Category: Warm-up

Bump Tag

Grade level: 2-7
Equipment: None
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)

Steal The Ball

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)!

Rock Paper Scissors War

Grade level: 2-6
Equipment: Cones
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)

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Champs

Grade level: 2-8
Equipment: None
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.

Line Math

Grade level: 1-8
Equipment: Paper
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!

Fitness Musical Hoops

Grade level: 2-8
Equipment: Hula hoops, music
Game Description: In this fitness or warm-up game, hula hoops are placed around the basketball court perimeter. Choose a direction for players to travel: clockwise or counter clockwise staying on the outside of the basketball court line. Players cannot cross through center. Once the music starts they perform the cardio exercise of the teacher’s choice: jogging, running, skipping, cross-overs, etc. When the music stops they must get to a hoop within a few seconds. There can be as many people inside any hoop as possible, however everyone must be in a hoop. If anyone person is not standing inside a hoop, including all feet, then the entire class must do reps of a muscular exercise (push-ups for example). Once completed, a new cardio activity is given, the music begins again and the students do the next activity, however, once the music begins and the students are moving, the instructor removes one hula hoop from the game, etc, etc, until there is only one hoop left. At this point, give two jumping jacks per person for every one person that doesn’t make it into the hoop. And that’s fitness musical hoops!
(Thanks to Paul Ford for this game idea)

The Number Game

Grade Level: K-6
Equipment: None
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.

The Reaction Game

Grade Level: K-5
Equipment: Cones
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!

Army & Navy

Grade Level: 2-8
Equipment: None
Game Description: This fitness or warm-up/running game is a calling game. The caller (usually the teacher) calls out these commands:

Army: Run to one side of the gym
Navy: Run to the other side of the gym
Hit the deck: Lie face down
At ease: Stand up

Try adding some rules such as “first one to Army gets a point” or “last one to Navy is out”. Players must be careful to wait for the “At Ease” command before getting up to run somewhere. Or add your own ideas to modify this quick physical education game to suit your needs. (Thanks to Justin for this game idea)

Hit & Run

Grade Level: 1-8
Equipment: Foam Balls
Game Description: Hit & Run is a physical education warm-up or dodgeball lead-up game. The idea is very easy, and it really gets the heart rate up: First thing, students partner up. One person starts with the ball. The other person has no ball, and gets a 5 second head start, then runs away. After the 5 second head start the thrower can go chase. They throw as many times as needed until they make a hit. When a hit is made they switch roles. Important to emphasize safety and where on the body it is okay to throw and not to throw the ball. Other than that have fun with another awesome PE game idea! (Thanks to Tate Braeckel for this game idea)