Grade level: K-4
Game Description: The Border is a similar type warm-up or tag game to that of British Bulldog:
1) All players line up at one end of the gym (except tagger in the middle).
2) Gym is split into 2 sides with a line straight down the middle.
3) On side 1, you can never have your footsoles on the floor (must crawl, roll, seal walk, etc).
4) On side 2, you can move however you like (example: running).
5) If tagged, you join the taggers team.
6) You choose which side you move on when each round begins BUT you can switch ONE TIME EACH ROUND. This is also the case for the tagger.
(Thanks to Daniel Norrman)
Grade level: 1-8
Equipment: 4 scooters, 4 mats, 4 ropes
Game Description: Object of this game is to “rescue” teammates off of “Danger Land” and get everyone to “Fun Land”. Explain that Danger Land is a dangerous place to live due to earthquakes, fires, flooding, dinosaurs…; while Fun Land is a safe pleasant place. Each team is allowed one boat (a floor scooter) and one rope. Players are not allowed to touch the water or else they will have to return to Danger Land. It is up to each group to figure out the best way to get their team across the ocean (without touching water). Students are allowed to stop at the island, but will want to continue their journey to Fun land, because there is no food on the island. This is not a race (although you could add that challenge for a little bit of competition) – teams just try to make it! If a group finishes first have them repeat again!
(Thanks to Mark McConnell)
Grade level: K-5
Equipment: 4 exercise mats
Game Description: Gingerbread Man Tag is a great stand-alone or Christmas tag game for players to enjoy.
– Set-up mats in the corners (or mats along each end of the gym, if you’d like to play British Bulldog style).
– All players lay down on one of the mats.
– The tagger (baker) stands in the middle and says, “Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man.”
– The players then run to get to a different mat while trying not to get tagged by the baker. If they get tagged they help in the next round. Players that make it to a mat without getting caught just lay down on the mats to prepare for the next round.
This is an easy game and a great game as it involves running and jumping up to run which is always a blast in the gym. Teacher can even start as the baker which really gives the kids a kick. (Thanks to Shari Wenzel for this game idea).
Grade level: 2-8
Equipment: Exercise mats
Game Description: Mystery Tag is a tag game with the familiar back-and-forth style used in games like British Bulldog…players must cross from one side of the gym to the other without being tagged. If they are tagged they become “It”. It works great for all grades 2-8.
To set up the game, folded gym mats are standing upright around the gym (maybe start with three mats standing in the middle of the gym). Designate start and finish lines on the gym (ex. you must run from green line closest to the wall, to the green line closest to the far wall). Use Pylons to mark safety lines if needed. To start a round the person who is “It” or teacher will say “face the wall”, to notify players to face the wall. When players face the wall, the teacher or “It” person will count back from 5 seconds allowing the “It” person to hide behind a mat. When the “It” or teacher says zero, the round starts and players are free to run across the gym. Who ever is tagged is instantly it and can tag other runners. When everyone makes it across safely, the round is done and the “It” people will now say “face the wall” once more. This process repeats until everyone is “It”.
– If players are tagged, they are it
– If players touch a mat, they are it
– If players peek, they are it
– Add more mats scattered around the gym for more places to hide
– Longer hide period
Hope you enjoy Mystery tag.
(Thanks to Kris Barchuk. This game is also played as “Hideout” found in “The Great Games Handbook” by Kevin Tiller found here: http://www.physedreview.weebly.com – check it out!)
Grade level: 2-8
Equipment: Beanbags, Nerf Footballs, Poly spots
Game Description: This game can be a football lead-up game, or a stand-alone fun activity (can use different throwing skill besides football if you’d like to switch it up). Basically, 2 teams will face-off in an exciting sliding and throwing match, trying to put eachother into their jail (endzone) and escape from a jail by catching a ball thrown to them.
1. Split class into 2 teams – use pinnies to distinguish teams
2. Split court in half
3. Start game with bean bags and nerf footballs in the middle of the court and players on their respective walls
4. The goal is to try to get players from the other team in jail by sliding the bean bag on the floor to hit his/her foot (above the ankle does not count)
5. When hit in the foot with a bean bag, that player goes in the opposing team’s jail
6. To get out of jail, one of your teammates must throw the nerf football and it must be caught in the air in the end zone – when caught the player can return to their team’s side
7. Teams can have some defenders trying to intercept balls before the jailed players catch to keep them in jail
8. If players are in jail for awhile, call for a jailbreak
-agility, throwing, sliding, catching, football vocabulary: Quarterback (throwers), receivers (catchers), defense (interceptions), complete vs. incomplete passes
(Thanks Brittany Dougher for this game idea)
Grade level: 2-7
Game Description: Bump Tag is a simple, yet incredibly fun, tag game or start-up/warm-up activity. Start with all players sitting in pairs somewhere in the playing area or gym floor. Have one pair split up into a chaser and a flee’er. The chaser will try to tag the flee’er. Whenever a flee’er is tagged by the chaser, they switch roles. The flee’er is always trying to run towards any pair who are sitting on the floor and sit beside them. Once sitting, the opposite (far player in the pair) gets “bumped” and must stand up to become the new flee’er who will try to run from the chaser. This “bumping” of players happens over and over again every time the flee’er sits beside any pair. Eventually implement 2 chasers and 2 fleers, or 3 of each to increase the challenge and activity level. This is just another game that’s proven to get students running and having a great time!
