Grade level: 3-8
Equipment: Cones, Recycled Plastic Bottles
Game Description: This game is played using recycled plastic bottles (1 for every player in the game). First you will need to cut the bottles in half (the upper half is the shuttle and the lower half is the bottle). Then players will line up at the starting line, each holding the shuttle part in their hand while their bottle part is on the ground/floor directly in front of them. At the starting whistle, players drop the shuttle, trying to have it land in the bottle. If successful, that player would take a step forward to the next cone. And so on so forth. First to the finish line wins! Play individually against each other, or team challenges. (Thanks to Dr. Mehdi Dehghani in Iran)
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-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
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)
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: 5-8
Equipment: Skipping ropes, lilly pads
Game Description: In Jump Jump Fit, players will get a good fitness cardio workout. Partners will find an area and set-up in the gym. 1 player will get the skipping rope. 1 player will place down 5 lilly pads on the floor to jump in a sequence. When groups are ready, the teacher or leader will set the timer for 1 minute and it’s go time! The player with the skipping rope will see how many skips he/she can complete in the minute. The other player will see how many reps of jumping on the lilly pads he/she can complete in the minute. After the minute, partners switch and go again. Try adding skipping tricks or 2-foot, left-foot, right-foot jumps and switch things up.
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.
Grade Level: 2-8
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)
Grade Level: 2-8
Equipment: Foam Balls
Game Description: In sideline soccer, teams become goalies along their respective sidelines, using their best goaltending skills. Imagine the set-up as big lines of goalies stretching across the entire length of the sidelines – for each team. Meanwhile the first 5 players from each team enter the playing area from the front of their line to play some soccer (choose 2-3 balls to use all at the same time). Whenever a goal is scored on a team, just put the ball back into play and keep going – no need to stop the play for anything! After 2 minutes blow the whistle and the 5 players from each team that were on the playing area will go to the back of their teams line of goalies and 5 new players who were at the front of the line enter in as players. Great game to play to work on all the soccer (football) skills. Also a great game for large groups.
Grade Level: K-6
Equipment: 16 cones, pool noodles
Game Description: The students are Helicopters, flying from Helipad to Helipad trying to avoid the taggers who tag with pool noodles. Pretty simple idea, but lots of fun so try it out and enjoy!