Grade level: 2-8
Equipment: Exercise mats
Game Description: Mystery Tag is a tag game with the familiar back-and-forth style used in games like British Bulldog…players must cross from one side of the gym to the other without being tagged. If they are tagged they become “It”. It works great for all grades 2-8.
To set up the game, folded gym mats are standing upright around the gym (maybe start with three mats standing in the middle of the gym). Designate start and finish lines on the gym (ex. you must run from green line closest to the wall, to the green line closest to the far wall). Use Pylons to mark safety lines if needed. To start a round the person who is “It” or teacher will say “face the wall”, to notify players to face the wall. When players face the wall, the teacher or “It” person will count back from 5 seconds allowing the “It” person to hide behind a mat. When the “It” or teacher says zero, the round starts and players are free to run across the gym. Who ever is tagged is instantly it and can tag other runners. When everyone makes it across safely, the round is done and the “It” people will now say “face the wall” once more. This process repeats until everyone is “It”.
– If players are tagged, they are it
– If players touch a mat, they are it
– If players peek, they are it
– Add more mats scattered around the gym for more places to hide
– Longer hide period
Hope you enjoy Mystery tag.
(Thanks to Kris Barchuk. This game is also played as “Hideout” found in “The Great Games Handbook” by Kevin Tiller found here: http://www.physedreview.weebly.com – check it out!)
Grade level: 4-8
Equipment: Cones, balls, hula hoops
Game Description: Capture the Ball is a version of Capture the Flag for PE class that is definitely worth trying out!
-Split the class in half, each team has their own side of the gym.
-Objective of the game: is to take the ball off the other team’s cone without being tagged, the ball must cross the half court line to score 1 point. The ball may be thrown but if the ball is thrown over the line the player who catches it must take a step back over the half court line because the ball must be stepped across the line.
-Every round each team must rotate their “guard”.
-The “guard” guards the ball being at least arms length away from the ball.
-The “guard” is the only player allowed to be within the 3-point arc. All other players on the team must stay on the outside of their team’s 3- point arc to help make tags to protect their side or go to the other side to get the ball or save a teammate from the “jail”.
-Players are safe and not able to be tagged when they reach the other team’s hula hoops (these are the “safe zones”)
-If a player gets tagged when going across to the other team’s side to get the ball or save a teammate from jail they must go to jail.
-Only one person at a time can be saved from “jail” and once that tag is made the players can go wherever they want in the gym.
-Both feet must be out of the hula hoop when leaving the “safe zone” to grab the ball for themselves or knock the ball out for another person to catch and begin the process of bring the ball over to their side.
-The ball may not hit the ground at any time if it does the point will not count and the ball is to be reset.
-Any player caught not following the rules will be called out and will have to go to “jail”.
-Once a point is scored that round is over, the whistle is blown and teams are to go back to their side.
-Only one player in a hula hoop at a time.
(Thanks to Sean Maguire and Kevin Williams)
Grade level: 2-8
Equipment: Beanbags, Nerf Footballs, Poly spots
Game Description: This game can be a football lead-up game, or a stand-alone fun activity (can use different throwing skill besides football if you’d like to switch it up). Basically, 2 teams will face-off in an exciting sliding and throwing match, trying to put eachother into their jail (endzone) and escape from a jail by catching a ball thrown to them.
1. Split class into 2 teams – use pinnies to distinguish teams
2. Split court in half
3. Start game with bean bags and nerf footballs in the middle of the court and players on their respective walls
4. The goal is to try to get players from the other team in jail by sliding the bean bag on the floor to hit his/her foot (above the ankle does not count)
5. When hit in the foot with a bean bag, that player goes in the opposing team’s jail
6. To get out of jail, one of your teammates must throw the nerf football and it must be caught in the air in the end zone – when caught the player can return to their team’s side
7. Teams can have some defenders trying to intercept balls before the jailed players catch to keep them in jail
8. If players are in jail for awhile, call for a jailbreak
-agility, throwing, sliding, catching, football vocabulary: Quarterback (throwers), receivers (catchers), defense (interceptions), complete vs. incomplete passes
(Thanks Brittany Dougher for this game idea)
Grade level: 2-7
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)
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)!
Grade level: 5-8
Equipment: Agility ladders, poly spots, exercise mats, other fitness equipment (optional)
Game Description: X-Circuit fitness is a fitness activity that can be done with small or large groups. Choose ANY six fitness activities of your choice (plank, lunges, pushups, curls, jumping jacks, etc – the ideas are endless). Set-up the “X” circuit using agility/fitness ladders and poly spots, as shown. Students will start at a certain location, spread out fairly evenly, and for 2 minutes they will run through the circuit, completing everything in a directional path chosen beforehand. Students will go through as many times as possible in the 2 minutes (but stress that proper form and technique is more important than speed). After the 2 mins are over, a quick break – maybe 30 seconds. And then go again. Repeat as desired. Switch up time duration or fitness exercises as desired.
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!