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: 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: 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)
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: 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: 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.