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How to Play Kick the Can

This urban version of hide-and-seek is practically a rite of childhood, so find a can and get kicking!


  • Step 1: Choose It Choose a player to be "it." 'It' kicks the can and the other players run and hide. Then "it" retrieves the can, closes their eyes, and counts to 100. At 100, they call out, "ready or not, here I come," and then looks for other players.
  • Step 2: Begin searching Search for the other players if you are "it." When 'it' finds a player, their name is called out and 'it' and the found player race to kick the can. If the hider kicks the can first, the game starts again. If 'it' kicks the can first, the hider goes to "jail," and stands near the can.
  • TIP: 'It' may call out someone's name and the place they are hiding rather than physically tagging them.
  • Step 3: Free the jailed Set jailed players free by kicking the can without being spotted by 'it.' If a player is spotted, they go to jail too.
  • TIP: Jailed players can ask other players to free them.
  • Step 4: Continue Continue play until all the players are found and in jail. The first person caught becomes 'it' in the next round of play.
  • Step 5: Shorten a long game Shorten a game that has gone on too long declaring that the first person caught three times is the new 'it' and begin a new game.
  • FACT: Did you know? Pop artist Andy Warhol made soup cans into art with his famous images of Campbell's soup cans.

You Will Need

  • Empty paint can or bucket
  • 3 or more players
  • Large outdoor space with hiding places

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