Grade level: 2-8
Equipment: 4 mats, foam balls, cones
Game Description: Start by creating a “throwing pit” using the middle circle of the gym. Also place down 4 mats, 1 along each side of the gym (like where bases would be placed in baseball except that the mats should be standing upright on their ends). Choose 1 player to be the thrower who must throw from inside the circle/throwing pit – that player starts with all the foam balls. The remaining players will run in the same direction around the mats, trying not to get hit by a ball thrown by the thrower. Whenever a runner is hit, she becomes a thrower in the circle as well. Players must be hit below the waist to count. Players can stop and hide behind a mat for up to 10 seconds, but then must exit and continue running. Play for a certain time limit or until all players have been hit!
(Thanks to Justin Mull)
Grade level: 2-8
Game Description: The ‘Bad guys’ are the taggers. The ‘Secret Agents’ are the freers. The rest of the players (the runners) are the ‘Citizens’. Before the game starts, ALL players sit down, close their eyes, and put their heads down so they can’t see anything. Then the teacher goes around and taps 2-3 players ONCE on the head – those players will be the Bad guys. The teacher also goes around and taps 2-3 players TWICE on the head – those players will be the Secret Agents. After that, give all players 5 seconds to find a spot anywhere in the playing area and blow the whistle to start the game! When a player is tagged by a Bad guy he must sit down. He’s stuck down until a freer (Secret Agent) taps him on the shoulder, then he can get back up and continue playing. Careful though, because the Secret Agents can also be tagged! If the Secret Agents all end up being tagged and are sitting, then the round is over. Choose new roles and play again! (Thanks to Jeff Harrison for the idea)
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.