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Don’t miss Austin’s largest outdoor game festival in September 2020

For Immediate Release: 1/15/2020 

AUSTIN, TX – On the afternoon of Saturday, September 26, 2020, companies, collegiate teams, social athletic clubs, and families will gather at Circuit of the Americas for a challenge like Austin’s never seen before—the first annual TAG! Level Up event, benefiting Marathon Kids. Expect a festival atmosphere at this extraordinary game day, featuring themed tag arenas for adult teams, a kids’ zone for families, music and games, food, and drinks, and more. With tag games for competition and recreation, people of all ages and fitness levels are stepping up to the challenge.

Each TAG! arena will have its own game facilitators as well as themed games and prizes. Attendees can register as individuals or teams and jump in a game or two—or compete all afternoon! Simply want to cheer on the teams from the sidelines? You can also register as a spectator and enjoy all the event has to offer without breaking a sweat…at least, not much of one. It is Austin, after all! 

Heads-up, companies and corporations! TAG! Level Up offers myriad opportunities for businesses and corporations to get involved—starting with companies seeking a unique team-building experience. TAG! arenas can host up to 100 players at a time, and your coworkers will love running, shouting, diving, evading, and accessing their inner kid together. Sign up as a corporate team and compete together! 

We are also seeking vendors who’d like to set up a booth to display their products and services in front of two thousand-plus people. Special prices are available for nonprofits as well as for tables in the open pavilion. 

Want to sponsor this Austin original event? Join sponsors Whole Foods Market, and Tito’s Handmade Vodka in supporting Austin kids! All proceeds from TAG! Level Up will benefit Marathon Kids, inspiring kids to Level Up and be healthy and active for life. Sponsorships range from $1,000 to $50,000, and sponsors will receive benefits such as branding opportunities at the event—including entrance, obstacle and perimeter signage—as well as DJ announcements and speaking opportunities. Email tag@marathonkids.org for more information. 

Calling all volunteers! Volunteers are invited to come help out at TAG! and be a part of an incredible community with the goal of setting kids on the path toward a healthy, active lifestyle! 

About Marathon Kids: Founded in Austin in 1995, Marathon Kids is a nonprofit organization that seeks to get kids active and keep them active for life. With coach-led run clubs in schools across the country, including 81 elementary schools across Austin ISD, we provide fun running experiences for kids, regardless of their backgrounds or abilities. We have transformed the lives of 2.5 million children so far by showing them they can achieve more than they ever thought possible through daily physical activity. Find out more at MarathonKids.org and Taglevelup.com

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Attention, Austin area Marathon Kids! Did you know you could be building up your miles, earning stamps on your mileage log for run club credit, and even winning cool prizes, just by attending fun weekend social runs? We’re talking about Austin 10K’r events—free social runs hosted by the staff of the Capitol 10,000, held Saturday mornings for the next couple of months leading up to the big race.

The Statesman Capitol 10,000—or as most Austinites dub it, the Cap10K—is the largest 10K race in the state of Texas. Designed to complement Cap10K runners’ race training, the Austin 10K’r runs are free and open to the public. That means you don’t have to be in training for the Cap10K, or any 10K race, to attend an Austin 10K’r event. In fact, you don’t even have to run; all Austin 10K’r events are both run- and walk-friendly.

All you have to do to get the most out of these free events is RSVP beforehand on Eventbrite (so the event hosts can plan their supplies), and then show up, go at your own pace and enjoy the pride of doing something fun that’s also great for your health.

Special Routes and Stamps for Marathon Kids

Runners who are active with Marathon Kids at their school can collect a Cap10K Armadillo participation stamp on their mileage logs for each Austin 10K’r run they participate in, to bring back to their run club coaches for mileage credit. Each Austin 10K’r event will also have a Marathon Kids family one-mile route and map for those who don’t want to cover the full mileage.

A representative from Marathon Kids will be present at each Austin 10K’r event to give high-fives and hand out ’Dillo Stamps. The more events you attend and stamps you collect, the more prizes you can win, including a Marathon Kids training tee shirt, a Marathon Kids drawstring bag, or even a $25 Nike gift card. Wow! (Please note that prizes are not guaranteed; they will be available in limited quantities and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis at the final run at the end of March.)

What’s the Next Austin 10K’r Route and Theme?

The next Austin 10K’r will be the Moonlight Tower Run on Saturday, February 1. Runners will meet at the Austin American-Statesman’s main warehouse, on South Congress Avenue just south of the river, for a pre-run stretch at 7:50 a.m. The group will leave at 8:10 a.m. on a route that passes three of the city’s remaining moonlight towers, which have been a special and beloved part of the local skyline since the 1890s.

