Grade level: K-6
Equipment: Hula hoops, pool noodles, lilly pads, paper
Game Description: Ice fishers is essentially a pretend game of ice fishing in the gym (lake). Players bring their pretend fishing rods (pool noodles) to a fishing hole (hula hoop), look for a fish, and bring back a fish if they find one. Lots of fun in this relay-style team game. All you need to do is cut out some fish on poster paper, hide them under lilly pads inside hula hoops, and teams get going. Lots of fun, lots of action, and teachable moments. Add special items or modifications to make it even more fun (like weight of fish, obstacles, etc)!
Grade level: K-4
Game Description: In this tag game, players who are tagged turn into a snowflake by standing in the shape of a star. The sun will go around melting the snowflakes so they can get back into the game.
Grade Level: K-6
Game Description: This warm-up or teambuilding game is simple, yet awesome! Students spread out in the playing area. Give maybe 20-30 seconds for them to just run around and around (or skip, hop, gallop, spin, etc). When the time is right, the teacher yells out a number (example, “SIX!”) and then the students must quickly form groups of 6 (or whatever number is called). Any players who didn’t make a group must complete 6 jumping jacks or exercise of choice. Then play again! Great to play along with music. Especially a great idea for large groups of students. Also, a good discussion about inclusion and personal/social feelings could be attached to this game.
Grade Level: 2-8
Equipment: Foam balls, pins, pinnies
Game Description: In Pinball, there are 4 teams: throwers, rollers, retrievers, and goalies. Each team has it’s own role. Using the basketball court lines, place about 10 plastic pins in a line in the middle. The goalie team surround those pins and will try to protect them from getting knocked over. The throwers and rollers stand on the sidelines of the basketball court with dodgeballs, and continuously throw to try and earn points knocking over pins. The retrievers are along the ends, always getting the loose balls that were thrown, and giving them back to the throwers and rollers. Play for a few minutes each round, or until all the pins are knocked over! Keep track of points, or don’t – your choice! Make sure everyone gets a chance to play all roles. Lots of throwing, blocking, running, rolling, and fun in this physed game.
Grade Level: K-5
Game Description: This is a quick and easy game that works on reaction and reaction timing. Players partner up or get into small groups and find a spot somewhere away from others – and place a cone down in the middle of them. The teacher (or leader) will then call out different actions (think like in “Simon Says”) and the players must complete those actions. If the teacher yells “GO!” then the players try to be the first to touch the cone to earn a point. And the game continues on and so on so forth… try switching partners after a certain time or score. Or try the alternate version as seen in the video!
Grade Level: 5-8
Equipment: Skipping ropes, lilly pads
Game Description: In Jump Jump Fit, players will get a good fitness cardio workout. Partners will find an area and set-up in the gym. 1 player will get the skipping rope. 1 player will place down 5 lilly pads on the floor to jump in a sequence. When groups are ready, the teacher or leader will set the timer for 1 minute and it’s go time! The player with the skipping rope will see how many skips he/she can complete in the minute. The other player will see how many reps of jumping on the lilly pads he/she can complete in the minute. After the minute, partners switch and go again. Try adding skipping tricks or 2-foot, left-foot, right-foot jumps and switch things up.
Grade Level: 4-8
Equipment: 2 mats, foam soccer balls
Game Description: Longball is another kickball type activity (or baseball activity if you want to use a big oversized plastic bat and a foam ball) that gets more players moving more often. With some important modifications to regular kickball, groups will get more sweaty and active, with lots of laughs and fun. Some strategy is for sure important, but in the end it’s about having a good time as a class or a group. (Thanks to Sabine Crandall for this idea).
Grade Level: 1-8
Equipment: Plastic pins, foam soccer balls
Game Description: This is a great modification to the regular game of soccer that has proven to increase participation and motivation in the gym. Instead of the typical scoring into the other team’s goal, players will try to knock over the other team’s pins instead! If a player kicks the ball and it knocks down a pin from the other team, he gets to bring that pin (or pins if it’s more than 1) to his side and add them to his own team’s amount. The game goes until 1 team has all the pins or until the time runs out. Great lead-up soccer game for physical education.
Grade Level: K-2
Equipment: Cones, Beanbags, Hulahoops, Lilly Pads, Scooters, Hockey Sticks (or hurdles)
Game Description: In The Jungle is a stations-based activity where students will have the chance to pretend to be 8 different animals and accomplish different tasks. The gym is to be split in 8 stations and students will spend a couple minutes at each:
Frog: Students hop from lilly-pad to lilly-pad, 2 feet like a frog. Try 1 foot as well.
Bird: Students fly around as birds waving their arms, landing on different trees (hula hoops).
Snake: Students slither on the floor as snakes underneath hurdles.
Caterpillar: Using beanbags under their feet, with hands on the floor, students creep along as caterpillar motions.
Fish: Lying stomach down on the scooters, students will “swim” around as fish.
Cheetah: Students will run around a circle of cones on all fours like speedy cheetahs.
Horse: Jumping over hurdles, and galloping around is what horses do at this station!
Kangaroo: Students use a hula hoop to skip with and hop around as kangaroos.
Grade Level: 2-8
Game Description: This fitness or warm-up/running game is a calling game. The caller (usually the teacher) calls out these commands:
Army: Run to one side of the gym
Navy: Run to the other side of the gym
Hit the deck: Lie face down
At ease: Stand up
Try adding some rules such as “first one to Army gets a point” or “last one to Navy is out”. Players must be careful to wait for the “At Ease” command before getting up to run somewhere. Or add your own ideas to modify this quick physical education game to suit your needs. (Thanks to Justin for this game idea)