Tug of war is a great game for when families get together. There are no limits on how many can play and everyone can join in. Tug of war, or Tosogā maea in Samoan, is a popular game in many early childhood services in New Zealand.

Why do it?

  • Fun for the whole family. 
  • Develops muscle strength and supports physical wellbeing. 
  • Builds family or group ties as everyone works together to win.
  • Values and draws on the strengths of all team members. 
  • Creates a growing sense of confidence and competence. 

How to do it

  • Use a thick, long piece of rope and tie some tape or a strip of fabric to the middle of the rope.
  • Find a suitable place outside on grass or a soft surface and make a mark on the ground in the middle of the area.
  • Sort everyone into two teams with the smallest tamariki at the front through to the largest in the whānau to be the anchor at the back. 
  • Each team picks up an end of the rope. 
  • Make sure the middle of the rope is centred over the mark on the ground. 
  • Those not joining in are needed for the referees. They stand in the middle and give the signal to start.
  • Each team of players begin pulling backwards as hard as they can.
  • The teams continue pulling until the first person in either team is pulled over the centre line on the ground, or the referees make a decision on the winner.

Using more Gagana Sāmoa

Fun together as a family
pull the rope
pull backwards
pick up the rope
work together
two teams for the game
have fun together