Instruct each person to face their partner and stand on one foot.
Each person tries to tag the top of their partner’s foot with the bottom of their own.
Play several rounds, swap feet and/or partners.
Video Transcript for Stationary Foot Tag
presented by Mark Collard
Our object here is a bit like what we were doing before, is that our feet now are going to be firmly planted except for just one foot.
In a moment it’s going to be lifted off the ground. The object is for each of us is to try and tag the other foot, but it’s only one at a time.
So I for example might be trying to tag your foot first. You’ll do everything within your power other than one foot leaving the ground to try and avoid being tagged.
So it’s like a stationary foot tag. Got the basic idea?
So how about when we’re ready to go I’ll place a foot in the air, you place a foot and I’ll try and tag you. Got the idea? And GO.
(trying to tag each other as part of Stationary Foot Tag)
Alright, you’ve got the idea. Give it a go with your partner.
(people tagging feet as part of Stationary Foot Tag)
Okay, same exercise, new partner. Find someone who’s close to you…
(people tagging feet as part of Stationary Foot Tag)
How To Play Narrative
Ask everyone to find a partner who is wearing completely different shoes to their own. This is really a mini ice-breaker built into the task of forming pairs. Appreciate and encourage the acknowledgements and fashion reviews, help people find their partners, and get on with it.
Really, any creative partnering technique will work (see Getting Into Pairs for ideas,) although when was the last time you really found yourself standing next to someone with completely different shoes as yours!
Each person faces his or her partner about a metre (3’) away and stands on one foot.
Invite players to take turns mirroring the movement of their partner’s foot with their own, then switch. Encourage a few ankle twists, knee bends, and hip openers.
Now that the joints are sufficiently warmed up, the competition begins.
Contenders balance – sometimes gracefully, sometimes tipsy – on one foot. When ready, issue forth a suitably playful signal, and invite both partners to feverishly move their floating foot freely in an attempt to tag the top of their partner’s foot with the bottom of their own.
Of course, each person is simultaneously attempting to avoid the tag of their partner’s foot too.
Once a tag occurs, ask partners to switch feet, play again and/or swap partners.
You could integrate Stationary Foot Tag as part of a well-designed SEL program to help your group make caring and constructive choices about personal behaviour and social interactions across different situations.
Specifically, this activity offers opportunities to explore and practice the following social & interpersonal skills:
Identifying Personal, Cultural & Linguistic Assets
Anticipating & Evaluating the Consequences of One’s Actions
Promoting Personal & Collective Well-Being
You can learn more about SEL and how it can support character education here.
Health & Wellness Programming
There is no specific health & wellness perspective to this activity other than promoting the benefits to one’s wellbeing of enjoying a short burst of physical activity.
In a small way, you could argue that the focus and effort required to interact and engage physically with one’s partner in a safe and positive manner may speak to the benefits of having developed a set of supportive and healthy behavioural norms in advance. Or, if not, you could use these less-than-desired interactions or outcomes to explore what sorts of behaviours your group would prefer to see. For example, you could invite your group to reflect on the level of safety consciousness that was demonstrated during the activity and relate this to a set of observed impacts on others.
If you can think of more explicit ways in which Stationary Foot Tag could be purposefully integrated into a health and wellness program, please leave a comment at the base of this page.
Practical Leadership Tips
Before starting, you may feel it necessary to offer this tidbit of humour. Kicking your partner in the shin, then tagging their foot – although effective – does not constitute fair or safe play. Encourage your group to keep it safe and fun.
With all due respect, please be aware that some people would prefer not to intentionally scuff their shoes while playing a silly game. To this end, you could travel with a few sets of extra shoes so they can play.
Ensure adequate space between pairs as some people may lose their balance and tumble any which way.
Bare-Foot Challenge: Try it without shoes. Useful during warmer weather, or when you’re down at the beach.
Foot Tag Championship: Invite everyone to mingle about hopping around on one foot and eventually challenge any one person in the group. A person may choose to accept or deny the challenge with the appropriate head nod. Once engaged, the ‘winner’ continues to play with another partner of their choosing, while their partner is eliminated. Or not, up to you.
Circle Foot Tag: Form a circle with four or five people. Each person attempts to tag the feet of their immediate left- and right-hand neighbours. As soon as a person has had both feet tagged, they let go of their neighbour’s hands and retreat from the circle. The group re-joins, and the game continues until the final two ‘foot-taggers’ duel.