Revolutionary War Game

based on 677 ratings
See more activities in: Fifth Grade, July 4th/Independence Day

This outdoor game, a modification of "Capture the Flag", uses ball, baskets, and foam to re-enact the fight between the Redcoats and the Patriots in Massachusetts in 1775.

Can your foam-armed "Patriots" stop the "Redcoats" from capturing Concord's armory? You'll find out!

What You Need:

  • 10-20 tennis balls, or other soft, rubber balls, at least two per person
  • Three empty baskets—laundry baskets work great
  • 2-3 short sticks of foam, such as a section from an old pool “noodle”, about 12-18”
  • 8 sport cones or other markers to place on the field
  • Optional: red, white, and blue streamers; duct tape


  1. Assemble the props and clear the field area. Collect tennis balls (or any rubber balls of any size) that you have on hand or that you can borrow from friends and family. Place the balls in one of the baskets, and take a quick count. These balls will be the "cannonballs" in the armory for the game.
  2. Gather the foam sticks which will act as the “bayonet muskets” for the patriots. These foam sticks will help young kids extend their reach, so they should be soft to avoid injury. To add more color to the game, have the kids decorate their foam sticks by wrapping red, blue, and white streamers around them, so everyone can be very clear who and where the “Patriots” are!
  3. Set up the field. Find an open space that will accommodate all the kids. At one end of the space, place one empty basket and put four cones around it. This basket represents the British headquarters in "Boston". At the other end, place the basket full of balls and put four cones around it. This basket represents the "Concord Armory." In the middle of the field, place the third basket. This middle basket will represent the patriots' "secret stash" basket that was the property of the Continental Army.

What You Do:

  1. Choose the teams. Depending on the size of the group, select three or so “Patriots” (more, if the group is large). Have the patriots stand in the middle of the field, and give each of them a “bayonet musket” to hold. Everyone else will be a Redcoat.
  2. The Redcoats' goal is to run across the field without being tagged, grab no more than two "cannonballs" from the armory, and make it back to the other end of the field, or "Boston". As long as they have not been tagged, the Redcoats can keep running back and forth until they have brought all their arms back to their side.
  3. The Patriot's goal is to tag the Redcoats with their "bayonet muskets". If a Patriot tags a Redcoat, the Redcoat must sit down where he was tagged on the field until the round is over. Any cannonballs the tagged Redcoat was carrying will be confiscated by the Continental Army and placed them in the "secret stash" basket in the middle of the field.
  4. Each round ends either when all the Redcoats are tagged, or when all the cannonballs have been removed from the "Concord Armory".
  5. The final cannonball count signals the victory: if the majority of the balls have returned to "Boston", then the Redcoats have won, but if the majority of the balls are in the Patriots' stash or in the armory, the Patriots win!
Updated on Jun 20, 2013
Printable Workbooks from
Find a printable workbook to go along with this fun activity. See Workbooks
Add your own comment
Recommended Learning Products
Trust to find smart things kids love
Unlimited Workbooks and Worksheets
90% of Students Understand Concepts Better Since Using PLUS
Make Math Practice Fun and Engaging
Interactive Math Lessons for Elementary School Students
A Fun and Easy Way to Learn Programming
Proven approach quickly guides kids to success