Category: Outdoor

Snow Pizza

Grade level: K-6
Equipment: Snow (or sand or concrete pad & chalk)
Game Description: Here’s a fun game to play in the fresh snow (thanks to a friend of mine Richard Turenne)! If you don’t have snow, try using sand or a cement pad and sidwalk chalk! First, players need to follow the leader (the teacher) who makes a pizza shape in the fresh snow by trailblazing a path. Throughout the process, stop and ask math questions related to fractions as you create a pizza shape (full, halves, quarters, etc). Once it’s created, time to PLAY! One player starts as a tagger in the middle of the pizza. The rest of the players start along the pizza crust. The tagger, known as the big bad pizza man or woman, will go and try to tag someone. EVERYONE MUST STAY ON THE LINES/PATHWAY. When someone gets caught, that player becomes the new tagger. Vary the size of your pizza circle depending on your numbers. ENJOY!

Mini Gym Riot

Grade level: 4-8
Equipment: None or Various
Game Description: Here’s a game idea perfect for anytime – give it a try and have a pile of fun! Teams will face-off in a series of challenges to try to earn points (like they would in a real gym riot, however with smaller groups and maybe different challenges). Create 4 teams, and have a list of challenges ready – with or without equipment or a combination. For every challenge, each team will send one member to complete the challenge against the other teams, MAKING SURE PLAYERS TAKE EVEN TURNS THROUGH EACH CHALLENGE. You could arrange ‘surprise’ challenges where students are surprised with which challenge they are going to have to complete, OR show them the list and let them choose who from their team will complete which challenge. Use the examples given in the video, or come up with some of your own creative ideas! Teams earn points whenever their member wins a challenge. See which team comes out on top at the end, and reward them if you’d like. I like to reward the winning team with 20 burpees ;p

5 Soccer Circle Ideas

Grade level: 4-8
Equipment: Soccerballs, cones
Game Description: Here are 5 soccer circle ideas you can use to work on passing (and dribbling) as well as more skills! They range from simple to moderately advanced and there’s really not much more to say about them – just find some space, bring a whole bunch of soccerballs, and have fun. Turn them into 5 different stations that groups rotate through, or have everyone doing the same one at the same time then switch to the next, or whatever works for your situation!

Act It Out

Grade level: 3-8
Equipment: None (exercise mats if desired)
Game Description: Simple and fun creative movement activity that can be played throughout most grade levels. PE plus a bit of drama (not your typical grade 7 drama that gives teachers a headache, but the other kind of drama). So simple: make some groups, find some space, and give each group a theme or an idea that they will have to act out using the best of their physical movements capabilities! Keep it informal and have a blast, or make it more formal and specific, create rubrics and things to include, etc – groups present to the class once finished! That’s the basic idea, please watch the video for a few more details!

The Great Outdoor Treasure Hunt

Grade level: K-8
Equipment: Nature
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!

Mini Basketball Relay

Grade level: 5-8
Equipment: Basketballs, hoops
Game Description: A simple relay idea to practice basketball skills: dribbling, shooting, rebounding. Players are sure to have a fun time playing off against each other to try to be the first team to score 10 baskets (or most baskets made in a certain time)! Best to use small groups/teams of 2-3 players per team on half courts, but could also be done on full court. Each player has their own ball. Each team faces their own hoop. On the go signal, the first player from each line dribbles the ball towards their hoop and takes a shot where they feel comfortable. Players continue to shoot until one of them scores a basket. At that time, the team who scored must yell out their score (for example, “THREE”!) and then the players must retrieve their ball and return to their teams line. As soon as they return, the next player in line can go. Game continues on and on like this! One rule you can add is that the students waiting in line can practice their dribbling skills so that they’re not just standing there (although they shouldn’t be standing for too long anyways). Should be LOTS OF FUN! (Thanks Zane Gardner for inspiring this game idea).

The Spy

Grade level: 3-8
Equipment: None
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!

Distance Relays

Grade level: K-8
Equipment: Cones
Game Description: This is a 2-person relay format to get players nice and sweaty. Lots of different variations can be performed (could be 100s if you’re creative enough)! So go find some room outside, or play in the gym! Partners will take turns going back and forth to the middle circle to perform whatever action or exercise you choose to get the job done – make it continuous for a certain amount of time, or race, race, RACE!

2v2 Mini Volleyball

Grade level: 4-6
Equipment: Volleyballs, Skipping Ropes, Cones
Game Description: Another fun volleyball idea to get players hitting more reps and more contact with the ball in small sided games. It’s really so simple: make groups of 3 players, middle player holds skipping rope over head as net, use cones at the end for out of bounds. There are some simple rules like no spiking of course, as well switch the net holder every 3 points. That’s about it (thanks to Angelo Gasparro)!

Bottle Shuttle

Grade level: 3-8
Equipment: Cones, Recycled Plastic Bottles
Game Description: This game is played using recycled plastic bottles (1 for every player in the game). First you will need to cut the bottles in half (the upper half is the shuttle and the lower half is the bottle). Then players will line up at the starting line, each holding the shuttle part in their hand while their bottle part is on the ground/floor directly in front of them. At the starting whistle, players drop the shuttle, trying to have it land in the bottle. If successful, that player would take a step forward to the next cone. And so on so forth. First to the finish line wins! Play individually against each other, or team challenges. (Thanks to Dr. Mehdi Dehghani in Iran)