After School Activities: Variations on Hide and Seek

As the weather heats up children are going to be looking forward to spending more time outdoors. I love encouraging children to get more active. One game I always loved growing up is Hide and Seek. Here are some fun variations of Hide and Seek that with proper supervision work very well in the After School Setting.

Sardines- A reverse version of the Classic Game of Hide and Seek

Materials Needed: None
Location: Preferably a large open space (checked for Safety concerns first of course) with places for kids to hide
How to Play:
1 person is the “hider” while everyone else is the “seekers.” Before beginning the game make sure to review the rules and boundaries with the children. Have the group count to 50 to give the hider enough time to take position. Make sure a Staff Member is aware of the hider’s location. After counting to 50 the children will scatter in search of the hidden child. Once a child finds the child, they hide with the child in their hiding possibly. The goal of the game is to have each child hide together as a group…like a pack of sardines. A new game begins when the whole group has found the hiding spot.

Kick the Can- Another fun variation of Hide and Seek

Materials Needed: 1 large can, such as a coffee can and white chalk
Location: Preferably a large open space (checked for Safety concerns first of course) with places for kids to hide and a flat surface such as asphalt for the can.

Set up:
Draw a chalk circle around the can; this will act as home base. Off to the side draw a 12×12 foot square that will act as jail. If you don’t have chalk, or a place to write you can use cones.

How to Play:
Start by choosing one person to be “Guard the can” and be the tagger. To start the game, this player counts to 50 (or 100) with their eyes closed. All other players will scatter to find a hiding place. When he opens them, he starts searching and the fun begins.
When the tagger finds a hider, they call out this player’s name. If the hider can kick over the can before the tagger does, they are safe. If the tagger makes it to the can first, the player whose name he calls out is captured and must wait in the jail. Here comes the fun part! A brave hider can risk being seen, while the tagger is seeking other players and kick the can without them seeing. If this person can kick over the can and call out “Jailbreak” without getting captured by the tagger all the prisoners are freed and are back in the game.

The game continues until all the hiders have been captured. If the game runs too long, due to jailbreaks, feel free to start a new game to give the Tagger a break and give another child a turn.

Biffer- A fascinatingly complex variation of Hide and Seek

Materials Needed: Flour, 3 Socks, Masking tape, post-it notes, and 5 different colored markers
Location: Preferably a large open space (checked for Safety concerns first of course) with places for kids to hide.
How to Play:

This game has a staging/learning curve but it is worth it for the fun the children will have.

Player Roles:
Biffers (2-3)- Their job is to carry flour filled socks and bump other players with them, be sure to instruct them to hit below the neck or waist.
Medics (2-3)- Their job is to heal the players, they carry a roll of masking tape and put a band aid on the players where they have been “biffed.” If bandaged by a medic the player can resume the game.
Markers/Hiders (5)- These children are the hiders of the game. They are hidden in various different places around the playing field, if they are approached by a player they marker their post it with their colored marker.
Players (everyone else)- These children count to 50 (or 100) to allow the Hiders time to hide. Each player is given a post it note and instructed to try and find all five hiders and have them mark their post it note. If they are biffed they must stay frozen until a medic bandages/frees them.

After players are released, biffers must close their eyes and count to 50 as well before going after the players.
The game ends when someone has found all the hiders and has all five marks on their post it. Feel free to lengthen or shorten the game if necessary.

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