Grade level: 4-8
Equipment: Up to 50 small objects (beanbags, cones, balls, etc), mesh bags (or containers)
Game Description: Snakes is a team-building game that has players moving around together quickly and swiftly as snakes, trying to pick up as many objects as they can. Here’s how to get started: spread all of the small objects somewhere along the floor, have groups form snakes (maybe 4 or 5 players per snake – each snake has a head, body, and tail), and give the last person in line (the tail) the collection bag. Basically, on the starting whistle, all the snakes will travel around trying to collect the objects from the floor. However, only the HEAD (front person) of the snake is allowed to pick up the objects. Then the object MUST be passed down the snake from player to player all the way to the tail, who can then place the object into the bag. Play this game for a specified time limit, or until all objects have been collected. Switch up groups, or create different sizes of snakes. As usual, think of ways to modify or spice up this game to suit the needs of your players!
Grade level: 4-8
Equipment: Cones/tees, plastic bats, foam balls, mats/bases
Game Description: This game is a mini-baseball type game that can be played in the gym or outdoors to help develop baseball/softball/fielding/striking skills. Smaller teams are created in a broken-down mini game that resembles actual baseball, but with smaller groups getting more reps and practice/skill development. With a few modifications to the regular game of baseball, this game is an effective lead up or fun small style game to try out to get the heart rates up! (Thanks to Zach Overturf for this idea)
Grade level: 4-8
Equipment: Hula-hoops, basketballs (or soccerballs)
Game Description: This is a dribbling practice game. Players will partner up so there will be pairs spread out in the gym. In each pair, 1 player will start as the dribbler and have a basketball (or soccerball depending which game you want to play). The other player will place a hulahoop on the floor and stand with at least 1 foot inside of it. The player inside the hoop will try to knock away the balls of other players who come too near (remember that 1 foot must always be inside the hoop). If a player’s ball gets knocked away, they simply retrieve it and continue dribbling. After a couple of minutes, players switch roles and play again. Another great dribbling practice game, and modification of the original Knockout.
Grade level: 2-8
Equipment: 4 mats, foam balls, cones
Game Description: Start by creating a “throwing pit” using the middle circle of the gym. Also place down 4 mats, 1 along each side of the gym (like where bases would be placed in baseball except that the mats should be standing upright on their ends). Choose 1 player to be the thrower who must throw from inside the circle/throwing pit – that player starts with all the foam balls. The remaining players will run in the same direction around the mats, trying not to get hit by a ball thrown by the thrower. Whenever a runner is hit, she becomes a thrower in the circle as well. Players must be hit below the waist to count. Players can stop and hide behind a mat for up to 10 seconds, but then must exit and continue running. Play for a certain time limit or until all players have been hit!
(Thanks to Justin Mull)
Grade level: 2-8
Game Description: The ‘Bad guys’ are the taggers. The ‘Secret Agents’ are the freers. The rest of the players (the runners) are the ‘Citizens’. Before the game starts, ALL players sit down, close their eyes, and put their heads down so they can’t see anything. Then the teacher goes around and taps 2-3 players ONCE on the head – those players will be the Bad guys. The teacher also goes around and taps 2-3 players TWICE on the head – those players will be the Secret Agents. After that, give all players 5 seconds to find a spot anywhere in the playing area and blow the whistle to start the game! When a player is tagged by a Bad guy he must sit down. He’s stuck down until a freer (Secret Agent) taps him on the shoulder, then he can get back up and continue playing. Careful though, because the Secret Agents can also be tagged! If the Secret Agents all end up being tagged and are sitting, then the round is over. Choose new roles and play again! (Thanks to Jeff Harrison for the idea)
Grade level: 4-8
Equipment: 4 hula hoops, 4 cones, 4 tennis balls, foam balls
Game Description: In this game, 4 teams will each receive a corner piece (or quadrant) of the playing area and guard their base (tennis ball on top of a cone, inside a hula hoop) while at the same time trying to knock down the other teams. Using foam balls (dodgeballs) players will do their best job trying to hit the target – not the other players. Another game with lots of action and lots of fun for any physical education class. (Thanks to Mason Bond for the idea)
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: 3-8
Equipment: Hula hoops, foam balls
Game Description: Save The Statues is a throwing, catching, blocking, and defending game. There are two teams: 1 consists of statues who are ‘stuck’ in hula hoops around the perimeter of the basketball or volleyball court lines, as well as throwers in the center circle. The other team consists of defenders who are trying to prevent the statues from catching balls thrown by the throwers. When a statue catches a ball that was thrown, he is freed and becomes a thrower in the middle. Play until all statues are freed, or for a certain time limit. Try this unique throwing and catching game in your physical education class for a fun and skill-improving activity.
Grade Level: 2-8
Equipment: Foam balls, pins, pinnies
Game Description: In Pinball, there are 4 teams: throwers, rollers, retrievers, and goalies. Each team has it’s own role. Using the basketball court lines, place about 10 plastic pins in a line in the middle. The goalie team surround those pins and will try to protect them from getting knocked over. The throwers and rollers stand on the sidelines of the basketball court with dodgeballs, and continuously throw to try and earn points knocking over pins. The retrievers are along the ends, always getting the loose balls that were thrown, and giving them back to the throwers and rollers. Play for a few minutes each round, or until all the pins are knocked over! Keep track of points, or don’t – your choice! Make sure everyone gets a chance to play all roles. Lots of throwing, blocking, running, rolling, and fun in this physed game.
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.