Freeze Tag for Preschoolers

I saw this activity on Melissa & Doug’s blog and suddenly found myself back in childhood racing around a field in the warm sun with friends chasing me close behind.

With this post as inspiration, I had to figure out a way to adapt it to my 3 year old. I knew he would love the spray bottle aspect, that would not be a problem, but how could I integrate our work on – ta da – self regulation. We’re constantly working on self regulation so freeze tag, a game requiring him to freeze and wait to be unfrozen is ideal.

I present to you Freeze Tag with a Twist.

freeze tag for preschoolers

Honestly working with 3 year old boys was a challenge. However when we integrated older children (and girls) into the mix, the game was a bit more controlled.

Here is what we did:

Supplies for spray bottle freeze tag:

  • Spray Bottles – We used the totally adorable Melissa and Doug spray bottles
  • Water – Fill the spray bottles with water, or get even more creative and fill with water colored with natural dye (like Tumeric and Strawberries plus a fixative to make the color stick) just to make it a bit more fun (but make sure you and the kids are wearing appropriate inexpensive clothing, like a Hanes cotton t-shirt). That would make for a fun take away gift for the children too! Natural Tie Dye!
  • Players – You don’t need a bunch of kids to make this fun and effective for preschoolers

How To Play Freeze Tag for Preschoolers:

  • Gather your players and spray bottles
  • Set ground rules, which include “spraying is allowed everywhere but the above the shoulders” and “Squirt a target at close range a maximum of three times”)
  • Explain how the game works to the player (see below)
  • Demonstrate how the game works with another adult.
  • Ask who wants to be “it” and designated an “it”
  • Go for it!Just go with the flow! Like I said, doing this activity with 3 year old boys was, shall we say, energetic, but it was fun and totally worth the effort!One child is “IT” and he chases the other children in an attempt to “TAG” them by spraying water

freeze tag boys running

How Freeze Tag for Preschoolers Works:

  • When the “IT” child “TAGS” another child the “IT” must request (by shouting out) an object into which the “TAGGED” child must freeze. Examples include a fruit, vegetable, animal or natural object like a tree (yoga poses!).
  • In order to get unfrozen the “TAGGED” child must shout out something about that object. For example, if the request is “Banana” then he must shout out “Bananas are yellow!” or “Bananas are a fruit!” or “Bananas grow on trees!” This shout out can happen immediately or whenever the child is ready to answer. Every child is different.
  • After his “shout out”, the “TAGGED” child is free to run around again but is considered “out”. The last child “TAGGED” becomes the “IT”. If there are only a few children, it is best to simply take turns being “IT”

freeze tag tree

Freeze Tag for Preschoolers is fun because the players….

  • Use a spray bottle with water. What preschooler doesn’t enjoy THAT activity alone?
  • Colorfully decorate a cotton shirt if that is the route you choose
  • Run around outside up, over and around obstacles or freely in a yard or field

freeze tag 2 boys

Freeze Tag for Preschoolers is Great for Development because…

  • Movement! Works their little bodies while developing gross motor skills.
  • Self Control! Freezing and unfreezing are great ways to work on self regulation.
  • Fine Motor Skills! As their little hands & fingers squeeze the spray bottle, they develop fine motor skills.

Thanks for choosing to read this post today!


Games are a fun way for preschoolers to learn about the world around them.  Take a peek at some of these other fun preschool game ideas from the Quirky Mommas:

4 days later teeth whitening

About Marnie Craycroft

Marnie writes Carrots Are Orange, a Montessori inspired homeschooling blog she started in 2010 after the birth of her first son. She hails from Maine, a wonderfully down to earth place to grow up. Marnie moved to the west coast in 1999, currently living in Seattle with her husband and two young boys. She is pursuing Montessori certification. Marnie can be found on Facebook, Twitter @OrangeCarrots, Pinterest and Google +.