Did you know that you can win the game of tug of war even if you are not the strongest? We love when hands-on learning through play turns into a quiet lessons and today we are going to talk about playing tug of war and how winning the game might be a lot more than brute strength. With this activity you can engage kids’ muscles and competitive spirits while spurring their love for science with a game of tug of war.
Tug of War Science Game
An educator by trade, I love to think of outside games for kids to play that combine fun, learning, and movement. Enter tug of war!
Read on for how to incorporate a science lesson into a classic game.
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Supplies Needed to Play Tug of War
- At least two kids
- A strong but soft rope <–I like this one because it has a built-in flag perfect for tug of war
- A piece of tape
Directions for Tug of War
Stick a piece of colored tape on the ground, making sure it is visible to each child.
Have children grab each end of the rope on opposite sides of the tape. Be sure kids do not wrap the rope around their hands, which can be dangerous.
Each kid should try to pull the other to their side of the tape!
After explaining how tug of war works, challenge your kids to change up teams to see if the game results in different winners.
Science Behind Winning Tug of War
I really like this simple article from Wired that talks about the science of winning tug of war.
Hint: it’s about friction and mass!
Watch Science of Tug of War Video
Tug of War Vs Dog
If you really want to wow your kids, let them watch the Wired video of people playing tug of war with a lion! While I don’t recommend they reenact that game, your kids could also play tug of war with your dogs.
According to DogTime, tug of war can be a great training activity.
Check out this video of a tiny dachshund winning tug of war against mountain dogs:
Ok, that little dog didn’t technically follow the rules!
Hope your kids enjoy playing tug of war and learning about science in the process!
Looking for More Science Activities?
- Looking for STEM activities? Try the airplane challenge!
- We have even more STEM activities. Take a look a the red cup challenge!
- We also have stem activities with straws.
- Learn how to make the best bouncy ball at home!
- This is the absolute coolest. You can make this simple catapult.
- Love space? Check out these rocket coloring pages.
- Want more space fun? We also have Mars coloring pages as well.
- This color changing milk experiment is so interesting.
- Looking for a science fair project? This solar system project is perfect!
- Don’t forget to make this aluminum foil moon craft to go with your project.
- See the stars with this flashlight solar system activity.
- These magnetic activities for toddlers are so much fun.
- We have another fun STEM activity. We can teach you how to make a maze with paper plates!
- Want another milk experiment? You’ll love this tie dye milk experiment.
- Make erupting soap with this ivory soap science experiment.
- Want more educational fun? Try these science games for preschool kids.
How did this change your tug of war strategy?