How to play the tag game Sharks and Minnows.

Some of children’s favorite games are tag games! Having a couple great tag games under your belt can enhance your playground and step up your rockstar status among children, especially those K-2 students. One all time favorite is today’s Game of the Week… Sharks and Minnows!


Group Size:  Large group (10 or more)

Age Group:  Pre K – Grade 5
Length of Activity:  10 minutes or more
Developmental Goal:  To develop listening skills and a sense of boundaries.
Equipment:  None

Before You Start:

  • Explain to players that the shark(s) will say Fishy, fishy come out and play, and all minnows will begin walking across the play are.
  • Be sure all players know minnows will run to the other side when the shark(s) says Shark Attack!
  • Remind all players to be aware of their surroundings so that they do not run into others.
  • Remind players that all taggers will use safe ‘butterfly tags’.

Set Up:

Set up a clearly designated rectangular play area with visible boundaries.

How To Play:

  • Identify who will be the shark(s), either a player or the leader. Eeveryone else will be minnows.
  • The shark stands in the middle of the play area and say Fishy, fishy come out and play. The minnows slowly walk towards the sharks.
  • At any time, the shark can yell Shark Attack! At with point, the minnows must run to the opposite boundary line without being tagged.
  • If a minnow is tagged, s/he also becomes a shark.
  • When there is only one or two minnows left; they become the sharks in the next round.

Variations:

  • Another option is to have minnows run back to the starting line when Shark Attack is called.
  • You can choose different predators and preys.
  • Change the consequences for getting tagged, e.g.,
    • If you get tagged on the first attempt to get to the other side, you become a shark.
    • On all following attempts, if you are you become seaweed and you cannot move your feet, but can still tag.

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.

 

Find 156 fun games in our newest Game Guide.

Includes everything from games you can play in a small space with no materials, to games you can play in a big group during recess. Search for games by age level, time/space/materials available, and by the life skills used (like problem solving or teamwork).

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