Running Games For Kids To Keep Them Active

Sharks and Minnows

Most children like jogging, but some may be put off by the prospect of simply running laps around a track or in a gymnasium. Here are several running games for kids to keep them active, whether they’re for a sports practice, physical education class, camp activities, a birthday celebration, or just to play in the backyard.

Running Games For Kids

Capture the Flag

running games for kids: Capture the Flag

This traditional game can be played both inside and outside. You can also incorporate parents if they attend the birthday party, because most people know how to play.

How to play:

  • Divide the children into two equal groups.
  • Cones or markers should be placed in the centre of the field or gym. Each team’s flag should be placed around 50 feet from the center of the field or gym.
  • When you blow the whistle or announce “go,” each team sprints to the opposite side of the field in an attempt to take the opposing team’s flag.
  • A player is sent to jail if they are tagged on the opposing team’s side of the field. Only if a teammate frees you may you be saved from jail.
  • You can play for a set length of time and declare the winner as the team that captures their flags the most times. Alternatively, play until one team reaches a particular point total.

Pony Express

This entertaining game promotes teamwork, coordination, and competitiveness among the children.

How to do:

  • Divide the children into two equal groups.
  • On opposing ends of the circle, each team draws a line.
  • One child from each squad begins sprinting around the circle at your instruction. The objective is for them to return to their starting line and tag or pass the baton to the next person on their team without being caught by the other side’s runner.
  • When the runner reaches their team’s line, they tag the hand of a teammate, who then begins sprinting around the circle while avoiding being caught by the opposing team’s runner. A baton can also be used to pass the baton to the next runner.
  • The first team to complete a full circle with all of their runners wins.

Sharks and Minnows

running games for kids: Sharks and Minnows

This game is similar to capture the flag, however you’re not trying to obtain a flag; instead, you’re trying to avoid being tagged.

How to play:

  • Identify 1-4 children as sharks (depending on the size of the group). Everyone else is going to be a minnow.
  • “Shark, bait, swim!” the sharks yell from the middle of the field.
  • The minnows form a line at one end of the rectangle, then sprint across the field to the opposite boundary line, avoiding being tagged by a shark.
  • When a minnow gets tagged, it transforms into a shark who wants to tag other minnows.
  • In the next round, when there are only one or two minnows remaining, they become sharks.

The Bag Game

This game is best played in an open space with various landmarks or spots that the children can run to.

How to play:

  • A coach or other adult writes down the names of nearby locations on little pieces of paper, such as bleachers, goal post, backstop, equipment shed, and long jump pit.
  • Place the pieces of paper in a small bag, such as a brown paper lunch bag, that is easy to carry and run with.
  • One of the kids takes out a piece of paper and reads the address. Then they must all dash to that location.
  • When everyone has arrived at their location, a separate child takes out a new piece of paper. We keep going until each youngster takes a turn picking the destination when I play with my kids’ track team. Even the older children demand that they all have a chance to choose!

Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger Hunt

This is one of the running games for kids. The game promotes both curiosity and inventiveness, and the children forget they’re running.

How to play:

  • Make a note of what you can find in the area where the kids will be jogging. Make some of the items specific while leaving others unclear. This allows the children to be more imaginative in their responses.
  • Begin with the first item on the list and sprint to the specified location.
  • Move on to the next item on the list of things to find once you’ve arrived.


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