Our Focus Areas

FF-14: Cat and Mouse

FF-14: Cat and Mouse


20 minutes




Children will play a relay chase game.

Did You Know?

Less than 25% of children get 20 minutes of cardiovascular activity each week. Children need to be reminded how fun it can be to raise their heart rate through vigorous activity so that they will continue to do it regularly as they age.


  • Cones or lines to mark the playing area


  1. Create a large square or rectangle in the play space using cones.
  2. Warm up and stretch together. While stretching, explain the importance of making your heart work (see Key Talking Points below).
  3. Split the children into two teams: cats and mice. Then have them stand in a single file line on the diagonal corners of the square or rectangle.
  4. When you yell, go! the first child in each line starts sprinting counterclockwise along the square/rectangle, trying to catch the other runner. Therefore, the cats are chasing the mice and vice versa.
  5. Encourage children to jog in place while waiting for their turn. This will help them stay warm so they can run as fast as possible.
  6. The child tags the next teammate in line once he or she returns to his or her corner. The relay continues until a cat or mouse is tagged.
  7. The team who did the tagging receives a point.
  8. Play resumes with the next two people in line to run.
  9. Encourage children to drink water before (to help them play) and after (recover from) the game.

Helpful Hints:

  • Demonstrate by running around the square/rectangle.
  • Explain how they cannot cut through the center of the square/ rectangle, they must run from corner to corner. If lines are available, use them!
  • Explain that the game is similar to a relay race. Only one team member runs at a time, and you don?t run until the person in front of you tags you.

Key Talking Points:

  1. Cardiovascular activity is when you raise your heart rate by moving all your large muscles for a certain amount of time.
  2. By participating in a cardiovascular activity at least three times a week, children can build strong bones and muscles, keep their heart and lungs healthy, and prevent overweight and chronic disease.
  3. You can tell that you are giving your heart a workout when it starts beating faster. You take your pulse by placing two fingers on the inside of your wrist or on the side of your neck and count the number of beats in a minute (or the number of beats in 15 seconds X 4).
  4. Warming up before physical activity prevents injuries, increases body temperature, and gets the body ready for vigorous activity.
  5. Stretching after cardiovascular activity is a great way to cool down and make sure your muscles stay flexible.
  6. Being physically active during the day, helps you to sleep better at night.
  7. Drinking a lot of water is especially important during cardiovascular activity to replace the water your body loses when you sweat. Being dehydrated during vigorous activity can make you feel tired and cause muscle cramps.
  8. Other activities that help get your heart pumping are: fast walking, bicycling, swimming, skating, and playing sports like soccer or basketball.


  1. If it?s near Valentine?s Day, try putting together Bulletin Board 7: Dear Valentine. This encourages children to think about the health of their hearts.
  2. Put together Bulletin Board 8: Guess Who? Children illustrate a favorite activity and make an interactive bulletin board. Illustrations can be changed and rearranged as much as you?d like.


Suggested by Athletes in Service to America, Northeastern University Center for the Study of Sport in Society