SPARKLERS / Kindness & friendship

Compliment Tag

An energising game of compliment giving and receiving.
Connections with the NZ Curriculum and Mental Health Education Guide (learn more)

Learning outcomes

Tamariki understand the value of compliments for our own and others' self-esteem.

He aha ai? – Why we love it

Giving and connecting with others are great ways to boost our wellbeing.

This activity gives tamariki the chance to practice giving and receiving compliments in a fun, energetic, ‘low-pressure’ way.

As well as giving each child an awesome self-esteem boost, this activity will remind students to be kind and compliment others.

Tikanga tips

Just in case, it might be wise to let your tamariki know to avoid touching another person’s head when they tag them. The head is tapu.


We’d suggest completing our Compliment poster activity before playing this game, to help tamariki understand and practice giving compliments.

And before playing, you may like to revisit:

  • What is a compliment? Saying nice things.
  • What sorts of things could we compliment? To help with the activity, list a mix of answers on the board (E.g. attitude, being good at something, being funny / friendly / kind, trying hard etc).
  • What's the difference between a 'deep' compliment and a 'surface' compliment? A surface compliment is something anyone could notice about the person (e.g. "You have nice hair."). A deep compliment is something you genuinely admire about the person, and could only notice if you knew them well (e.g. "I love in kapa haka that you have lots of energy and always give it your all.")
  • What does it take to give a deep compliment? Something that makes that person feel special and when you say it you're 'being real' or authentic.
  • How should we receive a kind compliment? Feel good! Say thank you!

Hei mahi - What to do

In the classroom, revisit our compliments kōrero (above) then head outside!

To play the game:

  • Start by nominating 1-2 people to be ‘in’.
  • When the person who's in tags someone, they shout "FREEZE" and everyone stops to hear the compliment.
  • Once the compliment is given the recipient can say "Thanks!" and give a high five, which means everyone can start moving again.
  • If needed: Say players cannot be tagged for three seconds after the high five, to allow some time to get away.

Keen for more?

Some maths options!

Send compliments via paper plane!

Tamariki can create paper plane using simple origami instructions like these. Then you might select another class member for them to write compliments about, covering the plane with as many as they can think of. Or ask tamariki to sit in a circle, fold their paper plan, then add their own name to this. They then pass their plane to the person on their right, and each plane travels around the circle collecting a compliment from each student. When the planes are nearly 'home' with their owners, take everyone outside and each student can launch their plane back to its owner.

Have them sit on the grass while they read them through, and soak them up in the sun.

Paper plane with compliments

This ideas was created by the groovy HLED122 2021 students at University of Canterbury. Ngā mihi for this super cool addition.

Compliments and times tables - what a combo!

We know that Chatterboxes are often used to support tamariki learning times tables. Add a compliment or kind action as the final prompt. A few options we love:

  • Awesome mahi! - go give a compliment.
  • That's so cool! - go help someone out for 5 minutes.
  • Ka rewe! - head off to share your smile.
  • Wicked! - go tell someone they're awesome and why.

This idea was beautifully created by Zoe Raines as part of the HLED122 paper at University of Canterbury.

Other ideas to extend Compliment Tag:

Share compliments using Compliment Tikete in your classroom. They're simple to use and great for short bursts to support positive behaviours and kindness.

Screen Shot 2022-07-01 at 2.38.43 PM

Make Compliment posters or try our Everyday kindness activity.

Check out this awesome Sparklers at home resource How to help kids be grateful and kind

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