Category: Outdoor

Cops N Robbers


Grade level: K-6
Equipment: None
Game Description: Here’s the classic game of Cops N Robbers. First and most importantly is to find a fun area to play this game (technically it could be played anywhere but the more obstacles and hiding spots, the better). You’ll create a couple Cops whose job is to find and tag the Robbers. Once robbers are tagged they need to go to jail. Sounds simple because it is, and it’s a whole lot of fun too! (Thanks to a friend and colleague Paul Grosskopf for bringing this game back to life)

Predators & Prey

Grade level: 1-6
Equipment: None
Game Description: Here is an awesome cross-curricular idea that’s lots of fun, and teaches science concepts through play. Find a playing area indoors or outdoors. Have a quick discussion to see what students know about predators, prey, carnivores, herbivores, omnivores, etc. Ask students to give some examples. Then start setting up the game (it’s really simple actually). You’ll start by choosing a herbavore (example rabbits). Most of the players will be the rabbits. Their job is to simply run away from the taggers (the omnivores and carnivore). Then choose 2-3 players to be the omnivores (example foxes). The foxes will be chasing down the rabbits to try to tag them. But then you will also choose a carnivore, at the top of that food chain (example wolf). The wolf is able to chase after either the foxes or the rabbits and tag them. When players are tagged they need to go to the teacher at the side to perform a predetermined quick exercise to get back into the game. The teacher also has a special job… (thanks to Richard Turenne for this game idea!)


Grade level: 5-8
Equipment: Football, basketball court
Game Description: This game is similar to Ultimate Frisbee, but with a football, on a basketball court! Divide your classes into teams of 5 on 5 or less. This also depends on the number of basketball courts you have for class time. The game starts by having the two captains play Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine possession. If you win RPS, you decide if your team will defend or receive. Both teams head under their respective baskets on the basketball court and the defending team throws the football to the receiving team. Play begins by the receiving team picking up the ball, or catching it (this is the only time it can be dropped without a turnover) and begin to advance it toward their basket. The receiving team can only advance the football by throwing it to a team-mate who must catch it and STOP, like Ultimate Frisbee. If it is dropped, the defending team gets possession at that spot to try to advance it in the same manner toward their basket. Points are scored when the football goes through the basketball hoop. Play 5 minute quarters (like basketball) or 2- 10 minute halves, switching baskets at half time. Play round robin games or winners play winners. Some additional rules to follow: Defensive players are NOT allowed to hit the ball out of the hand of the offensive player. The ball can only be swatted out of the air after it has been thrown by a player. The defence can only guard within 1-2 feet of an offensive player (like ultimate frisbee). Some of the older classes will benefit from girl teams play girl teams or boys play boys. Or, you can make a rule, boys pass to girls and girls to boys in order to include all players get a fair chance at playing the game during game play. (Thanks to Mary Kerschbaum for this idea)

Capture The Flag Outdoors

Grade level: 3-8
Equipment: 2 Flags, large playing area
Game Description: This has been the GAME OF THE YEAR at our school. LOTS of Fun, many skills and laughs have been had. Competition at its finest, and what a workout. It’s the standard version of Capture The Flag brought to physical education class! Find a large area (field, community center, playground, bushes, forest), make 2 teams, and get started. Teams spend a minute hiding their flag on their half of the area (no peeking). Once hidden, GO! The goal of the game is to capture the other teams flag before they capture yours and bring it across the middle line. Careful on the opponents side, because if you get tagged, you go to the jail for 2 mins. The tagger needs to tap the jail (a bench or something) and then they can resume play. No puppy-guarding the flag. Add in extra rules as you see fit, please watch the video for more specifics, I don’t have the time or the will to type everything out… just want to say thanks to Paul Grosskopf, a friend and colleague for setting all these things up for us this year (rules, mods, locations, flags, etc).

