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46 Unique Phys Ed Games Your Students Will Love
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There’s nothing kids need more to break up a day spent sitting still and listening than a fun PE class to let off some steam. In the old days, going to gym class probably included playing kickball or dodgeball after running a few laps. Since then, there have been countless reinventions of and variations on old classics as well as completely new games. Although there is no shortage of options, we love that the supplies required remain relatively minimal. You can transport to another galaxy using just a pool noodle or two or create a life-size game of Connect 4 using just Hula-Hoops. You’ll want to make sure to have some staples on hand like balls, beanbags, and parachutes. There are even PE games for kindergartners based on beloved children’s TV shows and party games. Regardless of your students’ athletic abilities, there is something for everyone on our list of elementary PE games!
1. Tic-Tac-Toe Relay
Elementary PE games that not only get students moving but also get them thinking are our favorites. Grab some Hula-Hoops and a few scarves or beanbags and get ready to watch the fun!
Learn more: Tic-Tac-Toe Relay at S&S Blog
2. Blob Tag
Pick two students to start as the Blob, then as they tag other kids, they will become part of the Blob. Be sure to demonstrate safe tagging, stressing the importance of soft touches.
Learn more: Blob Tag at Playworks
3. Cross the River
This fun game has multiple levels that students have to work through, including “get to the island,” “cross the river,” and “you lost a rock.”
Learn more: Cross the River at The PE Specialist
4. Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Cones
Line up cones, then have students pair up and stand on either side of a cone. Finally, call out head, shoulders, knees, or cones. If cones is called, students have to race to be the first to pick up their cone before their opponent.
Learn more: Head, Shoulders, Knees & Cones at S&S Blog
5. Spider Ball
Elementary PE games are often variations of dodgeball like this one. One or two players start with the ball and attempt to hit all of the runners as they run across the gym or field. If a player is hit, they can then join in and become a spider themselves.
Learn more: Spider Ball Game at Kid Activities
6. Crab Soccer
We love elementary PE games that require students to act like animals (and we think they will too). Similar to regular soccer, but students will need to play on all fours while maintaining a crab-like position.
Learn more: Crab Soccer at Playworks
7. Halloween Tag
This is the perfect PE game to play in October. It’s similar to tag, but there are witches, wizards, and blobs with no bones!
Learn more: Halloween Tag at The Physical Educator
8. Crazy Caterpillars
We love that this game is not only fun but also works on students’ hand-eye coordination. Students will have fun pushing their balls around the gym with pool noodles while building their caterpillars.
9. Monster Ball
You’ll need a large exercise ball or something similar to act as the monster ball in the middle. Make a square around the monster ball, divide the class into teams on either side of the square, then task the teams with throwing small balls at the monster ball to move it into the other team’s area.
Learn more: Monster Ball at The PE Specialist
10. Striker Ball
Striker ball is an enjoyable game that will keep your students entertained while working on reaction time and strategic planning. We love that there is limited setup required before playing.
Learn more: Striker Ball at S&S Blog
11. Parachute Tug-of-War
What list of elementary PE games would be complete without some parachute fun? So simple yet so fun, all you will need is a large parachute and enough students to create two teams. Have students stand on opposite sides of the parachute, then let them compete to see which side comes out on top.
Learn more: Parachute Tug-of-War at Mom Junction
12. Fleas Off the Parachute
Another fun parachute game where one team needs to try to keep the balls (fleas) on the parachute and the other tries to get them off.
Learn more: Fleas Off the Parachute at Mom Junction
13. Crazy Ball
The setup for this fun game is similar to kickball, with three bases and a home base. Crazy ball really is so crazy as it combines elements of football, Frisbee, and kickball!
Learn more: Crazy Ball at Health Beet
14. Bridge Tag
This game starts as simple tag but evolves into something more fun once the tagging begins. Once tagged, kids must form a bridge with their body and they can’t be freed until someone crawls through.
