Tug of War Science Game

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Engage kids’ muscles and competitive spirits while spurring their love for science with a game of tug of war!

It’s finally fall, which means my favorite place to be is outside watching my kids play with our neighbors. An educator by trade, I love to think of outside games for kids to play that combine fun, learning, and movement. Enter tug of war! Read on for how to incorporate a science lesson into a classic game.

Tug of War Science Game

Here’s what you need to play this tug of war science game:

  • At least two kids
  • A strong but soft rope to reduce the risk of rope burn
  • A piece of tape
  • A little bit of scientific knowledge 

That’s it!

Stick a piece of colored tape on the ground, making sure it is visible to each child.

Have children grab each end of the rope on opposite sides of the tape. Be sure kids do not wrap the rope around their hands, which can be dangerous.

Each kid should try to pull the other to their side of the tape!

Finally, explain the science behind the game, via Wired. Hint: it’s about friction and mass! After explaining how tug of war works, challenge your kids to change up teams to see if the game results in different winners.

If you really want to wow your kids, let them watch the Wired video of people playing tug of war with a lion! While I don’t recommend they reenact that game, your kids could also play tug of war with your dogs. According to DogTime, tug of war can be a great training activity.

Check out this video of a tiny dachshund winning tug of war against mountain dogs on Kids Activities Blog. Ok, that little dog didn’t technically follow the rules!

Hope your kids enjoy playing tug of war and learning about science in the process!


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