Noodle Basketball

Grade level: 5-8
Equipment: Basketballs, Nets, Pool Noodles
Game Description: This is a basketball-type game that uses the typical skills in basketball, though with it’s own twist for a unique basketball tag type game. Two teams will faceoff against eachother. The object of the game is for your team to score as many points as possible into the bball net, or trash can or something if you don’t have nets. But if your ball gets touched by a noodle (held by one of the taggers) then you must return back to your side and start over. Give maybe 1/4 or 1/3 of the players a pool noodle, the rest of the team gets their own basketball. If you have a pool noodle then you must stay on your own side. Change the taggers each round. Round 1: layups only. Round 2: add jump shots. Round 3: add 3-pointers. Round 4: Taggers can go everywhere, and if a player is tagged then he or she must perform some sort of exercise. (Thanks to Randy Eich)

The BEST Rock Paper Scissors Battle

Grade level: K-8
Equipment: Hula Hoops
Game Description: This game is amazing. Players have a super fun RPS battle that they won’t soon forget. 2 teams faceoff across from eachother. Place a bunch of hula hoops between teams in a line. 1 player from each team hops towards the other, and when they meet, they RPS. Loser must jump out and join the end of the line while the winner keeps advancing. Meanwhile the next player in line from the losing side jumps in and hops towards the opponent. It’s a bit hard to explain through text, so watch the video to see this awesome game in action!

Coin Collectors

Grade level: K-8
Equipment: Coins (example: pennies)
Game Description: Coin collectors can be played in the gym or adapted for outside, and used for any age group. It’s a super simple idea, give it a go as it should be lots of FUN! Start by having players line up at one end of the gym facing the wall (no peeking!). The teacher hides coins scattered throughout the gym floor. The teacher says ‘Go’ and students run to find a coin. When they find one, they stand on it and stay there. Once all the coins are found, the players who did not find one have to do 10 jumping jacks, or crunches, or pushups, etc (player or teacher can choose). Players then line up again, while teacher takes out one coin and re-hides the rest. Continue to take out one coin each round until there is only one coin remaining to be hidden. To determine how many coins to use: take the class size and cut it in half, and that is how many coins to start with (if 20 people in class, hide 10 coins). One final tip to make it easier to operate: have the students stay standing on the coin until you come and get it, so you don’t have to find them all on your own after the round is over. (Thanks to Jesse Edwards)

Bottle & Ball

Grade level: 3-8
Equipment: Plastic Bottle, cones, balls
Game Description: Bottle & Ball is a game idea that was sent from Iran. It’s a game to work on hand eye coordination, reacting, and catching. First, you will need to cut plastic drink bottles into halves (1 half for each player). Then players will line up along an edge holding their bottle in hand (alternatively they could use a bowl or small pail). The students stand 1 meter apart. The teacher or one of the students throws the balls from a distance of 5 to 6 meters, respectively from the number one student to the end and then from the end to the number one student. Anyone who can catch the ball with their bottle or shuttle (without the ball falling to the ground) can take a step forward. The first person to reach the final marking cone gets 1 point, then everyone returns to the starting point and the game starts again from the starting point. (Thanks Dr. Mehdi Dehghani)

Foosball Soccer

Grade level: 4-8
Equipment: Pool Noodles, Type of Soccer Ball
Game Description: Bring the game of Foosball to the PE class! First decide on how large of a game to play (full, half, small size). Then, choose a formation. Players will roughly stay in their rows, able to move left and right, similar to a game of table foosball. BUT players must also join together in a line holding pool noodles, so that they are attached in their entire row and must move together without breaking apart. If players break apart, the ball goes to the opposing team! Rows should be about 2-4 players. Players can alternate rows/positions after a certain time. (Thanks to Randy Eich for this game idea)

Pool Noodle Relays

Grade level: K-8
Equipment: Pool Noodles, Cones
Game Description: A simple video explaining 5 fun ways to use pool noodles in a relay format. Quick, fun, ideas that involve teamwork, balance, and/or other! Could be used as a warm-up of sorts as well. May seem elementary, but it a go and you’re sure to be surprised how fun it actually is.