Capture the Flag

how to play capture the flag: outdoor game for kids

Capture the Flag.

Capture the Flag is a classic outdoor game that children love because it is both strategic and friendly. The goal of the game is to capture the flag of the opposing team and bring it back to their camp without being tagged by their opponents.

Game sheet

  • number of players: from 8 children
  • age: from 6 years old
  • material: open area, flag for each team
  • Played outdoors
  • Duration: 20 minutes

Rules for Capture the Flag

Start by forming 2 balanced teams. But if there are many children, you can form 3 or 4 different teams.

Plan a large play area: in the garden, in the park, on the beach or in the forest…
The bigger the playground and the more natural elements, the more fun the game will be.
Adapt the size of the playground to the age of the children.
Divide the playground into areas of equal size, one for each team. You can mark each play area with chalk, cones, tape or landmarks such as trees. Make sure each player understands the layout of the field. In each playing area, mark off an area that will be the prison. (with a large hoop for example).

Place a different colored flag for each team in each playing area. It must be placed by a player of the opposing team or by the adult.

All players place themselves in their respective camps.
The adult throw the start signal of the game.
In their camp, children are safe and cannot be captured by an opponent.
The goal is to capture the opposing flag(s) and bring it (them) back to their own camp. Be careful not to get tagged while capturing the flags.
At the same time, the team must also remember to protect its own flag…

This game is a racing game but above all a strategic game. Teams must develop their own strategy to both capture the other flags and protect their own. Some players will be designated to capture the other flags while others will be the guardians and stay to protect their own.
Be careful, the guardians cannot stay at the foot of the flag but at a distance of about 3 meters unless the flag is attacked.
Players tagged by an opponent will have to go to jail. The captured players are sent to “jail” and must be tagged by a teammate to be freed.
The game ends when one team has managed to capture the flag(s) of the other team(s) and return to its own territory.


  • Each team can have several flags to protect in each camp.
  • You may consider playing parents against children: this is always a lot of fun.
  • You can replace the prison by only asking the captured children to perform a forfeit (a physical challenge for example) before being sent back to their camp. It can also be a time-out, for example, 2 minutes for the captured player to stop before resuming the game.

The educational advantages of the game

  • problem-solving
  • communication and strategy
  • teamwork skills
  • development of gross motor skills
  • learning and listening to the rules of the game

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