How to Play Sardines Game

The Sardines Game, also known as reverse Hide-and-seek, is a popular game and one of the children’s most favorite activities. Sardines Game works perfectly as an icebreaker since the kids will have to start interacting with each other.

This is a very simple icebreaker game to help group members introduce themselves in a fun and energetic way!

Features of Sardines Game 

 ★  Game Name Sardines Game 
 ★  Group size any
 ★  Age kids (5+) and teens
 ★  Type active
 ★  Skill running and hiding
 ★  Place indoor and outdoor
 ★  Time up to 10 – 15 min
 ★  Preparation no
 ★  Materials no

Aim of the Game

One person goes in hide. That person has 1-2 minutes to find the best hiding spot possible. After that, the rest of the players are trying to find that person.

Players who found that person have to join him or her in this hiding spot or as close as it is possible. That it why it is called the Sardines Game. The last player to find the player who is hiding loses the game.

Group Size and Age

The Sardines Game has to be played by children older than 5 and with more than 2 children. The bigger the group the better, since the game will then last longer. So there’s no playing or group limit.

Preparation and Materials

The kids need to make sure that the environment they are in will have enough space for everyone to hide and run. The intention is to be inventive and hide where no one can easily find them.

The skills required are running, counting, hiding, and staying silent and the game can be played in the street, parks, at home with the lights out or anywhere else their imagination allows.

How to play Sardines Game or Hide-and-seek Game

  1. Set the boundaries for your playing area. 
  2. One person “it” goes in hide and the rest of the players start counting up to 60 or more.
  3. After reaching the 60 seconds, or the designated number depending on how many players are playing, everyone starts doing the seeking.
  4. When one of the players locates the hider, he or she must join the hider in the hiding spot. It is important to do that very quietly, so other players will not notice that.
  5. They keep joining the hider until there is only one player left. The last player to find the player who is hiding loses the game.
  6. The first player to find the hider (“it”), becomes the hider in the next round.

It is a fun challenge to find hiding spots that will fit as many people as it is possible!

Alternative versions:

“Sardines on the Move”

Once the hidden group becomes larger than 3-5 players, they will try to make its way undetected back to the “safe-base”. If they manage to do that, they win and every player gets the point or wins the game.

“I saw the Ghost!”

The Sardines Game is popular worldwide and can have variations according to the culture. This game is passed from one generation to another and that’s how those alternative versions are created.

One of the popular variations is that the players found the “it” starts screaming “I saw the ghost!” After that, all the players still looking have to run back to the safe-base before being tagged by the ghost.

Whoever was tagged becomes the next person to hide in the next round.

Similar games:

How to Play Hide-and-seek and Alternative Versions

How to Play Camouflage (A classic group game with a twist)

How to play Touch Base Hide and Seek