Learn more: Bridge Tag at Great Camp Games
15. Star Wars Tag
Elementary PE games that allow you to be your favorite movie character are just way too much fun! You will need two different-colored pool noodles to stand in for lightsabers. The tagger will have one color pool noodle that they use to tag students while the healer will have the other color that they will use to free their friends.
Learn more: Star Wars Tag at Great Camp Games
16. Rob the Nest
Create an obstacle course that leads to a nest of eggs (balls) and then divide the students into teams. They will have to race relay-style through the obstacles to retrieve eggs and bring them back to their team.
17. Four Corners
We love this classic game since it engages students physically while also working on color recognition for younger students. Have your students stand on a corner, then close their eyes and call out a color. Students standing on that color earn a point.
Learn more: Four Corners at The Many Little Joys
18. Movement Dice
This is a perfect warm-up that requires only a die and a sheet with corresponding exercises.
Learn more: Roll the Dice Movement Break at Teaching Littles
19. Rock, Paper, Scissors Tag
A fun spin on tag, children will tag one another and then play a quick game of Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine who has to sit and who gets to continue playing.
Learn more: Rock, Paper, Scissors Tag at Grade Onederful
20. Cornhole Cardio
This one is so fun but can be a little bit confusing, so be sure to leave plenty of time for instruction. Kids will be divided into teams before proceeding through a fun house that includes cornhole, running laps, and stacking cups.
Learn more: Cardio Cornhole at S&S Blog
21. Connect 4 Relay
This relay takes the game Connect 4 to a whole new level. Players must connect four dots either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
Students will love imitating their favorite animals while playing this fun variation of Four Corners where the taggers are the zookeepers.
23. Racket Whack-It
Students stand with rackets in hand while balls are thrown at them—they must either dodge the balls or swat them away.
Learn more: Racket Whack-It via PEgames.org
24. Crazy Moves
Set mats out around the gym, then yell out a number. Students must race to the mat before it is already filled with the correct number of bodies.
Learn more: Crazy Moves at PEgames.org
25. Wheelbarrow Race
Sometimes the best elementary PE games are the simplest. An oldie but a goodie, wheelbarrow races require no equipment and are guaranteed to be a hit with your students.
Learn more: Wheelbarrow Race at wikiHow
26. Live-Action Pac-Man
Fans of retro video games like Pac-Man will get a kick out of this live-action version where students get to act out the characters.
27. Spaceship Tag
Give each of your students a Hula-Hoop (spaceship), then have them run around trying not to bump into anyone else’s spaceship or get tagged by the teacher (alien). Once your students get really good at it, you can add different levels of complexity.
28. Rock, Paper, Scissors Beanbag Balance
We love this spin on Rock, Paper, Scissors because it works on balance and coordination. Students walk around the gym until they find an opponent, then the winner collects a beanbag, which they must balance on their head!
Learn more: Rock, Paper, Scissors Beanbag Balance at PE Universe
29. Throwing, Catching, and Rolling
This is a fun activity but it will require a lot of preparation, including asking the school maintenance staff to collect industrial-sized paper towel rolls. We love this activity because it reminds us of the old-school arcade game Skee-Ball!
Learn more: Winter Activity at S&S Blog
30. Jenga Fitness
Although Jenga is fun enough on its own, combining it with fun physical challenges is sure to be a winner with young students.
Learn more: Jenga Fitness at S&S Blog
31. Volcanoes and Ice Cream Cones
Divide the class into two teams, then assign one team as volcanoes and the other as ice cream cones. Next, spread cones around the gym, half upside down and half right side up. Finally, have the teams race to flip as many cones as possible to either volcanoes or ice cream cones.
Learn more: Warm-Up Games at Prime Coaching Sport
This fun variation on dodgeball will have your students getting exercise while having a ton of fun! Begin with three balls on a basketball court. If you are hit by a ball, you are out. If you take a step while holding a ball, you are out. There are other rules surrounding getting out and also how to get back in, which can be found in this video.
