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!
Grade level: 1-8
Equipment: 4 scooters, 4 mats, 4 ropes
Game Description: Object of this game is to “rescue” teammates off of “Danger Land” and get everyone to “Fun Land”. Explain that Danger Land is a dangerous place to live due to earthquakes, fires, flooding, dinosaurs…; while Fun Land is a safe pleasant place. Each team is allowed one boat (a floor scooter) and one rope. Players are not allowed to touch the water or else they will have to return to Danger Land. It is up to each group to figure out the best way to get their team across the ocean (without touching water). Students are allowed to stop at the island, but will want to continue their journey to Fun land, because there is no food on the island. This is not a race (although you could add that challenge for a little bit of competition) – teams just try to make it! If a group finishes first have them repeat again!
(Thanks to Mark McConnell)
Grade level: 2-6
Equipment: Scooters, pins, skipping ropes, cones
Game Description: Sinkerball is a PHYSEDGAMES original game that combines teamwork with throwing, rolling, kicking, goaltending/blocking, balance, speed, and finesse. 2 teams face-off against each other in either a “who-can-last-the-longest” set of rounds, or point-scoring game. 1 team starts along an end of the gym as the “tugboats” pulling their cargo (a plastic pin balanced on a scooter, pulled by a skipping rope). Each player on that team has their own cargo to pull. The other team is along the sides in a designated throwing area (use cones) – they each have a foam ball or 2 to start with. On the “GO” signal, the tugboats try to travel back and forth from wall to wall as many times as possible, keeping their pin alive (ie, not fallen over, either by self mistake by pulling too fast, or from a ball hitting it down). The throwers will of course try to knock off the pins from the scooters! When a player’s pin is knocked over, that player isn’t out – he or she can then go and block/guard one of their teammate’s pins as they continue travelling along. Eventually, the whole team surrounds their last member’s pin/cargo trying to keep it up until it finally falls and then the 2 groups switch roles for the next round. Points can be earned every time a player makes it safely to an end. Or see which team lasts the longest before all pins are down. Have fun as usual!
Grade level: 2-8
Game Description: Streets & Alleys is a great small space game – perfect for a classroom when the gym is unavailable. A large group of players work together to form rows and columns (streets and alleys) that give pathways for the cat and mouse to travel through. The cat tries to chase the mouse to catch him, but the group (which consists of something like a 5 x 5 group of players) keeps switching who they’re holding hands with, depending on when the caller/teacher calls “Streets” or “Alleys”. Players in the large group must be close enough that they can easily switch who they’re holding hands with to form the streets and alleys. The cat and mouse are NOT allowed to run – they must POWERWALK. Also, the cat and mouse cannot go under or over or through the people holding hands. Give a time limit, or go until the mouse gets caught and then give other players a chance to be the cat and mouse! (Thanks to Eric for this game idea)
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: K-5
Equipment: Cones, Hula hoops
Game Description: This teambuilding relay-type game will really get the players moving and working together. Create teams and have 1 player from each team start behind a cone with a hula hoop, facing his teammates across from him at the opposite cone. On the signal, the players with the hula hoops will run across to their teammates and “save” or “rescue” the first person in line by placing the hula hoop over them. Then the two must travel together back to the original cone. The one who was rescued then becomes the rescuer and continues on to save the next person, etc, etc until all players have been saved and brought to the starting point. But that’s not it – once all the teammates have been rescued, the team must then join hands and race to pass the hula-hoop from person to person by passing their bodies through the hula hoop. Hands may not come apart during the hula-hoop pass. The team to complete both tasks first wins a point or the round. As always, play again and again!
(Thanks to Mike @mdfrailoli for this game idea).
Grade Level: K-6
Game Description: This warm-up or teambuilding game is simple, yet awesome! Students spread out in the playing area. Give maybe 20-30 seconds for them to just run around and around (or skip, hop, gallop, spin, etc). When the time is right, the teacher yells out a number (example, “SIX!”) and then the students must quickly form groups of 6 (or whatever number is called). Any players who didn’t make a group must complete 6 jumping jacks or exercise of choice. Then play again! Great to play along with music. Especially a great idea for large groups of students. Also, a good discussion about inclusion and personal/social feelings could be attached to this game.
Grade Level: 2-8
Equipment: Poly spots (lilly pads)
Game Description: This is a teambuilding game where students take turns trying to find their way through the maze of lilly pads and get to the end. But with every wrong move, they must head to the back of the line and give someone else a chance. It’s great for memory-practice, communication, and team activity. Create fun and challenging mazes, switch up the leaders, and give it a go!
Grade level: 3-8
Game Description: In ‘Shipwreck’ teams of sailors will race their boats from one end of the gym to the other. Of course it won’t be that easy… players need to work together. Teamwork is the key! Read More →
Grade level: K-6
Game Description: Ants on a Log is a teamwork or team-building strategy game. The Ants (students) stand in an initial order on the log (a line or a bench). The goal is that the players attempt to reverse their position or order without falling off the log Read More →