loses the game of Rock Paper Scissors quickly turns and runs back to her or his outside line. The player who wins the game of Rock Paper Scissors, chases the other player attempting to tag them before reaching the outside line.
  • Then have each player go back to their line. Have one line shift players down one spot so they will meet a new opponent at the center line. And repeat.


  • Have each team quietly pick what item everyone will play — rock, paper or scissors. When teams meet at the center line, everyone plays at once. One entire team then chases the other entire team back to their line. If a player is tagged, that player must join the other team.

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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