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How To Play Countries

This is a really great running wide game - good for burning off a lot of energy. However, it's also a good wide game for those who might not like to run as it involves a lot of strategy.

1. Set up a wide field with 2 halves. We usually divided the field using a long hose.

2. Scatter lots and lots of empty ice cream containers all around the playing field, making sure it's relatively even on both sides to begin with. (You don't need to use ice cream containers, just use something light, unbreakable, cost efficient and something that you can get a lot of - the more the better!)

3. Divide the group into 2 teams. Each team needs to start on their designated side.

4. The basic aim of the game is get as many buckets (or objects) onto your side as possible.

5. While a player is on their team's side - they are safe. As soon as they cross the line (ie. have no feet in their own half) then they can be tagged. Once they are tagged, they must stay where they are, squat down and wait to be rescued.

6. To rescue a team mate, all you have to do is tag them, then they are free to run back to their side. However, even while they are escaping they can be caught again.

7. To get a bucket, just run to the other side, pick up 1 bucket (and only 1) and bring it back to your half.

8. If you get tagged while capturing a bucket, you must drop it where you are.

9. You may NOT move the buckets that are on your side.

10. So there are 2 ways to play the game, you can run like crazy and rescue as many players as possible and get buckets.


You can use stealth and sneakily cross over the other half and pretend to be on the other team (easier to do with large groups). What you do when you've falsely convinced others you're on their team is completely up to you! Be Creative! However if they ask you straight out, you can't lie, and if they touch you, you are caught.

Materials Needed

ice cream buckets or cones

Submitted by Joel on 7 Nov 2007 12:00:00

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9 Comments Add a comment »

yer this is a good game but if you want to play it outside in the dark just use those glow sticks instead of icecream buckets so that they can see them and get each player to wear a glow stick of the same colour for one team and another colour for the other team so that they know what teams that they are in and can also see the other players.

Posted by Emma on 17 Aug 2008 at 5:43:00

Awesome game. Our kids play for about 25 minutes before 1 team won.

Posted by Gerhard Louw on 28 Aug 2009 at 1:15:20

This is a great game, I have a group of middle schoolers who claim, that youth group meetings arent fun, but i bet this will change their minds!! Thanks!

Posted by NOrvelie on 6 Oct 2009 at 2:43:07

Great loved it.!

Posted by B43gdddfdgffg on 27 Jul 2011 at 12:21:13

we played something like this but it was capture the flag with 4 teams. the field is set up like 4 square and the teams are free to get any teams flag. it was pretty fun ! everyone loved it

Posted by aaron on 24 Feb 2012 at 3:40:16

Our youth group played this at camp and didn't want to stop. We found a couple of helpful changes. We give one team blue bandanas and the other team red bandanas to tie on the upper arm. Then you know who is on your team. We also play when you're tagged you are frozen and when someone from your team rescues you, you link arms and can not be refrozen and are safe to get back to your side. The kids came up with the new rules and they worked well.

Posted by Sherri on 4 Mar 2012 at 10:01:54

I have submitted one comment, but found this to be alot of fun. We used large 2 foot boxes, painted blue and red to match the teams bandana color. They were large and a little bulky, but made it fun. They could grab more than one box at a time, but was almost impossible.

Posted by Sherri on 4 Mar 2012 at 10:08:45

We tried this one today, I let the teams place the buckets in their own halves. Different arrangements of buckets led to very different games being played with different strategies.
Nice team builder!

Posted by Amanda Dunning on 5 Jul 2017 at 1:50:03

I'd like to try this one tonight in the dark with glow sticks. When you take a 'bucket' to your side, how far can you take it? To the far end of your side? Can you get tagged holding the 'bucket' on your own side?

Posted by Davin Price on 12 Aug 2017 at 1:54:47

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