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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Duck, duck, goose

Encourage everyone to get active with this fun, traditional children’s game.

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  1. Everyone should sit in a circle, facing the middle.
  2. The person leading the game should choose one person to be the farmer. The farmer should stand up and everyone should shuffle around to fill their space. 
  1. The farmer should walk around the circle. As they pass each person, they should gently tap them on the head and say either ‘duck’ or ‘goose’.
  2. When the farmer says ‘duck’, nothing happens – the farmer should carry on going around and tapping people.
  3. When the farmer says ‘goose’, the person who was tapped on the head becomes the goose.
  4. The goose should get up and chase the farmer. The farmer should try to run around the circle and sit down in the space the goose left empty when they stood up. 
  5. If the goose catches the farmer before they get back to the space, then the farmer stays being the farmer and goose sits down back in their space.
  6. If the farmer gets back to the space without being caught by the goose, then the goose becomes the farmer.
  7. Everyone should repeat steps three to seven to keep playing until they’ve all had a turn at being the goose, time runs out, or they get bored of the game.  


During the game, everyone had to think about and show care for others when they were tapping them on the head. People also had to stick at it and not give up when they were trying to catch the farmer or run away from the goose.

Once you’ve finished the game, take some time to reflect. You could ask questions, for example:

  • Did people prefer being the farmer or the goose? Why did they prefer that role?
  • Was it difficult for the goose to catch the farmer? What made it easier? People might’ve noticed that it was easier for the goose if they were paying attention or if they were ready to stand up quickly. 
  • Did any of the farmers try to trick the ducks and the geese?


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Active games

The game area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed. Take a look at our guidance on running active games safely.

Contact games and activities

Make sure everyone understands what contact is acceptable, and monitor contact throughout the activity.

  • Encourage everyone to try being the farmer – but don’t force anyone if they really don’t want to have a turn.
  • Get everyone moving in different ways by asking them to skip, march, or stomp around the circle. 

Check in with everyone before you start playing. Does anyone feel uncomfortable with people touching their head? Is everyone happy to have a turn at being the goose and the farmer? 

If anyone doesn’t want to be touched, the farmer could just wave their hand above the person’s head without touching them at all. 

If anyone’s feeling especially shy and they don’t want to be the goose, they could nominate someone (an adult or a friend) to run for them. 

You don’t have to play this game with running – people could move in a different way (or at a different speed) if that would make the game more accessible for everyone. 

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.