(Thanks to Tim Herr for this game idea)
Grade level: 2-6
Equipment: Exercise mats, footballs (suitable for indoors)
Game Description: Mat Football is a very simple and fun idea to work on throwing the football: teams will try to throw as many footballs as they can into the opponents target area (exercise mats set up on their ends). Split the gym into two halves, one team on each half. Set-up the mat target areas. Throw in a bunch of footballs. Make a throwing line where players can’t cross. Play 4 quarters (each 2-3 mins). Count footballs in each mat area after every quarter to add points. Move throwing line after each quarter to increase or decrease difficulty. Play with or without blocking. Have fun and practice skills as usual! Could be played with foam balls or indoor frisbees for a different challenge.
(Thanks to Dan Kirsch for this game idea)
Grade level: 2-8
Equipment: Type of Ball (Soccer, volleyball, basketball, etc. The more the better), hula-hoops
Game Description: Start by placing a whole bunch of balls in the center area, equally spaced between anywhere from 4-8 teams. At each team area, place a hula hoop for the balls to be placed after they are taken from the middle area. On the go signal, players from each team go one at a time to the middle, dribble the ball back to their hoop and tags the next person to go. The object is to take as many balls until all are gone from the middle. When all the balls are gone from the middle, then take one ball from any of the other teams. After a designated time limit count to see which team has the most!
For soccer, the balls are to be dribbled along the ground.
For volleyball, the balls are to be “set” or “volleyed” to self all the way back to the hoop.
For basketball, dribbling.
For football/baseball, the balls can be thrown from the middle back to partner at hoop.
AS ALWAYS, HAVE FUN (WHILE PRACTICING SKILLS)!
Grade level: 2-6
Equipment: Scooters, pins, skipping ropes, cones
Game Description: Sinkerball is a PHYSEDGAMES original game that combines teamwork with throwing, rolling, kicking, goaltending/blocking, balance, speed, and finesse. 2 teams face-off against each other in either a “who-can-last-the-longest” set of rounds, or point-scoring game. 1 team starts along an end of the gym as the “tugboats” pulling their cargo (a plastic pin balanced on a scooter, pulled by a skipping rope). Each player on that team has their own cargo to pull. The other team is along the sides in a designated throwing area (use cones) – they each have a foam ball or 2 to start with. On the “GO” signal, the tugboats try to travel back and forth from wall to wall as many times as possible, keeping their pin alive (ie, not fallen over, either by self mistake by pulling too fast, or from a ball hitting it down). The throwers will of course try to knock off the pins from the scooters! When a player’s pin is knocked over, that player isn’t out – he or she can then go and block/guard one of their teammate’s pins as they continue travelling along. Eventually, the whole team surrounds their last member’s pin/cargo trying to keep it up until it finally falls and then the 2 groups switch roles for the next round. Points can be earned every time a player makes it safely to an end. Or see which team lasts the longest before all pins are down. Have fun as usual!
Grade level: 3-6
Equipment: Folding mats, foam balls
Game Description: Container Ball incorporates many skills – running, fleeing, dodging, throwing, catching, teamwork strategies, and shooting – all in one fun massive 2-team game! The object is to get more balls into your container than the opposing team, and to empty the opposing teams’ container. The gym is divided by the center line (also needed are the end basketball hoop on each side). “Containers” for the opposite teams are built on each side using tumbling mats placed on their ends to form a rectangle (can use some sort of clamp to hold together if needed). ‘Jails’ are placed down on each side as well by laying a mat flat down on the floor.
– Players are safe when they’re on their own side.
– Players who cross over to the other team’s side can get tagged by an opponent who is holding a ball. If tagged, the player goes to the jail on that side. Opponents cannot touch or block an opponent if they are not holding a ball. A player in jail may only possess a ball that he/she has caught in the air.
– There are 2 ways to get out of jail (these are escapes, not a free pass back to their own side): 1) Catching a ball in the air while on the mat (the ball must be thrown by a teammate from their team’s side of the gym), or 2) The teacher calling out “Jailbreak”.
– A player has 3 options after getting out of jail and stepping off the mat: 1) Try to make it back to your side without getting tagged 2) Try to throw the ball into the container and then try to make it back to your side, or 3) Try to make a basket.
– You may not throw or shoot from your jail mat.
– If a player makes a basket then his/her team gets to empty and take possession of all balls in their opponent’s container, and the player who made the basket gets a free pass back to their side.
– Players may puppy guard the containers, but not the jails. Use cones or lines to mark a “no enter zone” that the defense can’t enter into.
(Thanks to Russ Alvarez and Bruce Bowman)