You can never have too many games! They can be a sanity-saving brain break (for students and teacher alike!) in longer classes, and closing class with a game is a great way to reward good behavior.
I found Dance Tag when I was first looking for activities for taiko residencies and adapted it for my classes. I used it for years in Tucson and still use it today. It’s a huge hit with grades 1-4, and students never realize how much they’re reinforcing rhythm and pulse. If you have a mixed age group, older students will enjoy the musician role described under “Adaptations.” Try it in your next class and let me know how it goes!
This is a dancing game, not a running game. If a student runs, they’re out.
If a student peeks while the “Its” are being chosen, they’re out.
(Optional): If the room you’re playing in is very large, designate a portion of it as out of bounds. If students go out of bounds, they’re out. (For example, if you’re playing on a full-size basketball court, restrict game play to one half of the court or less.)
HOW TO PLAY
Have the students stand in a circle. The teacher stands in the middle of the circle.
Once students are in a circle, have them turn to face the outside of the circle (so they can’t see the teacher). Then, have them close their eyes and put their hands over their eyes.
The teacher chooses two students to be “It” by laying a hand on the chosen student’s shoulders. Only the teacher and these students know who’s been chosen.
Once the “It” students have been chosen, the teacher moves outside the circle and tells students to open their eyes and spread out.
The teacher begins playing a song on a taiko and students - including those chosen to be “It” - begin dancing to the song. They can move freely around the play space while they dance.
Students who are “It” tag classmates while dancing. If a student gets tagged, they’re out, and they go sit down at the edge of the play space.
The game continues until 4 students are still dancing - the 2 who were “It” and 2 students who haven’t been tagged. The 2 who weren’t tagged are the winners of that round!
If you have a large group of kids or older students, have some act as musicians, joining the teacher in playing the song.
When students get out, have them become musicians, playing taiko, narimono, clicking a pair of bachi, etc.