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: 5-8
Equipment: 2 mats, 2 benches, 2 hula hoops, dodgeballs
Game Description: Walk The Plank is best played as a dodgeball game, but it could be a tag game with the right modifications (for those of you who don’t play dodgeball games). This game is a HUGE HIT with students, so have fun! Set-up a dodgeball game with 2 teams, each on their own half of the gym. Except that in the endzones of each team area you will need to set-up a “walk-the-plank” apparatus (use a bench as the plank, and an exercise mat on the floor in front of it as the “water” that the players will jump into off of the bench). You’ll also need to place down a hula hoop at an appropriate distance from the plank/mat apparatus – the hula hoop will be used as the spot for a specific thrower. So set-up all of this stuff the same on both sides/endzones. Use whatever dodgeball rules you normally use (hits below the waist, deadballs on bounce, etc). The difference with this game is that when a player gets hit, he must go to the opposite endzone where the plank apparatus is set-up. The first player will actually go into the hula-hoop and be a thrower. Subsequent players who are hit will go and walk the plank. At the end of the plank walk, they will jump onto the mat (water) but at the same time trying to catch a ball thrown by the player in the hoop. If a successful catch, the THROWER gets to go back to his side and continue playing dodgeball, and the player who caught it is the new thrower. This sequence continues throughout the round as players get hit and go back and forth… OK so this written description doesn’t sound very clear – in fact, it sounds downright confusing, so you really need to watch the video. Enjoy!
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: 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: 4-8
Equipment: Up to 50 small objects (beanbags, cones, balls, etc), mesh bags (or containers)
Game Description: Snakes is a team-building game that has players moving around together quickly and swiftly as snakes, trying to pick up as many objects as they can. Here’s how to get started: spread all of the small objects somewhere along the floor, have groups form snakes (maybe 4 or 5 players per snake – each snake has a head, body, and tail), and give the last person in line (the tail) the collection bag. Basically, on the starting whistle, all the snakes will travel around trying to collect the objects from the floor. However, only the HEAD (front person) of the snake is allowed to pick up the objects. Then the object MUST be passed down the snake from player to player all the way to the tail, who can then place the object into the bag. Play this game for a specified time limit, or until all objects have been collected. Switch up groups, or create different sizes of snakes. As usual, think of ways to modify or spice up this game to suit the needs of your players!
Grade level: 4-8
Equipment: Cones/tees, plastic bats, foam balls, mats/bases
Game Description: This game is a mini-baseball type game that can be played in the gym or outdoors to help develop baseball/softball/fielding/striking skills. Smaller teams are created in a broken-down mini game that resembles actual baseball, but with smaller groups getting more reps and practice/skill development. With a few modifications to the regular game of baseball, this game is an effective lead up or fun small style game to try out to get the heart rates up! (Thanks to Zach Overturf for this idea)
Grade level: 4-8
Equipment: Hula-hoops, basketballs (or soccerballs)
Game Description: This is a dribbling practice game. Players will partner up so there will be pairs spread out in the gym. In each pair, 1 player will start as the dribbler and have a basketball (or soccerball depending which game you want to play). The other player will place a hulahoop on the floor and stand with at least 1 foot inside of it. The player inside the hoop will try to knock away the balls of other players who come too near (remember that 1 foot must always be inside the hoop). If a player’s ball gets knocked away, they simply retrieve it and continue dribbling. After a couple of minutes, players switch roles and play again. Another great dribbling practice game, and modification of the original Knockout.
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)