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Toe Tag

Students keep their toes from being "tagged" by other kids—while becoming more nimble and quick

Objective and overview: Toe Tag motivates your students to keep their feet moving quickly to avoid being "toe tagged" by another person. This game is great for developing agility and coordination.

National Standards for Physical Education (NASPE)
Standard 1
Standard 5
Standard 6

New York State Education Department (NYSED)
Standard 1
Standard 2

Time Required: 15 minutes
Materials: Cones or other boundary markers

Prepare for the Activity

  • Watch the Toe Tag video to prepare for this game.
  • Set up boundaries for the game. Keep the area small (approximately 10-15 square feet)—the idea is for the students to continually be making quick, agile moves, rather than running straight ahead.


Events Play
ToeTag_MS-ES ()
Toe Tag

A game that is great exercise and develops athletic skills.

Click here to access on Teacher Tube

Introduce the Activity

  • Tell your students the name of the game and its purpose: to practice being quick on their feet.
  • Everyone starts as “it”; the object of the game is to “toe tag” one another by tapping another student’s toe with their own. Once a student is toe tagged, he or she is out until the next game starts.
  • Emphasize that there is no stomping on toes allowed!
  • Explain that all students must stay within the boundaries and that if they stray outside them, they must sit out until the next game starts. (Games go quickly, so they won’t be out for long.)
  • The winner of each game is the last person remaining whose toe has not been tagged.

Conduct the Activity

  1. Have all the students stand within the boundaries, which again should be constricted so students have to continually keep their feet moving to avoid getting toe tagged by their classmates.
  2. Begin the game. Have students who are tagged step outside of the boundaries.
  3. Start a new game once everyone but the last person has been tagged.

Assess the Students

What to watch for:

  • Students who are moving quickly with agility
  • Students who are lifting their feet quickly

Direction cues to share with students:

  • “Quick feet! Lift them up to avoid being tagged.”
  • “Keep moving. A moving target is harder to tag.”
  • “Don’t stomp! Step lightly.”

Note: Only give a student one direction at a time.



When you’ve completed Toe Tag, talk to your students about their experience with the activity. Here are some sample questions to get you started:

  • What did you have to do to avoid being “toe tagged”? (Keep your feet moving quickly, change direction a lot, lift your feet up)
  • Which sports require you to make quick cuts and changes of direction, and to have good body control? (All of them! Including basketball, tennis, football, and running, too)
  • Why is it important to have quick feet when you run? (It helps your speed; it helps you navigate obstacles, including people; it helps you avoid injuries)


  • Make the boundaries even smaller if students are having too easy a time getting away from each other.
  • Rather than have students sit out after they have been tagged, set up two separate toe tag courts. Start half the students in one and half the students in the other. When a student is tagged, have them run to the other court and join that game. Students may switch back and forth between courts many times. In this scenario there is no winner; instead, students play for a designated amount of time.

Inclusion Strategies

Classrooms are filled with learners who demonstrate a variety of needs and abilities, including ESL students, those with disabilities, and gifted/talented students. Consider these adaptations as you work to modify the lesson for student success.

  • Consider using noodles (short) or rolled newspaper as a wand for striking the toe vs. stomping or stepping on someone else's foot.
  • Remember that some children may have difficulty stepping or striking another person or child—teach them that they can only strike or step on the foot.

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