TV Tag

(for ages 4+)


  • At least 4 people
  • Designated area for play

Prep Time:

  • 5 minutes

Recipe for Fun!

TV Tag is a fun twist on the classic game of Tag. TV Tag typically has a longer game time since players can evade capture by shouting out the name of a TV show. This feature of gameplay is a great equalizer for slower players who may not be the fastest but have a vast knowledge of TV shows on the tip of their tongue. The game is played until the person who is “it” tags another player who does not shout out the name of a TV program in time.

Tips for playing TV Tag: It helps to set ground rules for which types of media are “TV shows”. For younger kids, do their YouTube channels count? If a grandparent is joining in the fun, do shows that pre-date some of the players (and thus they haven’t heard of) count? Also, younger children may need it explained that movies do not count as TV shows. Or, maybe in your family’s version they do - after all it is your family’s game.

Also, demonstrate what types of touch are appropriate when tagging. Letting kids know hitting and shoving isn’t allowed can head off a quarrel mid-game. When playing with young kids, it’s always a good idea to play a practice round that doesn’t count so they can learn by playing.

Here’s how to play TV Tag:

  1. Pick one player to be “it”.
  2. The player who is “it” closes their eyes and counts to ten while the other players scatter.
  3. When the player who is “it” is closing in to tag another player, that player can avoid being tagged by quickly crouching to the ground and saying the name of a TV show.
  4. If the player says the name of a television program, they are safe for 5 seconds. The person who is “it” cannot stand and wait for the 5 seconds to lapse, instead they must pursue another player.
  5. If the player does not say the name of a TV. show before they are tagged, or if they shout the name of a show that has been previously mentioned, they become “it”.

Can you play TV Tag indoors? Yes, but like all indoor games that can get rough and tumble, take extra time to set the ground rules for play and let all the players know which rooms are off-limits.

What do kids learn from playing TV Tag? TV Tag, like Shadow Tag is a great way for kids to burn up excessive stores of energy, and build gross motor skills as they run, chase, and dodge the person who is “It”. But physical skills aren’t the only things kids learn from this game. Since kids also learn valuable communication skills. Often during gameplay, kids will try to stretch the rules - shouting out a movie or TV character rather than the name of a TV show. Allow your kids to enforce the rules with each other and negotiate for whether their choice “counts” or not. Learning to speak up, use the appropriate tone and articulate arguments is a valuable communication skill kids hone in play!