Get your kids active with our Recess Enhancement Program's (REP) game, Needle and Thread! This circle game is ideal for larger spaces where kids can really run. It will get the blood pumping and have everyone exhausted by the end while also working out the most important muscle of all — the brain!




Needle and Thread

Who: Grades K-5 

Players: 20+ 

Time: 15 minutes+ 

Where: Small playground

Equipment: Cones


How to Play 

  • Form a circle! One person will be the “Needle” and the other person will be the “Thread.”
  • The “Needle” will start inside or outside the circle. The “Thread" must start on the opposite side of the “Needle.”
  • Whenever the “Needle” runs between two people in the circle, they must link hands and create a barrier. The “Thread” cannot break the link.
  • The “Needle” must try to close the circle without getting tagged by the “Thread.”
  • If tagged, do 5 jumping jacks and rejoin the circle. A new “Needle and Thread” will be chosen.

Check for Understanding 

  • What do you do if the “Needle" runs between two people?
  • Can the “Thread” break the link?

Game Tip 

  • Have students cheer each other on.

Conflict-Resolution Tip

  • Have students high-five if they get tagged.

Indoor Tip

  • Have students skip or hop to lower the energy.



Easy: Tag on shoulders

Medium: Hope on two feet

Hard: Tag on the elbow


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