Kick the Can

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Kick the Can

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Kick the CanKick the can is a classic school yard game that can be lots of fun in the woods, as well. You can play this with as few as 3 people and as many as you like. If you don’t have a can, a ball plastic bottle, or any kickable item will do. This is best played is a large open area with plenty of places to hide. It’s also best to define the campfire and tent as out-of-bounds…for obvious reasons ;-).

The first order of business is to decide who is it. Kids usually have many ways to do this (draw numbers, hands on the bat, rocks-paper-scissors, eenie-meenie-minie-moe, etc…). Once a suitable it has been chosen, it’s time for the fun to begin…

Start:  Kick the Can!

Crazy enough, the game starts when you kick the can!  The person who’s it scrambles to get the can, places it back in the clearing area and counts to 50.  It’s best to put the can away from obstructions like rocks, tree roots, poles, tents, etc…  After he/she counts to 50, it’s game ON.  The person that’s it will walk around and try to spot those that are hiding.  If you are spotted, the person who’s it will race back to the can and say, “I see so-and-so behind the tree”.  If you can race them back and kick the can before this, you’re safe.  If not, you’re in jail.

Jail Break

If you’re caught, all hope is not lost.  One of your teammates needs to kick the can to set you free.  Once this happens, the person that is it has to retrieve the can and count to 50 again.  You’ll get the hang for this game after playing it for a bit, but it really is a team effort.  If you’re able to sneak up on multiple sides of the can, one side can divert it so that the other side can get a running shot at the can.

Winning the game

The game ends when everyone is captured and in jail or when someone gets captured 3 times…or when the parents call, “Dinner” and light the campfire ;-).  Sometimes the players put a time limit on it (say 20-30 minutes) to keep taking turns.  In this case, the person captured first will be the next person to be it.

This game is a great summer night game that can be loads of fun on your next camping trip. It takes little planning and equipment and can be done almost anywhere. It’s worth defining boundaries for safety purposes and to keep the game moving.

Have fun!