33. Musical Hula-Hoops
PE games for kindergartners that are similar to party games are some of our favorites! Think musical chairs but with Hula-Hoops! Lay enough Hula-Hoops around the edge of the gym minus five students since they will be in the muscle pot. Once the music starts, students walk around the gym. When the music stops, whoever doesn’t find a Hula-Hoop becomes the new muscle pot!
34. 10-Second Tag
This game is perfect to play at the beginning of the year since it helps with learning names and allows the teacher to get to know the first student in line.
35. The Border
This game is so fun and requires no equipment whatsoever. Divide the gym into two sides. One side can move freely while the other side must avoid letting their feet touch the floor by rolling around, crawling, etc.
36. Freedom Catch
This is a simple throwing, catching, and tag game that will certainly be a hit with your PE class. Captors attempt to tag players so they can send them to jail. You can be freed if someone on your team runs to a freedom cone while throwing a ball to the jailed person. If the ball is caught by the jailed person, they can rejoin the game.
37. Oscar’s Trashcan
As far as PE games for kindergartners goes, this one is a guaranteed winner since it is based on the show Sesame Street . You’ll need two large areas that can be sectioned off to use as trash cans and also a lot of medium-size balls. There are two teams who must compete to fill their opponent’s trash can while emptying their own. Once over, the trash will be counted and the team with the least amount of trash in their trash can wins!
38. 4-Way Frisbee
Divide your class into four separate teams, who will compete for points by catching a Frisbee inside one of the designated goal areas. Defenders are also able to go into the goal areas. There are a number of other rules that can be applied so you can modify the game in a way that’s best for your class.
39. Badminton King’s/Queen’s Court
This one is simple but fun since it is played rapid-fire with kids waiting their turn to take on the King or Queen of the court. Two players start and as soon as a point is earned, the loser swaps places with another player. The goal is to be the player that stays on the court the longest, consistently knocking out new opponents.
40. Jumping and Landing Stations
Kids love stations and they definitely love jumping, so why not combine those things into one super-fun gym class? They’ll have a blast challenging themselves with all the different obstacles presented in this video.
41. Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course
Regardless of whether you’ve ever seen an episode of American Ninja Warrior , you are probably familiar with the concept and so are your students. Plus, you’ll probably have just as much fun as your students setting up the obstacles and testing them out!
42. Balloon Tennis
Since kids love playing keepy-uppy with a balloon, they will love taking it a step further with balloon tag!
43. Indoor Putting Green
If your school can afford to invest in these unique putting green sets, you can introduce the game of golf to kids as young as kindergarten. Who knows, you might just have a future Masters winner in your class!
44. Scooter Activities
Let’s be honest, we all have fond memories of using scooters in gym class. Regardless of whether you do a scooter sleigh or scooter hockey, we think there is something for everyone in this fun video.
45. Pick It Up
This is the perfect PE game to play if you are stuck in a small space with a good-size group. Teams win by making all of their beanbag shots and then collecting all of their dots and stacking them into a nice neat pile.
46. Dodgeball Variations
Since not all kids love having balls thrown at them, why not try a dodgeball alternative that uses gym equipment as targets rather than fellow students? For example, have each student stand in front of a Hula-Hoop with a bowling ball inside of it. Students need to protect their hoop while attempting to knock over their opponents’ pins.
What are your favorite elementary PE games to play with your class? Come and share in our We Are Teachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
Plus, check out our favorite recess games for the classroom ..
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50 Fun PE Games Your Students Will Love
by Sara Ipatenco
Kids naturally love PE because it’s a time to be active and play fun games. An essential part of the school day, PE teaches kids the life skill of getting regular exercise. While playing the same old games over and over again can get a bit boring, incorporating a wide variety of games into your lesson plans helps keep PE fun and engaging. With a few PE staples, such as foam balls, hula hoops, and bean bags, your students will be having fun in no time! Here are 50 PE games to get you started.
