A favorite game among lower elementary students and teachers is Jug-A-Lug. It is easy to explain and easy for younger children to understand. One game can take up the whole recess which has helped eliminate unhealthy competition (the kind that fosters either bragging or arguing). We play it in our gym or outside on the playground.
The rules are simple.
You need two teams and six “jugs” (we use kick balls). The playing area needs a center line and back line boundaries. Each team puts three jugs at the back of their playing area. The object of the game is for one team to capture all of the jugs.
A player from one team will attempt to steal a jug from the other team by getting the jug and carrying it across the center line to their own side. If he makes it safely across the center line the jug goes to the back of his side. The other team may attempt to steal it back.
If a player crosses the center line into the opposing team’s side he can be caught by that team. If he is caught he stands prisoner at the spot where he was tagged until a team mate can tag him free. Both players may then go back to their side unhindered (but they have to return to their side, they can’t try for a jug or free another team mate.)
A player may only steal one jug or free one prisoner at a time.
Various classroom adaptions have been made according to the ability of the players. One classroom allows the jugs to be thrown or passed to another team mate as long as the jug is carried over the line by a player. In grades one and two we use the rule that the same player that picks up the jug must make it the whole way across the line himself. Then there is the issue of whether students can guard (as in stand very close to them to wave off the invaders) the jugs and prisoners. Our rule is no guarding jugs closer than half the team’s area (a player may chase and catch an opposing player in that area, they just can’t camp out beside one of the jugs) and one guard per prisoner.
I will be interested to hear other ideas also.