Grade level: 2-8
Equipment: Hula hoops, music
Game Description: In this fitness or warm-up game, hula hoops are placed around the basketball court perimeter. Choose a direction for players to travel: clockwise or counter clockwise staying on the outside of the basketball court line. Players cannot cross through center. Once the music starts they perform the cardio exercise of the teacher’s choice: jogging, running, skipping, cross-overs, etc. When the music stops they must get to a hoop within a few seconds. There can be as many people inside any hoop as possible, however everyone must be in a hoop. If anyone person is not standing inside a hoop, including all feet, then the entire class must do reps of a muscular exercise (push-ups for example). Once completed, a new cardio activity is given, the music begins again and the students do the next activity, however, once the music begins and the students are moving, the instructor removes one hula hoop from the game, etc, etc, until there is only one hoop left. At this point, give two jumping jacks per person for every one person that doesn’t make it into the hoop. And that’s fitness musical hoops!
(Thanks to Paul Ford for this game idea)
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: 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)
Grade Level: 1-6
Equipment: Hula Hoops (4 different colors), pool noodles, dice
Game Description: Dice Tiggy is a unique game idea in which the teacher rolls a dice, and the outcome of the roll directly affects what is to happen next. First start with hula hoops – 4 different colors – spread out on the floor around the playing area (enough so there’s 1 for each player). Every player must start in a hoop. The roll of the dice matters in the following way: if a “1” is rolled, then the players in the BLUE hoops are it and will grab a pool noodle from the pile and go around tagging all the other players who had to exit their hoop once the roll was made. When players are tagged, they need to jump back into any hoop until everyone has been caught and are back into a hoop. If a “2” is rolled, then the players in the RED hoops are taggers. If “3” then GREEN. If “4” then YELLOW… If a “5” is rolled, then everyone does 5 quick jumping jacks or other exercise of choice. If a “6” is rolled, then the TEACHER is it! Play many rounds of this game for some good exercise and fun for all (Thanks to Brett Sinnett @commandokiddz for this game idea)