Grade level: 3-8
Game Description: Fresher is a tag game in which players have to be “fresher” then other players to tag them. The longer a player is in the playing area, the less fresh he becomes and the more likely he can get tagged. There are 2 teams playing against each other, trying to tag the opponents. When in their own teams safe area (the endzone on their side) they are completely fresh, but as soon as a player enters the middle zone (playing area) he starts becoming less and less fresh, so if a player from the other team enters that area AFTER, that player is fresher and can tag him. Once tagged, a player needs to go into the corner prison on the opposing teams side (marked by cones) and hope for someone on his team to come over and rescue him. Once rescued, both players get a free walk back to their team. The round is over if all players from one team are tagged and in prison. The key in this game is team strategy and swiftness. If players from opposing teams encounter each other and don’t know who is “fresher” they can do rock, paper, scissors, and loser goes into the jail.
Grade level: 3-8
Game Description: In this teamwork fitness game, there are 5 groups (can be of any number: 3, 4, 5…). Four of the groups start each at a corner cone that make up a large square in the playing area. 1 team starts at the cone in the middle of the square. Members of each group must hold hands at all times, and not break the link. On the “GO” signal, the groups in the corners must leave their corner and try to get to a different corner cone (can’t go diagonally through the middle area). The team in the middle will also try to get to a corner spot/cone before a different group. In the end, 1 team will be left without a corner spot (since there are only 4 corners, and 5 teams). That remaining team goes to the middle. Now again the teacher will yell “GO” and the whole process repeats. The team who doesn’t make it to a corner of course goes to the middle. Etc, etc, etc. Remember that players in the groups must hold hands through the process. Also try switching it up by giving each team a soccer ball to dribble together as they move. Or hop on one foot, or ???
Grade level: 2-8
Game Description: The goal of rock, paper, scissors champs is to try to win as many games of rock, paper, scissors in a row as you can – and in doing so you will build the longest line of players. At the start of the game, all players are alone and spread out in the playing area. All players can tag others, as well all players can get tagged. When a player is tagged, he must play rock paper scissors against the person who tagged him. Whoever wins becomes the LEADER, and the other player must go directly behind him and follow him throughout the rest of the game. Of course, this is happening all over the place at the same time. So there are many LEADERS. Now when groups of 2,3,4,5,etc come up against other groups or single players and get tagged, the group LEADER must play rock paper scissors against the player or group that tagged her. The losing side must follow behind the winning side (therefore the lines get bigger and bigger the more successful you are until there’s just 1 huge line at the end). Great warm-up game for some quick movement and fun. Also great for large groups.
Grade level: 2-6
Equipment: cones, scooters, mats
Game Description: Hospital tag is a fun game idea to try out in your PE class (thanks to Jeff Steffan for this game idea).
1. Use the lines on the perimeter for boundary lines.
2. Section off two small areas in two opposite corners of the gym (hospitals).
3. Assign 1 or 2 taggers.
4. Assign 2 ambulance drivers (can use 4 large scooters connected and place and gym mat on top).
5. Start the tag game. If a student gets tagged they become very ill and must lay down on gym floor where they got tagged.
6. The ambulance drivers will pull up next to the ill student and the ill students will get on ambulance (ambulance drivers can have up to 2 students on ambulance.
7. Ambulance drivers will then drive them to the nearest hospital (coned area) and the ill students will need to take their medicine at the hospital to feel better (medicine can be a muscular strength exercise (5 push-ups, 5 sit-ups, etc.)
8. After they take their medicine they are back in the game.
Grade level: 1-8
Game Description: Line Math is another game that connects the two curricular areas of physical education with mathematics. Help solidify some math concepts while at the same time getting some movement skill development and exercise. Start by creating the numbers “1” to “5” written each on their own full size paper or poster. Have students start in a relay-style (small teams, maybe of 3 players, to minimize idle time). Place the number pages at different distances away from the starting line along one side of the gym (placing them at the intersections of floor lines is best). To start the game, the teacher yells out a math problem (varies in complexity depending on the age and level of the students). The first student in each line will then run the distance to the answer. For example, if “10-5” is called, the students run the distance to where the 5 is on the floor. Once back, the teacher yells out another equation, etc, etc. Try putting obstacles along the way to spice it up. Or have students hop/skip/gallop/etc instead of running. Quick little warm-up numeracy game to try out if you haven’t already!
