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)
Grade level: 1-6
Equipment: 1 or 2 playground balls
Game Description: Rollerball is best played on a basketball court. Divide students into two teams (perhaps use a basketball court for this game). Each team spreads out on their half the basketball court. Players from opposing teams cannot cross the center line. The object of the game is to roll the ball across the opposite end line. If the ball crosses the opposite end line a point is awarded to the team who rolled the ball.
If the ball goes out of bounds, the closest player from the team whose side is closest to the ball will raise their hand before chasing the ball. Once retrieved, that player rolls it in to a teammate so the game can continue. Whenever a player has the ball, they have 10 seconds to do something with it (either roll it or pass it to a teammate). They are allowed to move around with the ball and get close to the half court line before rolling the ball. Emphasize that they can’t cross the half court line when they roll the ball. If they step across the half court line when the roll it, no point is awarded.
– Encourage lots of passing to other teammates.
– Emphasize to the students that the ball must be rolled and not thrown.
– Start off with one ball in the game and after about 15 minutes of play, add the second ball.
– You can also set up cones outside the end lines. If a cone is hit by a ball, an extra point is awarded.
(Thanks to Doug Gorham for this game idea!)
Grade level: 2-6
Game Description: Rock Paper Scissors War gets you moving (and playing some R.P.S. in some fun competition). In this game, players in teams of 4 or 5 face each other at opposite ends of a gym or playing area (ex. blue vs yellow). In front of each teams’ line about a metre out is a cone to mark where a point is scored. On the “GO” signal or whistle, the first person in each line will run towards each other until they meet – they play R.P.S. (HINT: if they play with their sides turned towards their teammates, then they’ll be able to see and react more quickly). The loser of R.P.S. (ex. yellow) returns to the back of their line, while the winner (blue) continues running towards the opposition (yellow) cone. By now the next person in the yellow team should be running towards the blue player advancing towards their cone. Wherever they meet they play R.P.S… the winner continues, the loser goes to the back of their line and hopefully the next in line has reacted and is running out to meet the advancing player, etc, etc, continue, continue. Try it out and have some fun! Play for certain time, or up to a certain amount of points. (Thanks to Pete Anderson)
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: 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)