How to play Kick the Can

Do you have an empty can and open space? Play Kick the Can, a fun cross of hide-and-go-seek, tag, and capture the flag. Avoid being captured at all costs while you attempt to free your captured teammates by kicking the can in the center of the field.


At least 5 people, but more people make for more fun and an empty can or plastic bottle.

Game play

One person (or a team of people if the group is large) is designated It and an empty can is placed in the open playing field. With eyes closed, It counts to an agreed upon number, and the other players run and hide.

It then tries to find and tag each of the players, always keeping a watchful eye on the can. Any player who is tagged is sent to the “jail,” usually in plain sight of the can.

The rest of the free players attempt to kick the can before being tagged out. If they can kick the can without being caught, they set all the captured players free.


Aside from accomplishing the game’s title objective, this fast-paced run-around is an exercise in team-oriented, attack-and-conquer strategy.

Make it more fun

Have more people? Add more cans! The more dynamic the playing field, the more fun you’re bound to have.

Also in Outdoor Games:
Mother May I?, Marco Polo, Ring around the Rosie, Simon Says, All
See more games:
Card Games | Indoor Games | Pen and Paper Games