How to Play Four Corners

by James Holloway ; Updated September 22, 2017

There are two classic children's games called Four Corners; they have similar square playing areas, but are different in several ways. Indoor Four Corners is essentially a guessing game, while the outdoor version relies on speed, timing and observation.

Indoor Version

Indoor four corners is an option for indoor recess on a rainy day. Any number can play, although the higher the number of participants, the longer the game will take. One player is "it;" this player sits in the center of the room with his eyes closed while the other players scatter to the room's four corners, which should have numbers assigned. Once the players are in position, "it" calls out the number of a corner. All the players in that corner are out. Players now have a chance to change corners if they wish to. Once they have, "it" calls out another number. This process repeats until only one player remains. The winning player then becomes "it."

Outdoor Four Corners

The outdoor variant of Four Corners, also known as "Canadian Four Corners," is a tag game played in a square playing area. "It" stands in the center, while the other four players stand in the corners. While in the corners, the players are safe and can't be tagged. The objective of the players is to switch place s with the players in the other corners without being tagged by "it." There's nothing to stop the corner players from staying still -- but the game won't be very interesting if they do. If "it" tags a player or moves into an empty corner before he can, that player becomes "it."

About the Author

Dr James Holloway has been writing about games, geek culture and whisky since 1995. A former editor of "Archaeological Review from Cambridge," he has also written for Fortean Times, Fantasy Flight Games and The Unspeakable Oath. A graduate of Cambridge University, Holloway runs the blog Gonzo History Gaming.