1. Blob tag
Choose one child to be “it.” As that child tags other children, they link arms or hold hands to create a “blob.” The game continues until the blob has tagged everyone in the game.
2. Chain tag
This is kind of like blob tag, but instead of forming a blob, students must link arms to form a chain.
3. Bean bag balance
Give each student a bean bag. Ask the students to balance their bean bags on various parts of their body, such as their foot or knee. See how long the students can balance before they move off their bean bag falls. Give increasingly hard challenges as you go, such as on the shoulder or the thumb.
4. Clap and catch
Arrange your class into a large circle. Give one player the ball and have them get ready to toss it. Players must clap before they catch the ball. If a student doesn’t clap or drop the ball, they are out.
5. Animal races
Line your PE class up at one end of the gym or playing field for this game. Call out an animal, such as a cheetah or a frog, and students have to race to the other end, running like that animal.
This is another racing game that starts with lining your students up on one end of the playing field. Every time you yell, “jump,” students jump as far as they can. Repeat until the winning player reaches the end of the field or until the whole class finishes.
7. Bridge tag
This game starts as regular tag, but each time a student is tagged he must kneel and form a bridge. Players can rejoin the game when another player crawls under their bridge, which frees them.
8. Crab soccer
This game follows the rules of traditional soccer, but players crab walk instead of regular running.
9. Step back
Put your class into teams of two. Have them stand about three feet apart and roll a hula hoop to each other. Once the other person catches the hula hoop, they must take a large step backward and continue playing. As they get further apart, the game gets more challenging.
10. Freeze tag
This is another tag game that starts out like traditional tag. However, once a student is tagged, they are “frozen” until another player tags them. They can then rejoin the game. The last player to be frozen gets to be “it” on the next round.
11. Parachute change
Arrange your students around a large parachute. Call out things like colors the students are wearing or birthday months. Any player who fits the category you call out has to run under the parachute and switch places with someone else.
12. Parachute volleyball
Have your students arrange themselves around a parachute. One half of the parachute is team A while the other half is team B. Put a beach ball in the middle of the parachute. The objective is to launch the ball off the parachute and over the heads of the opposing team, which scores one point.
13. Banana tag
Spread your students around the play area and choose two kids to be “it.” They are the monkeys. When they tag another student, he turns into a banana and must put both arms straight up above his head. Other players can free the “bananas” by peeling them, which means they pull down one arm and then the other arm.
14. Teacher island
This PE game includes the teacher! Stand on a stool and have a bunch of cones or balls handy. Start throwing them toward the students, who are spread out around you. If a student fails to make a catch, he is out. Play continues until only one student is left.
15. Throw archery
Set up five jump ropes at various distances from where your students will stand. Give them bean bags and have them try to get them past the different jump ropes. The further away the jump rope, the more points the student gets. For example, getting the bean bag past the first jump rope is worth ten points while getting it past the last jump rope is worth fifty points.
16. Crazy moves
Set out several mats around the play area. Start calling out numbers and that number of kids need to find a mat and stand on it together as fast as they can. Any student who doesn’t find a mat is out.
17. Rob the nest
Set up the game by putting a hula hoop (nest) in each corner of the play area and ten or more basketballs in the middle of the play area. Divide the class into 4 teams, one at each hula hoop. Students take turns getting a basketball and dribbling it to their hoop. Any time you blow the whistle, students can steal basketballs from other nests. The winner of each round is the one with the most basketballs when you blow the whistle a second time.
Set up nine hula hoops in a 3×3 grid, like a tic-tac-toe board. Make enough grids so you can divide your class into teams of two. Give the teams two different colors of bean bags. The students will throw the bean bags into the hula hoops trying to get three in a row.
19. Bounce into buckets
Set up enough buckets in the middle of the play area that there is one for each group of two kids. At each bucket, have one student on each side. The kids take turns trying to bounce balls into the buckets. Make it more challenging by having the students back up further from the bucket as they go.
