Mark two ‘safe’ areas approx 30 metres apart, with a line between these two zones.
Form two even teams (A and B.)
To start, Team A huddles in their safe area and agrees on a particular occupation or trade.
When ready, both teams stand facing one another about 3 metres apart either side of the middle line.
Team A takes a step forward and chants “IT’S AS EASY AS LEMONADE.”
Team B responds by taking one step forward and saying “SHOW US YOUR TRADE IF YOU’RE NOT AFRAID.”
Team A immediately begins to mime their secret occupation.
Team B observes this behaviour, and attempts to guess what the secret occupation is, calling out suggestions.
As soon as the correct occupation is called, members of Team A must return to their safe area while avoiding being tagged by members of Team B.
All tagged members of one team join the other team.
Repeat this process, swapping roles with each round.
Continue play until one team loses all of their members, or enthusiasm starts to wane.
How To Play Narrative
Mark two ‘safe’ areas approximately 30 metres (100′) apart, and a line which represents the mid-point between the two areas. Then divide your group into half (see Getting Into Teams for some novel ideas.)
Ask the members of each team to stand side-by-side, and face the other team about 3 metres (10′) apart.
To start, one team (A) moves forward one step and calls out “IT’S AS EASY AS LEMONADE” (there’s a beat to it,) to which the other team (B) responds by marching forward one step and saying “SHOW US YOUR TRADE IF YOU’RE NOT AFRAID.”
Okay, we’re now through with the preliminaries.
Upon this taunt, the Team A will immediately start to ‘mime’ or ‘charade’ a pre-determined occupation or trade. This was agreed to earlier in the game when this team huddled and discussed which one occupation would they all like to ‘be’ for the first round.
Trades such as carpenters, hair-dressers, nurses, judges, lumberjacks, etc are all good examples.
The observing team (B) is now charged with a responsibility of guessing what the secret occupation is. Anyone can guess at any time, so long as they are loud and clear.
As soon as the trades-people (Team A) hear a correct answer, they will immediately turn around and retreat to their safe area.
Naturally, the guessers will spring into action and attempt to tag as many of the trades-people as possible. All successful tags oblige that trades-person to switch teams.
Once the chasing team has embraced their new members, it is their turn to huddle and secretly identify their trade, to start the process over again.
Play as many rounds as you have enthusiasm, or until one team loses all of its members.
Practical Leadership Tips
Resist the temptation to lay rope to identify the two safe zones of the middle lines lest it becomes a trip hazard.
Note, lepidoptery is a fine occupation, but to be fair, no-one is ever going to guess this. So, in the interests of time, I suggest you coach your group to exercise a modicum of fair-play. Otherwise, you’ll be there forever trying to guess what the heck people who work with winged-insects are called.
Be prepared for the occasional argument between groups when similar types of occupations are referenced. For example, is a pastry-cook the same as a baker?
It’s highly unusual, but if one team only lasts a round or two before everyone is tagged by the other team, either move on, or start over with two new teams.
It’s a good idea to suggest that if an individual is not quite clear what a particular occupation is, they should ask other team members before they assemble in front of the other team. Lest, this person may perform something quite unusual and confuse the observing team.
Also, you may ask why lemonade tag game, and I don’t have an answer – it just is!
You could integrate Lemonade as part of a well-designed SEL program to promote and maintain healthy and supportive relationships.
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 good dose of physical activity.
In a small way, you could argue that the focus required to interact and engage physically with others 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 Lemonade could be purposefully integrated into a health and wellness program, please leave a comment at the base of this page.
Trade By Trade: Each team charades a trade or occupation at the same time. The first correct answer to identify the trade of an opposing team will spark the chase.
Alternative Mimes: Ask the teams to charade animals, sports, nationalities, etc.
Zany & highly interactive tag game for large groups.
Very energetic, ever-expanding, co-operative tag game.
Extremely fun & dynamic energiser that builds trust.
Useful Framing Ideas
What classic school yard games do you remember playing when you were younger? [allow time for discussion…] I can recall there being lots of curious skipping routines, knuckles, and a wide variety of tag games. Here’s one I can remember playing a lot during my lunch time…
There’s nothing better than when two of my favourite games are combined together. I love playing charades and working feverishly to guess what my partner is miming to me. And, I also love a good tag game, and working hard to avoid getting tagged. Happily, someone found a way to put both of these pastimes together…
Reflection Tips & Strategies
Coupled with one or more reflection strategies, here are some sample questions you could use to process your group’s experience after playing this entertaining tag game:
What do you remember most vividly about this game? Why?
What was hard about this game?
What process did your group use to agree on an occupation to mime?
How did it feel to swap teams the first time? What about frequently?
The inspiration for Lemonade Tag Game, and many more team-based tag games, was sourced from the following publication (now out of print:)