Active games
Active games

These sporty games include plenty of action and fun! Make it even more challenging by competing in water or snow. Rosy cheeks and a brilliant energy boost are guaranteed!

Donald Duck tag

Minimum 4 players


Donald Duck Tag is played like ordinary tag but agility and a good memory are needed to survive. When the tagged player gets close, the other player squats down and shouts the name of a character from Donald Duck. If the player cannot squat and shout in time, or repeats a name that has already been said, they are tagged. Other names could be chosen instead of Donald Duck characters – for example, characters from Harry Potter films or names of storybook creatures.

Chain tag

Minimum 5 players


One of the players is chosen as the tagged player. When the tagged player catches someone, they join hands and continue catching other players. The chain must remain intact and only the first and last people in the chain can try to catch other players with their free hands. The game is over when all of the players are in the chain and the last person to be caught is the winner. This version of the familiar tag game is played in Finland.

Hug tag

Minimum 3 players


One of the players is the tagged player and tries to catch the other players. A player is safe if they can hug one of the other players before the tagged player can catch them. If the tagged player touches another player before they get into a hug, the player who was caught is tagged.

Break the chain

Minimum 10 players


The players are divided into two teams. The members of one of the teams stand in a circle and hold hands. One by one, the members of the other team try to get into the circle from the outside. When everyone has got into the circle, the teams swap roles. The team that gets into the opponents’ circle faster is the winner.

Burst balloons

Minimum 1 players


This is a great game for getting rid of balloons after a celebration. The players stand in a circle hand-in-hand. Inflated balloons are placed in the middle of the circle. On “Go!” everyone uses their feet to burst as many balloons as they can while also stopping others from bursting balloons. The person who pops the most balloons is the winner. This game can also be played on a trampoline with a safety net if there are fewer than 4 players. If a larger group wants to pop balloons on a trampoline, it is a good idea to divide the balloons up and split the players into several groups to avoid accidents. This game is a great way to end a birthday party if there are a lot of balloons used as decorations.

Dragon's tail

Minimum 5 players


The players stand in a line and put both hands on the waist of the person in front. The last person in the line is the dragon’s tail, and they have a scarf or piece of string in their back pocket. The first player in the line tries to steal the tail. The line must stay together at all times. When the first player gets the tail, they take the dragon’s tail position. The next person in the line then tries to get the tail. In the Nordic countries, this game is also known as Snake Tag.

Bulldogs

Minimum 4 players


This game is played in all of the Nordic countries, and it is known by several different names. Two lines are marked in the playing area at a distance of 25 metres from each other. The sidelines of an ice hockey rink or football pitch work well for this. All but one of the players stand behind one of the lines, and the remaining player is the “bulldog” behind the other line. When that player shouts, “Bulldogs!”, the other players run towards the line where the bulldog is. The bulldog tries to catch runners by touching them and the other players try to avoid the bulldog. The players whom the bulldog has touched become bulldogs themselves and help to catch the remaining players from the start of the next round. When the bulldog team shouts, “Bulldogs!”, the free players run from one line to the other. This goes on as many times as necessary until the last participant has become a bulldog. In the winter, this game can be livened up by playing on an ice-skating surface – everyone wears ice skates and a helmet. In this game, the shout is “Icemen!”

Capture the flag

Minimum 12 players


A football pitch makes for the best playing area as a large surface is needed with two goals. The players are divided into two teams of equal sizes. The playing area is split into two by marking a line in the middle of the field and each team places a flag or other agreed marker at the end of its area. The aim of the game is to get the opponents’ flag into your own area without being caught. An area is demarcated around the flag where opposing players can be safe for a short time. If more than one opposing player is in the safe zone, one must leave and run to their own area with the flag. If the opposing player is caught, they are put in prison. The prison could be an area drawn in sand or any other place decided upon before the game begins. If only one opposing player is in the safe zone in the demarcated area near the flag, the player can leave and try to get to their own side with the flag. If they are caught, they are put in prison. If a player is in the opposing team’s area and is caught, that player always has to go to prison. A fellow team member can rescue an imprisoned player by touching them, and they are safe when they have made it back to their own half.

