Red Rover

(For Ages 8+)


  • Minimum of 8-10 players

Recipe for Fun!

Stay active and have fun with Red Rover – a classic outdoor children’s game. When you play Red Rover, teams stand in lines and hold hands to prevent other players from running through them. Recommend playing outdoors on a soft surface, such as a grassy field, so no one gets hurt if they fall down.

STEP 1: Red Rover is played in 2 teams, so find at least 4 people to play on each team. The more players make Red Rover more fun.

STEP 2: Choose 2 players to be the captains who lead the teams. The captains are in charge of picking teams and calling out their team’s choice each turn.

STEP 3: Flip a coin to identify which captain gets to pick their players for their team. Once all the players are split between the teams, you’re ready to start the game.

STEP 4: Each player should hold hands with their teammates standing in a straight line across from the other team about (20 feet) apart. (If you’re playing with small or young kids, the teams should stand closer together, so they are less likely to get hurt when they run fast towards the other team.)

STEP 5: The team that didn’t win the coin toss gets to take the first turn of the game. The team picks one player on the other team to "call over" to their side. Once the team has decided, they sing, "Red Rover, Red Rover, we call (name) over!"

  • Players Tip: When you’re choosing who to call over, pick a player who you think you’ll be able to stop without letting go of your team’s line. Try to pick smaller players before choosing the strongest ones.

STEP 6: The player who is called over begins to run as fast as they can towards the team that called them over. The running player will try to run through their opponent’s arms causing them to let go of each other.

  • If the runner successfully breaks through the line, the runner then chooses one player to join their team.
  • If the runner can’t get through and the opposing team were able to keep their hands held, then the runner loses. The runner switches teams and joins the line they just tried to break through.

STEP 7: Teams continue to take turns calling over different players. The same runner should not be called in a row. When there’s only one person left on a team, they must run toward the other team and try breaking through. If the last runner on one team can’t break through the line, then the other team wins.