Catch it if you can Energizer and Ice Breaker
Benefits of Catch it if you can
The game has some great benefits for all participants, here are a few:
- The game is very energetic and a great form of exercise
- It is something everybody can enjoy and also have fun with.
- This activity can also help to improve fine motor skills.
This game is a fun and interactive activity that is simple to plan and complete. All you need are a number of soft balls or items that can easily be tossed around. As mentioned, this item could easily be some rolled up socks, if nothing else is available. Hand these out to each member in the group. You can also introduce the game by adding a story, to make it more interesting. For example, this activity could be a representation of an exploding asteroid.
Once everybody has their soft item, have them group close together with their arms stretching out, with each ball or item touching each other. Now you will have a large soft asteroid mass in the room. When everyone is ready, shout out the word, “Go” and have everyone toss their balls or items into the air. This is the asteroid exploding.
This is where the fun begins, everyone must now catch as many items or balls and then throw them at others in the group. The person who is hit by an item below the waist, is now out of the game. This person should then bend down and crouch or sit on the spot they were hit. Whoever is eliminated should always keep an eye on the action around them.
The first round of the game should only take about 20 seconds, but this is still quite a time for those who were eliminated first. So, in order to keep the game moving along for longer, you can add in a twist or rule. The people eliminated, and crouching can catch a soft item, if they can, and if successful, can re-enter the game again.
On rare occasions, where many of the participants are unable to catch any further soft toys or if you’re looking for something different, there are more variations available.
Here are a number of different variations for this activity, for example:
- Add Lives: To help extend the time of the game, allow everybody who has been tagged once to carry on for another two or three times before being eliminated. Increase the challenge by having tagged participants throw with their other arm, that is less dominant.
- Ankle Tag 1: Allow a person who has been eliminated the chance to tag another player by touching not grabbing their ankles. The active player who has been tagged must now swap positions with the person who was eliminated.
- Ankle Tag 2: This is similar to the above variation, but once an active player is tagged, they must remain still for 5 seconds. The eliminated person can then shout out “Target”, so as to get the other players attention. If the player is tagged with a tossable item within those 5 seconds, then the eliminated person can re-enter the game, while the player takes their place. If not and the active player is not tagged, they can carry on playing after the 5 seconds.
- Asteroid Teams: Players can form teams; the aim is for each team to eliminate the other teams in the group. The game can be played until only one team remains, or as many team members remain standing.
Step by Step Instructions to facilitate Catch it if you can
- All you will need is a soft item that can easily be tossed around. Each person participating should have their own soft item. For example, soft balls made out of fleece or sponge balls. You could even just use some rolled up socks.
- Get the group to stand close together with their arms stretching out, so that the balls are touching each other. To get the most fun out of the game, there should be about 16-30 people participating.
- Once everyone is ready, you must shout the word “Go” and everybody should now toss their balls into the air.
- Everybody in the group should grab the items or balls and then throw it at any of the other members in the group.
- If a person is thrown with a ball below the waist, they are eliminated. This person must now take a seat or crouch where they stand.
- This game plays on until there is one winner who still remains standing.
- The game can be played a few rounds or 10 -15 minutes, or there are also some variations that can be used instead.
Facilitating Tips for Catch it if you can
The game is rather fast and there will come a time when somebody argues about whether the item or ‘asteroid’ hit above or below the waist. If this does occur, you can give them some options to the problem.
- They can carry on their argument while everyone else continues having fun or
- They can both make the choice to sit out and if possible, re-enter the game.
The best way to play the game would be to toss the item, which means running up close to a person and tagging another person still with the item in the hand. Depending on the item used, throwing it, is also good, but can also mean you might lose it. The item chosen is important and is usually something soft, as you don’t want to hurt anybody. Many of the eliminated participants will be crouching and are in a position to get smacked in the head. If you use, say a tennis ball, this could be potentially painful.
When those crouching on the floor are allowed to tag others, state beforehand that pivoting on one knee is acceptable when trying to tag another person nearby.
Questions, tips and reflections
As always with group activities, having everyone discuss the activity is a great way to see how the group experienced this fun game of tag. Here are some questions to help the process along:
- Did you enjoy the game and explain your reasons?
- Was it easy for you to admit that you were tagged?
- What were your feelings about being able to re-enter the game after being eliminated?
- Did you come up with any strategies, which allowed you to stay in the game longer?
- What did you notice about other players behaviors? For example, did some players help other eliminated players, by tossing them an item or ball?