Forest tag

Minimum 4 players


Every player chooses a tree that will be their own safe place. The tagged player does not have a tree. When the tagged player shouts, “The house is on fire – time to change!”, all of the players must run to another tree. The player without a tree also tries to get a tree for themselves. Whoever is left without a tree becomes the tagged player. This version of the tag game is well known in at least Germany and Finland.

Nose tag

Minimum 4 players


An area is demarcated where the players may run. One of the players is chosen as the tagged player, and this person tries to catch the other players by touching them. When the tagged player succeeds in touching another player, the other player becomes tagged. However, the tagged player is not allowed to touch any other player who is able to stand on one leg while holding their nose. Players are not allowed to stay in this position for a long time – they must get running again as quickly as possible. This game is well known in Finland.

Four winds race

Minimum 10 players


A large circle is drawn on the ground and a cross is drawn within it like a compass. This creates four bases: east, west, south and north. One hunter is chosen for each base. They go out to catch players who are running around and take them back to the base. Players are caught by touching them. When all of the players have been caught, they count which base has the most players.

Pairs' football

Minimum 8 players


This game, which is well known in Finland, combines a pairs’ sack race with football. The players are divided into two teams, and the players within each time split into pairs. The left leg of one player in each pair is tied to the right leg of the other player in the pair. The teams then play football by the normal rules. Goalkeepers are not necessarily needed if there is an even number of players. After all, goals are fairly hard work in this sport!

Horse and jockey

Minimum 8 players


This Finnish riding game requires one ball. The players split into pairs of horses and jockeys. The jockey is on the horse’s back and the pairs form a circle. The jockeys throw the ball to each other. If any of the jockeys does not catch the ball, all of the jockeys jump to the ground and run as far from the ball as possible. The horse whose jockey did not catch the ball runs after the ball. When they have the ball in their hand, they shout “Stop!”, and the runners stop. The horse tries to hit one of the jockeys with the ball. If the horse succeeds, all of the horses and jockeys swap roles. If the horse misses, the game continues as it began.

Round the house

Minimum 3 players


The Finnish game of Round the House requires a stick and house around which to run. One of the players is chosen as the monster and the others go behind the house. The players go round the house and the monster tries to see one of them. Before the monster peers round corners, the player must wave the stick three times so that the others have time to run around the next corner. If the monster sees any of the players, that player becomes the next monster. The players always go around the house in the same direction but the monster is allowed to change directions as many times as desired.

Nort wind and south wind

Minimum 6 players


The players named as the north wind count to ten. During this time, the players named as the south wind spread out all around the area. The north winds begin trying to catch them. When a north wind succeeds in touching a south wind, this player is “frozen” with their legs apart. To thaw this player out, another south wind must crawl between the frozen player’s legs. The number of north winds remains the same throughout the game but the number of frozen players and south winds varies.

Sticky popcorn

Minimum 5 players


In Finland, popcorn is something enjoyed in an unusual way. It all begins with the players bouncing, leaping or jumping around like popping corn. But these corns are sticky and they try to approach each other. When one piece of popcorn touches another, they get stuck together. When they have grabbed on to each other, they continue bouncing together and stick to new pieces of popcorn until all of the players have eventually become stuck together in a single, big, jumping popcorn lump. Throughout the entire game, every piece of popcorn jumps and bounces.

Mind your tail

Minimum 4 players


The leader of the game holds a ribbon or piece of string as a tail. The tail must be easy to take. The other players try to steal the tail. The player who steals the tail holds it behind them next. The game can be played with one tail for each player, and the players try to steal the tails from each other. The player who collects the most tails is the winner.

Last pair out of the oven

Minimum 6 players


This traditional Finnish game requires an even playing surface. The players stand in pairs. The player without a pair stands at the front of the line with their back to the other players and shouts, “Last pair out of the oven!”. The last pair in the line begins running along their respective sides to meet back up. The player at the front without a pair tries to catch one of the runners. If they succeed before the runners can touch each other, they become a new pair at the front of the line. The runner who is on their own becomes the shouter.