Grade level: K-8
Game Description: What better way to use outdoor space than a scavenger hunt!? This hunt is a bit different from your typical hunt, because instead of a list that players need to just check off when they see the items, they must BRING THE ITEMS HOME to their collection area. You can and should create a secret treasure item that you’ve hidden somewhere outside beforehand (for example hide a Kleenex box somewhere good and players need to also retrieve a tissue from the box). Simply start by creating a home area where individuals or partners (depending how you want to do it) put their hula hoop on the ground, which is their collection area to bring the items into. Next, go over the rules with all students, and give them a list of the items (or leave a master poster at the home area so they have to use their memory). Note that they can only bring 1 item back at a time! Obviously choose items that students can find or access in your area/community. Stress the importance of respecting property and not taking things that they shouldn’t. At the end, players will return all the items that need to be returned!
Grade level: 3-8
Game Description: Just like the name says, students will try to be the ‘last man standing’ or the last one left. It’s an elimination type game, but don’t worry – the ones who are eliminated aren’t actually standing around doing nothing once they’re out – they must perform some exercises or alternate activity until the round is over. The game is played inside the basketball court area (or outside in an area marked off by cones). On the go signal, or along to music, players will move around as they wish inside the play area. When the teacher says stop, or stops the music, all players must choose one of the following actions: sit, stand, lay down, kneel down. And then the teacher will call out one of those actions (for example: STANDING) so therefore all players who are performing that action are OUT. Once out, they go outside the play area and perform exercises chosen beforehand until the round is over. Repeats like this until there’s 1 left..
Grade level: 3-8
Game Description: The Spy is a classic game of mystery where one player is chosen as the spy who goes around and poisons the other players. They do this by sneakily winking at them (so if you get winked at, you’re poisoned)! A poisoned player must quietly drop to the ground and lay there, or in the case of PE class they can hold a plank instead to make it more challenging. It’s important in this game that players are all making eye-contact the entire time, no dodging glances. The spy will try to poison all players to win the round. BUT in order to do this, the spy must be very sneaky – because if a different player sees that a spy has winked at someone, that player can put up their hand and say “I found the spy!” – If that player is correct, the round is over. If they were mistaken, that player is OUT!
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: 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: 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: 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: 2-6
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)
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: 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.