Shadow Tag

Celebrate Groundhog Day with this shadowy spin on regular tag. This is a game that is certain to make our buddy Punxsutawney Phil shiver with delight! All you need is a bit of sun and some friends who love to run. Will Phil see your shadow? If so, you’re in for a deep freeze, and 6 more weeks of winter!

Age
Preschool, School-age, Tween, Teen
Number of Players
2, 5 to 10, 10 to 20
Prep Time
No prep time needed!
Activity Length
15 - 30 minutes
Team Division
Every man for himself (individual players)
Competitiveness
Competitive (has winners and losers)
Difficulty
Easy peasy (fun and simple)
Indoor/Outdoor
Outdoors
Space Needed
Medium (a clearable open space the size of a 2-car garage), Large (gym, outdoor field, reception hall)
Noise Level
Semi-rambunctious
Mess Factor
Clean and tidy
Setup

1. Find a well-lit playing area that casts strong shadows, easily seen on the ground.
2. Designate one player to be "Punxsutawney Phil."
3. Have all the other players spread out in the playing area, making sure they can see their shadows.

How to Play

1. The object of this game is simple: Phil tries to step or jump on other player’s shadows. If he/she does so, that person must freeze right where they are!
2. Play until there is only one remaining player who is unfrozen - that person becomes the new Phil!

Variations

1. Allow for “un-freezing” by having other players crawl through the open legs of the frozen players (like tunnel tag).
2. Play for fun by making it free-for-all shadow stomping. If a player’s shadow gets stomped, they must freeze for an out loud count of ten before entering play again. You may want to assign a certain shadow body part (say head, arm, belly) for the stomping, since this will get rowdy.
3. Play indoors, just make sure there is an ample amount of light so that shadows are cast.

Tips

1. Make sure you have “officials” on site to verify shadow stomps -- sometimes the shadow is behind a player, and they can not see it being stomped.
2. Keep the game moving. If Phil gets too tired, or is having trouble freezing folks, then add a second player. Call that person "Philomena" or "Phillip."
3. Make sure players are only stomping shadows, not the backs of other players' feet! As always, control is required with active games such as this.