How to Play Capture the Flag


October 9, 2020

outdoor games for kids

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Capture the Flag is a classic childhood game that burns lots of energy, but also requires strategy, teamwork and bravery. Whether you’re looking for a family game for the weekend or a party idea for a group of kids, an energetic game of Capture the Flag is always popular!

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Capture the Flag is a great party game or outdoor activity for a large group. The aim of the game is to capture the flag of the opposing team and get it back to your base without being captured or tagged yourself. Let the game commence!

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Setting Up the Game

First things first, you will need a large, safe area to play in. Divide the people playing into two teams and designate a ‘zone’ for each team with clear boundaries.

Each team will need a ‘flag’ – this could be an old pillowcase, a scarf or a homemade poster. Each team now needs to hide their flag within their zone (it should be partly visible so the other team can find it) and it cannot be moved once placed. Be strategic about where you hide your flag – the further into your territory it is, the more running the opposing team will have to do. And make it only visible from behind, so that they need to come right into your zone to see it.

Each team needs to have a designated area within their zone that can be their ‘jail’ and needs to place one flag guard on duty.

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How to Play Capture the Flag

children game outside

Once you have set up each team needs to enter the opposing teams zone to try and find their flag and bring it back to their zone.

You can play a number of ways, but the idea is to be strategic. Decide with your team if you are going to rush into the opposing zone all together to overwhelm them or are you going to divide the team into runners and scouts, leaving the runners (decoys) to get caught so the scouts are free to try and find the flag.

If you are tagged (caught by a player from the opposing team while in their zone) you must go to jail.

Detainees are freed once they are tagged by a player from their own team. You need to decide before the game starts whether to allow one player to free all detainees or just one at a time.

It is a good idea to switch the teams about after each game, so everybody gets a chance to be on a winning team.

Other Methods of Play

To extend the game, you could get the teams to hide multiple flags which must all be found and captured to complete the game.

If you are playing on an open area with little coverage for hiding, simply play be placing the flag at the end of each zone and each team must run in to capture it. If they are tagged they must stand still until they are freed by a teammate.

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Have your say! Have you ever played Capture the Flag with your kids? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

How to Play Capture the Flag - Mykidstime

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