How to Play Duck Duck Goose

Duck Duck Goose is a fantastic game to play as an ice breaker game as an easy way to help kids interact and get to know each other. It can also be played anywhere and requires no equipment so is a great group game for on the go or on a budget. 

Features of Duck Duck Goose Game

 ★  Game Name Duck Duck Goose
 ★  Group size medium to large
 ★  Age kids
 ★  Type active
 ★  Skill chasing and fleeing
 ★  Place indoor and outdoor
 ★  Time up to 10 – 15 min
 ★  Preparation no
 ★  Materials not necessary

Aim of the Game

In Duck Duck Goose, the kids all sit in a large circle and one group member, the tapper, selects a player at random who will chase them. The tapper then has to try to run the whole way round the circle before getting caught and sit down in the empty spot. Fail and they have to be the tapper again! 

Group Size

This game is great for younger kids as it is simple to pick up. You need to have at least 5 players so that four kids can sit in the circle and the last player can be the tapper.

Ideally, the game works best for larger groups and there is no maximum number of players. If you have an extra-large group of kids, split the group in two and have two separate games going on at once. Because of how simple the game is, this is super easy to organize. 

Preparation and Materials

Duck Duck Goose is an excellent game as it requires no materials and has a quick and easy set up. To get ready to start the game, nominate one person to be the tapper. Then get all of the other kids to sit in a large circle facing inwards.

How to Play Duck Duck Goose

To start with, the tapper has to walk around the edge of the circle and tap each child as they go past and saying either the word “duck” or “goose”. If the tapper says the word “duck” then nothing happens and they continue around the circle. However, if a kid is tapped and the tapper says “goose” then they must get up and start chasing the tapper around the circle.

The tapper has to try to make it back around the circle and sit down in the gooses empty spot. The goose needs to try to catch the tapper before he or she sits back down! 

If the tapper manages to do a complete lap of the circle then the goose is the new tapper. However, if they get caught then they have to stay tapping for another round. 

Alternative Rules

There are a few game variations you can use to make the game more exciting for everybody: 

  • Try using different words such as “cat” and “dog” or “baseball” and “cheerleading”
  • Instead of running around the circle, when the chase is on you could get the kids to jump, skip, or hop around the circle
  • On sunny days in summer, you could also give the tapper a water balloon that they have to break over the head of the child they call “goose” on!

Similar games:

Halloween Tag game
Wolves and Rabbits
Homeless Rabbit
Cat and Sparrows