Discover 10 Rules: How to play kick the can

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Discover 10 Rules: How to play kick the can

This is an ideal game enjoyed by both children and adults outdoors and has ruled the outdoor game for many generations. This game at its core is a pretty simple premise, where one person guards a can and the other players kick in an attempt to claim and then guard it. However, embedded in those simple core mechanics is a place for advanced strategy to come in, multiplayer interaction, and pure enjoyment.

How to play kick the can

This compilation guide delves into how to play kick the can and fully unleashes the underlying rules and secrets that will allow you to fully enjoy playing the game. We’ll discuss everything, including proper selection of a kick can and venues where tagging will take place, adequate hiding spots, and last but not least, proper tagging methods. You can learn the best amount of people, alternate games to fit the different groups and ages and different formation that you can change as you get bored.

Then, go to the other side of the fence, follow the 10 rules below, take a group of friends and go out in the open to be part of the excitement of the game over a quarter century ago. Though this text is careful in its treatment of the Christian experience of magic and in its attempt to provide an interpretive strategy for understanding the relevant texts, it does much to show why the Christian experience of the magic could not be analyzed by history of religions investigators.

Rule #1 – Select the Perfect Location

Picking the right location is crucial for how to play kick the can as you want ample hiding spots. Ideal areas for how to play kick the can include backyards, trails, parks and campgrounds with trees, bushes structures. Open areas leave nowhere to hide.

Rule #2 – Choose Your Kick Can

Having the right kick can is vital for how to play kick the can. Select a metal can that can withstand repeated kicks without denting or damage. Partially filling it with rocks or pebbles makes noise when knocked over during the game.

Rule #3 – Establish Clear Boundaries

When learning how to play kick the can, defining the game boundaries prevents confusion. Use sidewalks, fences, landmarks and chalk lines to mark off the playing zone so players know if they are in or out of bounds.

Rule #4 – Pick Teams Carefully

Balanced teams make for the best experience when learning how to play kick the can. For most fun, split into two even groups with the same number players. Adjust sides if necessary and pair ages evenly on mixed teams.

Rule #5 – Determine Time Limits

Standard timing for how to play kick the can is a 30-minute game with the guard role switching halfway through. But feel free to set any duration that fits your group size and ages. Just clarify upfront.

Rule #6 – Create a Jail Space

Establishing a jail area is key for how to play kick the can. Use cones, chalk, rope or landmarks to delineate a space where tagged players must wait until freed. Prisoners staying within jail bounds as expected heightens gameplay.

Rule #7 – Strategize Your Approach

Advanced how to play kick the can tactics raise excitement. Seekers should spread out, create distractions, use sound cover when approaching and kick from multiple directions. Guards need to pivot carefully, triangulate sounds and freeze to conceal location.

Rule #8 – Master the Tag

To safely play how to play kick the can, tailor tag rules to players’ ages and abilities. Set guidelines about reasonable force, no face shots and no unsafe behaviors. Make sure all participants understand tagging methods before starting.

Rule #9 – Allow Freedoms

Kicking over the can lets jailed players escape and is an essential of how to play kick the can. But if you want to up the challenge, implement rules allowing the guard to immediately right the can or place a short time limit for escapes.

Rule #10 – Customize for Fun

An advantage of how to play kick the can is infinite ways to vary gameplay. Change boundaries, jail rules, guard rules, add obstacles by the can, play at night, destabilize the can and more to keep games exciting after learning the basics of how to play kick the can.

Next Level: Up Your Strategy

Once you have learned the essence of how to play kick the can, deployed advanced techniques and strategy amps up the competition:

  • Encircle the guard from multiple angles instead of a head-on approach
  • Use terrain like bushes as protective cover when sneaking up
  • Toss pebbles or object decoys to wrongly divert the guard’s attention
  • When guard is distracted, kick can from an entirely different direction
  • Listen closely to pinpoint seeker locations based on sound clues
  • Seekers can synchronize moves, with lead runner distracting guard for accomplice to kick

By combining those pro tips with the core rules for how to play kick the can above, you are ready to kick things into high gear for maximum enjoyment. Now get out there and put your new kick the can skills to the test!


Few outdoor games deliver the pure excitement and competitive thrill of kick the can. Following the 10 fundamental rules provided gives you an ideal framework to maximize enjoyment of this timeless classic. Experimenting with next level strategies, game variations, and customizations will help tailor the experience to suit any group dynamic or setting while keeping things unpredictable and engaging for all skill levels.

Whether you’re at a family BBQ, on the campground, or just hosting friends in your backyard, immersing yourself in an epic game of kick the can is guaranteed nostalgic fun. So now that you know exactly how to set up and play, all that’s left to do is gather your crew, select a good kick can, designate a jail space, set those boundaries, strategize your approach, and get ready to have an absolutely blast! Game on!

Most Common Kick the Can FAQs

Do we really need teams? Can’t we just take turns guarding?

Absolutely! If you have just a few players, alternating the guard role works perfectly. But for larger groups, teams help coordinate strategy and add competitive spirit.

How do you stop the game from getting too competitive?

It’s all in good fun but emotions can occasionally run high, especially with teens and adults. So emphasize fun first, use gentle tags, encourage good sportsmanship, and consider having players switch teams periodically.

Can small kids play safely with big kids and adults?

Absolutely, just establish some safety rules verbally and also demonstrate proper tagging. Have an adult help guard small children if needed. Also let the bigger players know to tone down speed and competitiveness when playing with little kids.

How do you stop guard tag backs after getting freed from jail?

You have a few options. Most commonly, newly freed prisoners get 10 second immunity to reach hiding spots before they can get tagged again. Or guards can only seek players trying to kick the can and not target those running from jail.

What if one team keeps dominating and winning?

Try implementing a scoring system for successful kicks that leads to equalizing team switches once point thresholds get too unbalanced. Also intentionally mix up team assignments periodically regardless of points.


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