Sardines Game Rules: How to Play Sardines

Sometimes you’ll need to find a game to play that will keep a bunch of kids entertained for hours. If you know the Sardines rules then you’ll have yourself a game that you can bust out for such an occasion.

Sardines is basically hide and seek but in reverse. How does this work you may ask?

One person hides, everyone else goes looking. But the game doesn’t end there, not by a long shot.

So if you would like to know more about this game, continue reading to learn all about the Sardines game rules.

What Is Sardines the game?

Sardines Game Info image

Sardines gives a fresh perspective on the classic game of Hide and Seek, with the important twist that once a player gets found, the finder joins them in their hiding spot.

It’s the perfect game to introduce if you have a big group as everyone can get involved in some way. Also, unlike certain games like the Fruit Salad game or the Egg Drop game you don’t need any specific equipment to be able to play. 

Number of Players Required: 4+.

Who Can Play It: Anyone, but kids mostly play this one.

Difficulty: Easy.

Length of Play: At least 10 minutes depending on the quality of hiding spots.

Similar to: Hide and Seek; Scavenger Hunt; Stuck in the Mud

Main Objective: Avoid being the last person still looking for the other players at the end of the game.

Why We Love It: Whether you are an adult or you’re introducing Sardines to the kids you will definitely enjoy the laughs that Sardines can bring. 

Playing Sardines – What You’ll Need.

Sardines is a game that requires the bare minimum to play, although picking your location to play is the most important aspect.

You will need somewhere that not only has lots of space to hide, but also large spaces to hide too. The reason for this we’ll explain further on in this guide.

There will be all bar 1 person who begins the game counting, so you can either do it the old-fashioned way or you can use a stopwatch to do the counting for them.

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How To Set Up Sardines.

As long as Sardines gets played in an area with many hiding spots pre-arranged, there isn’t any more set-up that you’ll need to do.

As you would expect, the more players the larger the area you’ll need to play. Playing this game on a camping trip or summer camp would be a good idea for example.

Related Camp Games for Small Groups

Sardines Game Rules.

Make sure everyone is clear on the Sardines game rules before starting the game, especially if playing in a larger group so that there’s no confusion during the game.

Starting the Game.

Begin by deciding who starts the game, do this whichever way you would like to.

Whoever gets picked needs to start the game by hiding wherever they would like as the others all wait either 2 minutes or until someone counts to 100.

After the time expires, the game begins.

How to Play Sardines.

Players need to search for the starting player who hides somewhere that they think is a good place to hide.

Once someone else finds them, they ask the player ‘Are you the Sardine’, and they have to confirm that they are.

That player then joins them in their hiding spot, which is why you’ll need to play in a place with large hiding spots.

This continues until only 1 player remains, where the game ends. That player then becomes ‘it’ for the next round.

Scoring In Sardines.

If you wanted to, you could put in place scores into Sardines to see who is the ultimate winner once everyone finishes playing.

Give whoever finds the player the first 5 points, second 3 points, and third 1 point and add them together at the end to declare the winner.

Frequently Asked Questions.

Is it better to play Sardines indoors or outdoors?

Fortunately, you can play this game either way as long as there are plenty of hiding spots for everyone to use.

Playing in a wooded area for example would work just as well as a large house, although make sure players know not to wander off too far unsupervised if playing outdoors

Is there anything in the Sardines rules that forbids moving to a different hiding position?

Players cannot move from their hiding position once they have picked it.

This includes those who join the original hider in their spot, as part of the fun is seeing everyone packed into one spot (hence the name of the game too!).

Alternative Games to Sardines.

If you’re looking for more outdoor games to play with the kids, then why not have a look at Monkey in the Middle or read our guide to Stuck in the Mud game

For indoor game ideas such as board games or card games, be sure to have a look at our suggestions for these. For more inspiration check out our list of indoor youth group games as well.

Learn the Watch Ya Mouth rules, or read our guide to the Go Fish rules for an idea of just how many varieties of games you can play with your kids.

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