What it is: A small-group (even two-player) playground game my son and I invented at the park the other day. (Since my son invented the game, I let my five-year-old daughter contribute to this post by drawing the post artwork. So the cat doesn’t have anything to do with the game, but it’s cute, right?)

Best for: A grown-up and some kids at a playground

What you need:

  • A camera or smartphone

How to play: The other day at the park, the weather was nice and all I wanted was to take some cute pictures of my kids. My one-year-old, I could understand how it would be difficult. It’s hard to get her to sit still. I didn’t have much luck. My five-year-old, she obliged me a little bit. But my seven-year-old, he’s old enough to know to sit still, right? Old enough to cooperate and let his mom get a good picture of him? Nope, not at all. I couldn’t get a single good shot of his face.

But, on the plus side, it led to us creating a new form of tag that my son loved and was a lot of fun.

We call it photo tag!

It’s kind of like hide-and-seek, and it’s best played somewhere players can hide, like on a playground. One person (the grown-up with the camera) is It. We’ll call her Mom. All the players run and scatter throughout the playing area while Mom counts to ten, then opens her eyes and, armed with her finger poised over the camera button, starts searching for the players.

Mom’s goal is simple: capture a photo of a player that clearly shows the player’s whole face. The players are allowed to run, hide, and evade Mom, but are not allowed to cover their faces with their hands.

At the end of your playing time, Mom can show all the players the pictures she took. The player with the least photos of their face wins. Or, Mom can show players pictures as she takes them.

This probably isn’t a game where you’ll want to take turns being It. Better just let Mom handle the camera, unless you’re playing with teens or above.

Variations: If you are playing with teens or above, let everyone hold a phone/camera, and everyone can be It at the same time. Then at the end of an allotted time, everyone shows any picture they got of someone else’s whole face. The player with no photos or the least photos of his or her face wins!

Samples: Interestingly enough, this game actually led to some of the cutest pictures of the day, candid ones I shot as my son was trying to evade me. Since he was having so much fun, his smiles are genuine. Mom wins!

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