Grade level: 4-8
Equipment: None or variety
Game Description: In this fitness activity, players will have fun and get sweaty through a variety of exercises. Players must first choose a partner. 1 partner goes to an exercise to start while the other starts and the end line. On the “go” signal, half the players will be exercising for 45 seconds (or whatever time is chosen) while the other half is running back and forth from end line to end line. After 45 seconds yell “switch” and the partners switch roles. They will then cycle through the same format every 45 seconds until completing all 6 or 8 exercises. Take a break, get a drink of water, and go again!
Grade level: 4-8
Equipment: Flags (beanbags or other), cones
Game Description: 4 teams will face-off in this version of capture the flag, each starting in their own quadrant in the gym or playing area. There needs to be a safe zone in each quadrant marked off with cones – this is also the place for the flags to be collected into. The goal is to be the first team to collect all 6 of your teams color flags. Before the game begins, 2 flags of each of the other teams colors are placed into your teams safe zone area (just not your own teams flags). So each team starts with the other teams flags. Teams are safe only in their own quadrant or the safe zones. If a player is in a different teams quadrant, he or she can get tagged. When tagged, that player must sit where they got caught and hope for a teammate to come save them (tag them) – then they both take a free walk back to their area. If tagged with a flag in their hand, that flag needs to be returned first, and then sit down where tagged. Try it out as a fun variation of Capture the Flag! (Thanks to Lauren Venera)
Grade level: 2-6
Equipment: Benches, cones
Game Description: The 2 opposite corners of the court are cornered off with cones – those are the nests. The doves (runners) start from one nest and attempt to get all of them to end up in the other nest. Start with just 1 or 2 Hawks in the other nest (taggers). All the other students are doves. Between the nests, somewhere in the middle of the court is a bench – that is the cage.
The doves start from one of the nest, the hawks from the other. Once the hawks leave their nest, the game starts. Once the hawks leave the nest they cannot enter either nest anymore. The nests become safe areas for the doves. The Hawks tag as many doves as possible. The caught doves stand up on the bench (the cage). The free doves have to go to free them by running to them and tag (touch them). In rare cases all doves manage to end up all together in the opposite nest. Or all are in the cage. Usually some are in the cage, others leave the finish nest to save them and get caught themselves. After some time stop the game and chose another student to be a hawk! (Thanks to Dani Uzunova)
Grade level: 1-6
Game Description: This is a fast-moving tag game, where the tagger is constantly switching (every 10 seconds or sooner). The runners/flee’ers will start in a playing area (maybe within half of the gym) and the remaining players form a line waiting for their shift to tag. They don’t wait long though, as the teacher blows the whistle every 10 seconds or sooner for the next person in line to jump in to tag. Anyone who is tagged simply goes to the back of the line, and the game continues on as such. This is a great game for learning the names of new students. As the players are standing in line, the teacher can talk to them and learn their names. Try it out! To speed it up even more, try having 2 players go in to tag at a time. (Thanks Joel Sweetland for this idea)
Grade level: 2-8
Equipment: 3 hula hoops, 6 foam balls
Game Description: This game is similar to the British-bulldog type of game, except the tagger(s) in the middle area get foam balls. The main object of the game is that the runners will try to go from one end of the gym to the other end without being touched by the submarines’ torpedoes (soft balls) or the mines (participants who got tagged laying on the floor on their stomach).
– 3 hula hoops are placed in center of play area – middle of gym.
– 1 captain in each submarine (hula hoop) each with 2 balls.
– at the signal, runners must try to go across gym without being touched by ball (even if it touched the ground first); if they get touched, they become mines and lay on the floor on their stomach. The only way they can move is by pivoting on their stomach. They try to assist the submarines by touching the passing participants either with their feet or hands.
– the last 3 to survive become the submarines.
– the submarines’ captains must be in their submarine while throwing and can run to fetch their balls but must come back in subs to throw again.
– remember that with the ‘go’ signal, everyone is in play until they reach a safe zone at the other end of gym.
(Thanks to Bernard Boulerice)
Grade level: K-4
Game Description: The Border is a similar type warm-up or tag game to that of British Bulldog:
1) All players line up at one end of the gym (except tagger in the middle).
2) Gym is split into 2 sides with a line straight down the middle.
3) On side 1, you can never have your footsoles on the floor (must crawl, roll, seal walk, etc).
4) On side 2, you can move however you like (example: running).
5) If tagged, you join the taggers team.
6) You choose which side you move on when each round begins BUT you can switch ONE TIME EACH ROUND. This is also the case for the tagger.
(Thanks to Daniel Norrman)
Grade level: 4-8
Equipment: Flags, cones
Game Description: This is another action-filled flag tag game to try out in P.E. class (thanks to Lauren Venera, who has already submitted some great game ideas)! Start by making 4 coned areas in each corner of the gym. Then create 2 teams (usually yellow and red) since that’s what most of the flags for flag football are. Once you have your two teams, split them again and they go in corners diagonal to each other. On the go signal or whistle, players will enter the playing area and try to pull the flag of the opposite team. If a player gets their flag pulled off, they are “out”. However, out means they go to the starting area out of the main playing area and perform exercises. Best idea is to have a white board with a list of exercises up and players work their way through the list. Play continues until there is no one of a certain color left. Once the round is over, put up some new exercises, get players to the corners, and start again!
Grade level: 1-8
Equipment: 4 scooters, 4 mats, 4 ropes
Game Description: Object of this game is to “rescue” teammates off of “Danger Land” and get everyone to “Fun Land”. Explain that Danger Land is a dangerous place to live due to earthquakes, fires, flooding, dinosaurs…; while Fun Land is a safe pleasant place. Each team is allowed one boat (a floor scooter) and one rope. Players are not allowed to touch the water or else they will have to return to Danger Land. It is up to each group to figure out the best way to get their team across the ocean (without touching water). Students are allowed to stop at the island, but will want to continue their journey to Fun land, because there is no food on the island. This is not a race (although you could add that challenge for a little bit of competition) – teams just try to make it! If a group finishes first have them repeat again!
(Thanks to Mark McConnell)
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: 4-8
Equipment: Foam balls, hula hoops, bowling pins
Game Description: CASTLE POOL (The teams castle is like the 8 ball in pool)…
– Class divided in two teams by the center line, just like a typical dodgeball game for example.
– Each team sets up a castle in the corner of the basketball court (down by the baseline).
– Each team will also set up 7 bowling pins on their side in the volleyball court.
– Each pin can have one guard only.
– The object of the game is for one team to knock down the other teams pins before they can attack their castle. If they knock their castle down before all there pins have been knocked down then they automatically lose the game. This being just like the game of pool where the 8 ball can’t be sunk until the end.
Great Game and Kids left begging to play again!
(Thanks to Erin Parsons)