The Game of Banana Tag

Grade Levels: K - 5

Posted: August 27, 2020 | Updated: August 27, 2020
Created by: Schoolhouse by the Sea

In this game, everyone is “it”!

Banana Chant

I like to begin the game with the camp cheer, the Banana Chant. Bring all the players into a circle and lead the song:

Bringing your right arm slowly from your side to above your head, say:

Form Banana, form, form Bananas

Bringing your left arm slowly from your side to meet your right arm above your head, say:

Form Banana, form, form Bananas

Bringing your right arm slowly from above your head to down your side, say:

And we peel Banana, peel, peel Banana

Bringing your left arm slowly from above your head to down your side, say:

And we peel Banana, peel, peel Banana

Here you can go straight to the final verse OR you can make up a recipe and a corresponding movement for each action verse.
I like to do a different recipe each time, here’s an example:

Freeze bananas, freeze, freeze bananas; melt some chocolate, melt melt some chocolate; dip in chocolate, dip dip in chocolate; eat bananas, eat eat bananas.

With this final verse, everyone can run out to fill the designated “tag” space. Be very clear about the boundaries before you begin the Banana Chant. Have children jump in place one they found where they want to start.


Rules of the Game

  1. When players are in place, call out “BANANAS, SPLIT”!
  2. Every player is it, so every player tries to tag any one else.
  3. When someone is tagged, they must sit crouch down in place. They must watch the person who tagged them -- because when their tagger is tagged, the person who was out is released! Once again, that person is it!

    1. If two people tag each other at the same time (or if there are disagreements about who tagged whom first), the two players settle it with a round of rock paper scissors. The person who loses crouches down to watch the person who won, until they are tagged. Then, the person who lost the rock-paper-scissors tournament is released! The winner, who was just tagged, watches the person who tagged them. When that person is tagged, the original winner of rock paper scissors is released, too!
  4. Eventually, only two people might be left standing. When one of these people tags the other, lots of people will be released and the game continues.

    1. You can keep players more active by calling out “Bananas PEEL!”, when the game has slowed because so many people have been tagged. This automatically frees all players who are crouched!
  5. The game ends when only one person is left standing OR when time is up.

    1. I like to keep players active throughout the game and end without a winner. I call everyone back in with “BANANAS MUSH”!

I’m Building a Bridge of Bananas

If you wish, you can end by having everyone recite together a delightfully silly poem, “I’m Building a Bridge of Bananas” by Jack Prelutsky.

I'm building a bridge of bananas
it's pretty, but not very strong.
Bananas are not very sturdy,
bananas don't last very long.
Initially green, and then yellow,
increasingly speckled with brown,
inevitably, as they ripen,
it's clear that my bridge will fall down.

My bridge is developing fissures,
and even some sizeable gaps.
It's senseless to try and repair it,
I might as well let it collapse.
It waggles and sags in the middle,
It wobbles and droops at the end,
and so I've alerted by neighbors
as well as my family and friends.

They're trucking in freezers of ice cream
of every last flavor that's made,
plus whipped cream and chocolate syrup,
both of a premium grade.
They're bringing me barrels of walnuts,
and cherries without any pits -
we'll shortly be sharing delicious
gigantic banana bridge splits!