Complimentary refreshments will be available before and after the run, including Clif Bars, hot chocolate and Dasani bottled water; participants can also stick around for some post-run group stretches. Be sure to check the Feb. 1 event page for special travel and parking instructions.

Most, but not all, of the Austin 10K’r runs will begin and end at the Statesman offices, and parking for the runs is always free. The runs vary in distance each weekend from three to six miles, and all are self-guided as well as self-paced. Run themes and locations vary from week to week; the Valentine’s-themed run on Saturday, February 8, for example, will meet up at the Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Pflugerville and snake through the Falcon Pointe neighborhood. Check out the full schedule on the Austin 10K’r site, and always be sure to RSVP in advance as well as check the individual event pages for any special instructions regarding road closures or weather advisory information.

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Marathon Kids’ youth running program is now FREE and includes access to Marathon Kids Connect, a best-in-class physical activity and distance tracking mobile app and cloud-based reporting platform!

In addition to our free PE program, we’re happy to offer a host of free pe curriculum, resources, and fun pe activities to make this the best year yet for you and your students!

Printable Resources

Marathon Kids Mileage Log (English and Spanish)
Mini Mileage Log
Activity Log
Running Games
Certificate of Accomplishment

Healthy Running for Kids

23 Warm-Up Activities for Kids
23 Cool-Down Activities for Kids
Cold Weather Running Tips
Hot Weather Running Tips

Indoor and Outdoor PE Games

Best Safe Distance Indoor Games
Best Indoor PE Games
8 Great Outdoor PE Games for Kids
Best Indoor Recess Games

PE Running Games
6 Agility Games

PE Games for Kids

PE Games for Small Groups
6 PE Games for Middle School Students
Best Adapted and Inclusive PE Games
Top Ten Twists on Tag!
5 Team Building Games for Kids

Motivation for Kids

Healthy Eating Fuel Logs
Motivational Tips

Themed PE Activities

Five Spooky PE Games for Halloween!
Five Festive Holiday PE Games

The Importance of Physical Activity

Essential Connection Between PE and Academic Performance
Daily Physical Activity Can Alleviate Anxiety and Depression in Children

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The very idea of indoor recess can make teachers feel like tearing their hair out, but inclement weather doesn’t have to strike fear into educators’ hearts! Research has shown time and again that kids need plenty of time to move their bodies, especially during the school day—and when it’s too cold, hot, wet, snowy or icy for kids to play outside, indoor recess games become a necessity.

Fortunately, there are plenty of fun indoor recess games that children love, that aren’t screen-oriented or Internet-based, and we’ve got a kid-approved list of the very best ones. These are eight indoor recess games for children of all ages, from preschool on up through elementary and middle grades, and easily adapted all abilities. Let the games begin!

Best Indoor Recess Games

Best Indoor Recess Games

1. Dance Party

This one can be as simple and easy as turning on some tunes and letting students groove to the beat. Tailor the music to your particular students’ ages and interests; encourage them to hop, skip or shake their arms and their hips. Give students lengths of ribbon if you have them, to incorporate colorful beauty along with their movements. You can also do a version of musical chairs; if you don’t have actual chairs available, simply use removable dots of tape on the floor.

2. Would You Rather?

This game is great for indoor recess with students of any age and ability, as both questions and accompanying movements can be tailored to any group of kids.

Students line up in two lines on either side of a long strip of tape laid out on the floor; one side of the taped line will correlate with Option A, and the other side with Option B. The teacher will ask the group a series of “Would you rather…?” questions, making them as fun, gross or hilarious as is appropriate. Questions might include things like, “Would you rather eat ice cream with mustard on top or an apple with a worm in it?” or “Would you rather somersault or run backward all the way around the room?” As students choose which option they would rather do, they jump (or step, roll or otherwise move) from one side of the taped line to the other.

3. Tag (Any Version)

This oldie-but-goodie is a favorite among kids of all ages, and best of all, there are tons of different versions of the game to choose from! Check out our Top Ten Twists on Tag post for some great variations on this timeless classic game of chase-and-catch.

4. Paper Plate Balloon Badminton

This fun, active indoor recess game, perfect for kids of any age, creates the best kind of chaos. Best of all, it’s incredibly simple! Children use paper plates to bat at balloons. That’s it! You can set rules if you like, or divide students into pairs or teams—or just have a free-for-all that will keep everyone laughing and moving for as long as recess lasts. Also, there’s no reason the teacher should have to do everything (or have all the fun!), so be sure to have your students help you blow up the balloons before the games begin.

