Why playing freeze tag will make you a better parent (and athlete)



We gathered on the field, scattered across the green expanse. The four of us eyed each other cautiously. All of a sudden, we each started running across the field as fast as we could, darting in different directions and trying to escape my husband’s hands.

We were playing freeze tag and Ed was “It”.

I can’t remember the last time that I played freeze tag. It must have been elementary school. When Jasper asked if we could play together, my first instinct was to groan and find a way out of it. The last thing I wanted to do was run around and play tag.

But for some reason, both Ed and I agreed and we set out on a harried game. It was the most fun I have had in a long time.

I sprinted and laughed and screamed. I let go. I felt carefree.

As a grown-up and as a parent, there are so many roles we play. Most of those roles revolve around being responsible and pulled together – in short, to be an adult. But that doesn’t mean (shouldn’t mean) that we forget how to be carefree.

I think it was one of the few times that my kids have seen me with my guard down, completely down. I think that they need to see that every once in a while. I think that they need to see Mommy and Daddy running around and acting silly. I think that they need to see Mommy and Daddy as human beings.

While I am saying this a little tongue-in-cheek, freeze tag is a great way to sneak in a workout and some extra activity. It’s true!

Here are 5 additional benefits to playing freeze tag:

1) Speed work: It’s like a fartlek workout – a creative, less structured form of interval training.

2) Agility training: Darting back and forth plus quick changes in direction are sure to increase your agility.

3) Mental training: You have to be in-the-moment and focused. If you’re not, you’re likely to be tagged.

4) Strategic Thinking: You need to strategize how to get around the person who is “It” in order to un-freeze the other players.

5) Teamwork: Building on #4, you have to work together with the other players in other to beat the person who is “It”. Some players need to distract the person who is “It” while others zoom in to un-freeze the other players.

When was the last time you played freeze-tag?


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  1. says

    This is so true and I’ve had this as a recent revelation myself – only my boys like to play musical chairs (less physical) or just plain ‘ol tag! I was like you in that my first thought was “how do I get out of this?” But now, I play! The boys absolutely love it, and I’m starting too as well.
    Allie recently posted..What Is Really In A Protein Bar?My Profile

  2. says

    I love this! Especially the way you describe your interaction with your kids! So fun. We did something similar on Sunday. My mother’s day activity of choice is to go for a walk in “College Woods” on the campus of UNH, one of the paths leads you to the athletic fields and they recently put a synthetic field down. No one was there, an our family ran around the field until Jack and Sophia were exhausted. It was a perfect day too. So fun!
    Sarah @runfargirl recently posted..A New Perspective: Volunteering at the Big Lake Half MarathonMy Profile

  3. says

    I have been lucky enough to play freeze tag as a part of a before school activity we ran. The first time since being a kid was with a group of adults at our training – so fun :) The before school program calls it toilet tag. When you freeze, you squat with your hand up. When you’re get tagged free, you spin around once before running. The kids love it!
    Susan recently posted..Getting ready to Piggy Trot!My Profile

  4. says

    Great post Christine! So very true! Especially at a time when exercising is seen as a chore, this is a wonderful way to “play”, but get some wonderful benefits, both physically and emotionally. I love this, and I think it changes the perspective back to doing something fun for exercise….how it should be :)
    Tina Muir recently posted..Secrets to Success as a Runner; StridesMy Profile

  5. says

    I have the same initial reaction when my daughter wants to play a similar game… I like moving when it’ s my scheduled workout time, and then I just want to be a bit lazier. :) Jared’s much better at playing soccer with her or other sports. So glad you pushed yourself to get out and be silly- I’m sure they LOVED it!!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..9 High Protein Breakfast FoodsMy Profile

  6. says

    It’s been eons since I enjoyed a game of freeze tag. But Marco Polo and a spirited game of Frisbee happen here often. It’s always great to bring out that inner child!

  7. says

    Love it! I definitely think parents need to add a little silly into their day;) I may have a little too much of that in me, but I’m okay with that;) Freeze tag sounds so fun, and I don’t think I have played since I was a camp counselor when I was 20:)
    Rachelle Q recently posted..Walking a Fine LineMy Profile

  8. says

    I love that y’all played freeze tag – that used to be one of my all time favorite games!!! It has been way too long since we played something like that – I wonder if I can convince the boys that they aren’t too old?!
    Kim recently posted..The Day I Gave UpMy Profile

  9. says

    I love this. I am so guilty of not letting my guard down enough with my kids. My husband excels at it, though. But when I do, I find that I am laughing up a storm. It’s good for everyone and for all the reasons you listed!
    misszippy recently posted..Call me crazy?My Profile

  10. says

    Thank you for this post. It was a great reminder that I need to let my guard down with my boys and actually “play” with them instead of supervising. It’s easy to take things so seriously and harder to let go. I will try and play a game of freeze tag with my boys this week because of you. Thank you.

  11. says

    Anytime I can get outside and play (get a workout in) with my kids is great. This is a wonderful article about the benefits. Thanks for reminding us to just let go with our kids and we will receive some unintentional benefits.
    Heather recently posted..What’s On MyPlate?My Profile


  1. […] how Christine shares her FUN side as she incorporates fitness and fun with her son.  Her post, Why playing freeze tag will make you a better parent (and athlete) is a great informational and FUN […]

  2. […] want to run, jump, skip, cartwheel and yoga through life together with my boys. They remind me to play and to see the silliness in everyday life. They remind me to let go (sometimes) and to laugh – really deep belly laughs that are good […]

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