Grade level: K-8
Equipment: Hula Hoops, cones, type of ball (football, baseball, frisbee, etc)
Game Description: Perfect Pass is a great throwing and catching game that has players teamed up and ready to work together to earn points. Start by placing down a bunch of hula hoops along the floor, the more the better. Then make some teams of anywhere from 3-5 players who start lined up behind cones in a relay-style setup. Give each team a type of ball (depending which type of sport or throw you’d like to practice). When the game starts, the first person from each team runs to a hoop on the floor and stands in it, waiting to receive a pass from the second person in their teams line. A catch made with both feet in the hula hoop is a great thing, because then that player can bring the hula hoop home and add it as a point to their teams total (if the catch is NOT made, then the hoop does NOT return home = 0 points earned). Then the next person goes out to a hoop to catch another throw, etc, etc. The game continues on like that. Teams try to get the most points by collecting the most hoops, or try to beat their own best score each round. Try varying it up in a bunch of different ways (for example, different hoops are worth different points). And of course as usual, HAVE FUN!
(Thanks to Jason Rosenberg for this game idea)
Grade level: K-3
Game Description: Human Alphabet is a fairly popular early primary level game that gets kids spelling letters with their bodies. Very simply, the students move around in a space (choose a locomotion: run, skip, gallop, etc) and when the teachers calls out a letter (example: “L”) then the students must find the nearest person, quickly partner up, get down on the floor, and use their bodies to make the shape of the letter together to spell it. Then get them moving again and call out another letter. And again. And again! This game is another combination of movement skills and literacy. Play along to music, or place down obstacles on the floor to make it more interesting! Or try groups of 3, 4, or more – have them spell words.
Grade level: 2-8
Game Description: Streets & Alleys is a great small space game – perfect for a classroom when the gym is unavailable. A large group of players work together to form rows and columns (streets and alleys) that give pathways for the cat and mouse to travel through. The cat tries to chase the mouse to catch him, but the group (which consists of something like a 5 x 5 group of players) keeps switching who they’re holding hands with, depending on when the caller/teacher calls “Streets” or “Alleys”. Players in the large group must be close enough that they can easily switch who they’re holding hands with to form the streets and alleys. The cat and mouse are NOT allowed to run – they must POWERWALK. Also, the cat and mouse cannot go under or over or through the people holding hands. Give a time limit, or go until the mouse gets caught and then give other players a chance to be the cat and mouse! (Thanks to Eric for this game idea)
Grade level: K-5
Equipment: Cones, Hula hoops
Game Description: This teambuilding relay-type game will really get the players moving and working together. Create teams and have 1 player from each team start behind a cone with a hula hoop, facing his teammates across from him at the opposite cone. On the signal, the players with the hula hoops will run across to their teammates and “save” or “rescue” the first person in line by placing the hula hoop over them. Then the two must travel together back to the original cone. The one who was rescued then becomes the rescuer and continues on to save the next person, etc, etc until all players have been saved and brought to the starting point. But that’s not it – once all the teammates have been rescued, the team must then join hands and race to pass the hula-hoop from person to person by passing their bodies through the hula hoop. Hands may not come apart during the hula-hoop pass. The team to complete both tasks first wins a point or the round. As always, play again and again!
(Thanks to Mike @mdfrailoli for this game idea).
Grade level: K-6
Equipment: Cones, Hula hoops, Flags, Foam Balls (K-2) or Footballs (3-6)
Game Description: In this throwing, catching, and moving game, teams will start in a relay team format lined up behind their cone. On the far end of the playing area is all the flags (beanbags work well too) that teams will try to collect. In front of each teams cone is 3 hula hoops at different distances: near, middle, far. For every team, 1 player starts in the near hula hoop. That player will try to catch the ball thrown by the first player from their relay line. If caught, the catcher runs and collects a flag and returns it to her teams cone for 1 point. The thrower then proceeds to stand in the hula hoop to become the catcher, and then next person in line is now the thrower. Whenever a catch is NOT successful, the thrower retrieves the ball for the next person in line to throw and the catcher must STAY in the hula hoop until a catch is made. 5 catches from the first hula hoop level must be made before moving onto the middle level. 5 catches again must be made at the middle level hula hoop before moving to the far level hula hoop. Once 5 catches are completed there (and 5 more flags retrieved for a total of 15 flags) the round is over, and the team with 15 flags wins! As always, play again and again for lots of skill development, movement, and fun!
(Thanks to Mike Fraioli for this idea)