5. Yoga and Stretching

Best Indoor Recess Games

While not technically an indoor recess game, yoga—and stretching in general—can be a wonderful way to start and end recess with students of any age. Since yoga and stretching are also meditative activities, they can help students calm their minds and develop their focus before returning to the rigors of the classroom. Simple stretches or yoga moves can include child’s pose (kneeling and bending at the waist to rest the chest on the knees and the arms and forehead on the floor); downward dog (starting on hands and knees, and pressing upward on the hands and feet or toes into a whole-body, inverted-V shape).

6. Toss and Talk

Have students stand in a circle; the teacher calls out a category, such as Your Pet’s Name, Your Favorite Movie or Your Least Favorite Food, and tosses a bean bag, stuffed animal or other soft object to the first student. That student catches the item and holds it only long enough to call out their answer before tossing it to the next student to catch and give their answer.

7. Arts and Crafts

Moving the body and getting the heart pumping are undeniably important during the school day, but they aren’t the only ways for students to get a brain break. Sometimes, the best indoor recess games are arts-and-crafts-based, as these types of activities allow students to explore their imaginations and exercise their creativity as they get lost in colors, textures and lines. Give students large sheets of butcher paper and markers, pencils or even washable finger paints, and let them express themselves to their hearts’ content.

You can build in movement by making it a progressive group event: Have each student (or pairs of students) start at one sheet of paper and draw for thirty seconds to one minute before leaping up and moving on to the nearest paper, to add to that drawing. Ideally, by the end of recess, every sheet of paper will be a beautiful collaboration of multiple students’ work, and every student will have gotten some walking and plyometric jumps in along with their creativity session.

8. Charades

If you aren’t a theatre teacher, you might never have considered Charades as a good indoor recess game—but it can be a ton of group fun, whether your students are in preschool, middle or high school, or any grade level between. Have students act out book titles, characters, historical figures or scientific concepts they’ve been covering in class, or song or film titles that are currently popular among the kid crowd. Charades are fun as a whole-class activity or played in teams; you can even have play-offs, with winning groups going head to head in a final round.

Want more? Check out our list of the best indoor PE games!


Marathon Kids is on a mission to get kids moving. The nonprofit organization offers free physical education programming through Marathon Kids Connect, a cloud-based PE and run club management platform that includes a mobile app for digital activity-tracking.

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At Brightmont Academy, a private school serving six through 12th grades located in the Issaquah/Sammamish suburbs of Seattle, Washington, there is a Marathon Kids club with only five members. The runners, who are all in high school, meet for 30 minutes each school day with their coach, Brightmont teacher John Kernan. Together, the group runs, walks, bikes, lifts weights, or performs a combination of these activities to build health and accumulate miles.

“We have an extensive trail system adjacent to our school in the Cascade Mountain range,” says Coach Kernan. “We have had our club for over two years. During that time, we have run, walked and biked over 2,300 miles together. We have virtually traveled from Seattle to LA to Denver, and we’re now on our way to Austin!”

Running Helps Students Manage Stress And Other Special Needs

Students at Brightmont, a unique national school with locations in several states, deal with depression, anxiety, learning disabilities, health issues and other special needs. The school’s educational model is based on one-to-one instruction—one teacher working with one student—in order to customize learning for each student’s individual needs, thereby increasing both engagement and motivation.

Coach Kernan has coached track for over 40 years at all levels, including U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes; he is also a longtime special and physical education teacher. He first encountered Marathon Kids at the 2017 Prefontaine Classic Track Meet in Eugene, Oregon. “I have conducted research on learning and physical activity,” he says, “and I am a strong proponent of daily physical activity for students of all ages.”

He reports that Brightmont teachers see a significant difference when their students run or exercise during the school day. “Most of our students have various needs and issues that need addressing, and we can see results through this club.”

Miles Can Be Logged Both Indoors And Outdoors

Coach Kernan monitors the area’s variable weather conditions so that students can bike or lift weight indoors during inclement weather. He utilizes Marathon Kids warm-ups and games as well as other running workouts, and charts all the run club students’ mileage himself. “We can get between two and eight bike miles per day,” he says. In the club’s first year together, the student runners and participating staff members logged nearly 400 miles as a group, and their collective mileage has vastly increased since then.

In fall 2019, Coach Kernan nominated 10th-grader Titu Prabhu for Marathon Kid of the Month. Prabhu’s motto is inspiring: “Running is Fun; Get Going!” Coach Kernan points out that the run club “helps students get active, set goals, get involved with their communities, track their miles and do better in their academics”—a win–win for everyone in the Brightmont community.

Coach Kernan recommends the Marathon Kids program to any teacher or coach who wants to get involved. “I have been running myself for over 50 years. I believe very strongly in the program and its ability to get children moving.”