Kick The Can: No Equipment Outdoor Game

Kick The Can: No Equipment Outdoor Game

Have you ever heard about the game ‘Kick The Can”? This outdoor game was trendy among children during the great depression in the 1930s. It was a popular pastime because it did not require any equipment or money. Kick the can is mentioned in Francisco Jimenez’s book The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child’s Life. If you have an open space and an empty kickable object such as a can, Nesquik jar, plastic bottle, or anything like that, then you should try this game with your friends. Kick the can rules are quite simple and liked by the kids. Before jumping onto the rules, let’s first discuss where and how this game was originated.


History of Kick the can Game

Kick the can game is a very old children’s game, and no one knows precisely where or when it originated. Did you know many Americans of a certain age grew up playing yard games that required no equipment? But at the turn of the 20th century, as child labor decreased, kids had a lot of free time on their hands. They had the freedom to play, read comics or books, and explore their world in whatever way, such as paintings. But with the increasing priority of education, extracurricular activities became less significant. Today, we realize the need for children to play. 


In the 1930s, kids didn’t have expensive equipment or toys to play with, so; they invented this kick the can game for their time pass. As you know, in this game, you don’t need any toys or equipment. Rather than using a ball, the only piece of equipment is an empty can. Except for the can, kick the can game only needs a playground or an ample space with enough hiding place. 


Kick the can game is played with three or over 20 players. For this game, You’ll need to organize the fields and players, establishing the boundaries, and setting up a jail. Here are the basic rules for the game:

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Kick the Can Rules:


Gather the players in one place

You’ll need at least three people for this game. If you have ample space and enough hiding place, then you can play this game with twenty people. No age limit is required for this game, so you can ask your elders to play this game. You’ll need to organize the fields and players, establishing the boundaries, and setting up a jail. 


Find the can or bottle.

Can is an essential part of this game. You can use anything such as cans, bottles, or plastic jars. Kick the can rules are straightforward, and for this, you don’t have to stick to cans. Your can should not go too far or near, and it should be in medium distance within your playing ground. You may put some rocks into your can.


Establishing the boundaries

Kick the can rules say that a big playground and park will be a good option for this game. You can use rocks, branches, paths for your hiding place so that you can hide easily. 


Set the playing can

The best option to set your can is closer to jail. Whenever the can is kicked, the person who has kicked the can will run towards the jail to free others. Hider will run towards the jail, and everyone inside the jail will get the chance to run away and hide again.


Designate the jail area

The jail is where players go when the seeker catches them. Keep in mind that your jail should have a clear boundary and large enough to fit the playing players, but not much larger than that.


Pick the seeker and agree on a count time.

Use stone, paper, scissors, or any method to choose the seeker. No matter how many players are playing the game, there is only one seeker per game. The seeker should close their eyes ideally, and now the seeker will count for hiders. All other players should find a hiding spot. When the seeker finishes counting, they can search for the other players. 


Set up the can/bottle

Set up the item you are using in place of the can. You should locate your can. If the can is kicked, the seeker will have to run towards the jail while jailed players are running away.


Go to Jail when caught by the seeker.

Seekers have to call out the hider’s name and hiding spot. Then the hider and the seeker need to race back to the can. If the seeker arrives first, the hider will be in jail, but if the hider comes first, they must kick the can and free all the hiders from jail. 


Reset the game when the can is kicked

After the can is kicked, the hider runs to find a new hiding place, and all the jailed players are freed when the hider kicks the can. At the same time, the seeker gets the can and places it back where it was. The seeker has to keep an eye on the can to prevent hiders from sneaking up on it. In some cases, kick the can rules require counting again before the game can proceed. 


Play until only one hider remains

Kick the can rules say you need to set a timer of 15 or 30 minutes or use alarms to search the hiders. The last hider is always a winner, but in some cases, the seeker catches all the hiders and is considered a winner. Sometimes, the playtime continues until the seeker has jailed all the hiders. 

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How to Play Kick the Can?

You need at least three or five or more people, an empty can or plastic bottle for this game. 

Game Play: One person has designated ‘It,’ and an empty can is placed in the playground. It counts to an agreed-upon number, and the other players run and hide. 

Then It tries to find out the hiders and always keeps a watchful eye on the can. If It finds any hider, then the hider is sent to jail. Then the rest of the players trying to attempt to kick the can. If they kick the can without being caught, they set all the captured players free. 

You can make this game more interesting by adding two seekers when playing with a large group. If you are playing with twenty players, then two seekers are fair enough. The addition of more seekers helps to balance the game. Then the seekers can split between two- seeking and protecting or defense the can.

If you want to add more seekers, then you have to add cans too. Two seeker game might have two cans. You may set a rule that seekers cannot stand or wait in front of the jail or babysit the can. 


Final Words

No matter how old are you? You can play this kick the can game without feeling shy.  Playing this game is relatively simple and was much the same as Hide and Seek. This type of outdoor and movement-oriented games are beneficial for both the body and mind. However, playing in a dark place can be dangerous, so always avoid dark areas for this game. Next time when you are outside, give it a try!



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