This is one of my all-time favorite, go-to games to play with kids! It’s fast-paced and highly entertaining for both the players and the spectators. After trying to play it with random objects as I saw initially, I decided to come up with my own DIY Tic Tac Toe Tag Game pieces that could be used over and over again. The Duck Tape that I used makes them super durable for multiple uses. I still have and use the original set I made over two years ago and they get pretty regular use. And the best part is you can get the kids in on the action of making them and they have an added bonus of being inexpensive to make! Be sure to check out a ton of other amazingly fun and cool kid’s crafts and activities below, too.
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DIY Tic Tac Toe Tag Game
- 4 Sheets Foam Board ($1 at Dollar Tree)
- X and O Templates
- X-ACTO Knife or Box Cutter
- 2 Colors Duck Tape
- Masking Tape (for Game Board)
DIY Tic Tac Toe Tag Game Steps
1: Print out the X and O Template and cut them out on the lines. Use these templates to trace the shapes on to the foam board with your pencil. I staggered mine with Xs between Os to fit more on a sheet. Trace 5 Xs and 5 Os.
Kids are pretty good at tracing, so if you maybe tack the templates down with a bit of masking tape to hold them in place (the letters, not the kids,) this is definitely a step they can help with.
2: Use an X-ACTO knife or a box cutter to cut the shapes out of the foam board. The sharper your knife, the easier it will be to cut them out. I wouldn’t recommend kids help with this step unless you just really enjoy the torture of E.R. visits. But you be careful, too, sharp things are sharp! I actually assigned this task to my 20-yr-old daughter since she loves to cut stuff out.
3: For the Xs, tear off some smaller pieces of the Duck Tape to stick to the center intersections to ensure 100% coverage of the foam board.
4: Now finish off the Xs with full-sized pieces of Duck Tape. I just overlapped the edges and layers of tape. I was concerned with making them too thick because I knew the more Duck Tape layers they had, the sturdier they’d be. We’re still using a set made two years ago because of this.
5: Now use the other color of Duck Tape for the Os. I didn’t use and smaller strips but I did have to shape and press the Duck Tape into the curves of the Os so they kept their shape. Again, don’t worry about them being too thick.
Older kids would be great at helping with this step. A lot of them have already worked with Duck Tape for crafts during camps or school.
6: Now for the game board! I’ve done this on a tarp (as pictured), carpet, wood floors, gym floors, mats, and grass. Masking tape works great for all of those except the grass. For grass, you can use rope or poles or paint, whatever you have handy, but I recommend choosing something that won’t budge during this active game. Make two sets of two perpendicular lines, the classic tic tac toe game board, but also mark off a spot 20 feet back (10-15 ft for smaller kids) for the starting point.
2 Players: Each person elects to be either Xs or Os and stands next to the stack on the ground. When the ref says “Go” they each pick up one piece and race down to the game board and quickly select a spot to place their piece and then run back to the starting point to grab another one, one at a time per leg until they have reached three in a row or both people are tied. It’s like regular tic tac toe but in race format.
4 or More Players: Here’s where the Tag part of the name comes in. Players for each team stand in a line like they would for a relay race. Each player follows the same rules as for 2 players, but they have to tag the next player before that person can start running. The game is over once one team gets three in a row or both teams tie.
This game is such a blast to watch because in the middle of the kids racing, you have multiple minds trying to strategize a game to win, but they also need to be fast. It’s a great way to wear them out, too! I saw a version of this game on Facebook I think, but they were all using bean bags or shirts or something and I thought there was a better way to do it. So I came up with this DIY Tic Tac Toe Tag Game version so all of us could recreate the fun while making the game more fun for the kids. Have you guys (or your kids) ever played this game? What do you think, do the Xs and Os improve gameplay?
If you liked this fun kids activity, be sure to see our Nerf Battle Paint Splatter T-shirts we did with our boys!
And if you really need more ideas for Fun Outside Games for Kids, Life with Joanne has some great suggestions!