from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A children's game in which one player tries to find and tag others who are hiding before each hiding player can run to and kick a can or other designated object near the center of the field of play.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A game played by children, similar to tag.


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  • Kick the can is a game, related to tag, hide and seek, and capture the flag which can be played outdoors by anywhere from three to a few dozen people.

    In general the game goes something like this: One person (possibly a team of people) is (are) designated as "it" and a can (paint can or metal pail (bucket)) or similar object is placed in the open (usually the middle of a backyard,a green, a cove or cul de sac, parking lot or very lightly traveled street).

    The other players run off and hide while the "it" covers his eyes and counts to a previously decided number.

    "It" then tries to find and tag each of the players. Any player who is tagged (caught and touched) is sent to the holding pen (jail) which is simply a designated area for all the captured players to congregate, generally in plain sight of the can. Any player who has not been caught can "kick the can." If they can kick the can without being caught then they set all of the captured players free.

    If "it" catches all of the players he or she wins that round and generally a new "it" is designated for the next round.

    Thus this game is one of skill, strategy and stealth as well as fleetness.


    January 28, 2008

  • See also kick the bucket.

    January 29, 2008