Buffalo Bill (variation on fruit basket)


A combination of fruit basket, color tag, and red rover. When a select vocab word is called, students must run to the other side of the gym/field and try not to get tagged.

Materials Needed

  • word cards for each student (optional)
  • a gym or field


This is really only applicable to elementary school

Introduce a number of vocabulary words. After introducing the words, assign each word to a group of students. Later in the game, each group will have to respond to their select word, so make sure they memorize it well. You will also want a relatively small number of words because you want the groups to be rather large.

Line the students up at one end of the gym. Each end of the gym is “safe.” Pick a line on the floor to mark the boarder of the safe area.

One to three students will be chosen to be “it,” or oni (oh-knee) in Japanese. The students who are it decide on one of the vocabulary words and call it out. The students assigned to that word must now run across the gym to the other safe area on the opposite side without getting tagged. If they are tagged they must sit down where they are tagged. The students who have been tagged must stay there, and try to tag other students who pass by them. Students tagged by sitting students must also sit down and do likewise. The last student left untagged is the winner.


I used this as the final activity for a Halloween lesson. After teaching the students the names of western monsters, I told the kids we were going to play “the monster hunter game,” and played this game. The kids who were “it” were the hunters, standing students were monsters, and tagged students were pumpkins.


If you have kids who can't remember their word, or who just decide they want to run all the time, it might help to make up cards with the words on them that the kids can wear around their necks.

This activity is best explained to the kids by using a bit of Japanese, and drawing pictures on the blackboard as you talk.