20. Backward soccer
Play this game just like you would regular soccer but turn the soccer goals around backward.
21. Speed ball
This PE game combines basketball and soccer. Divide your students into two teams and give them a rubber ball to play with. Play starts with students passing the ball to other players on their team. There is no bounce passing in this game. If the ball hits the floor, the game switches to soccer.
22. Pool noodle archery
Have one student hold up a hula hoop while another child tries to launch pool noodles through the hoop. Once a student gets a noodle through, the players switch places.
23. Kangaroos and Crocs
Divide your class into two teams – one team will be kangaroos and the other team will be crocs. Have the teams line up back-to-back in the middle of the play area. Call out one of the animals. That team will try to make it to the end of the play area without getting tagged by the other team. Anyone tagged sits down and is out. Play continues with additional rounds.
24. Noodle hockey
Play a traditional PE game of court hockey but use pool noodles and a small plastic ball instead of hockey sticks and a puck.
25. Continuity ball
Have your students spread out in the play area. Give them one beach ball and challenge them to keep it from hitting the ground. Gradually add more beach balls until you have several going at the same time.
26. Birds on a branch
Set up two balance beams and split the class into two teams. Have the teams line up on the balance beams and call out directions, such as “stand on one foot” or “put your arms above your head.” If a student falls off the beam, he is out. The winning team is the one who keeps the most “birds” on their branch.
27. Shark zone
Set up mats, hula hoops, and other PE equipment around the gym. Use items that students can stand on or inside of. These are shark-free zones. Identify one or two students as sharks. When you say go, players will run around the gym standing on mats or inside hula hoops to stay away from the sharks. If a student fails to get to a safe area before being tagged, they are out.
28. Cats and mice
Give each student a scarf – one color for cats and one color for mice. Have them tuck the scarves into their back pockets or waistband as tails. Cats will chase mice and mice will chase cats. If the opposite team catches a tail, they keep it. The winning team is the one who steals all the tails first.
29. Tunnels and trains
Choose two students to start out as trains. The rest of the students put their hands and feet on the floor creating a tunnel with their bodies. The trains must crawl through the tunnels. When a train goes through the tunnel, that student joins the tunnel at the front and the next student at the back of the tunnel turns into a train. Play continues until all students have become trains.
30. Noisy running
Explain to students that you will be playing music and the louder the music gets the faster they need to run around the play area. As you turn down the volume, they will slow their running.
31. Freeze dance
Play some upbeat dance music and encourage students to free dance. When you stop the music, they must freeze. Any student who doesn’t freeze is out.
32. Eight dance
Choose one student to start the game. Turn on some upbeat music and have the student demonstrate any move they want, such as jumping or spinning in circles. The rest of the students must copy the move eight times. Let all the children have a turn to be the instructor.
33. British bulldogs
Choose one student to be the bulldog. He stands in the middle of the play area. The rest of the players try to get past the bulldog without getting tagged.
34. Body part tag
This game is played like traditional tag except that whatever body part gets tagged cannot be used anymore. If a student gets tagged on the arm, they cannot use their arm anymore. If he gets tagged on the leg, he has to hop on the other leg.
35. Crab Kickball
This game is played just like traditional kickball except that students must walk and play in the crab walk position.
36. Broom hockey
This is a PE game played like regular hockey except students use brooms instead of hockey sticks.
37. Hop in a hoop
Lay out several hula hoops in the play area. Have students run around the hoops while you play music. When you stop the music, students must hop into a hula hoop – one student per hoop. Students who don’t have a hoop are out.
38. Hot potato
Arrange your students in a circle and give them a small ball. They will pass the ball around the circle until you blow the whistle. The student holding the ball when the whistle blows is out.
39. Scooter tag
This PE game is played just like traditional tag except students must play by sitting on and moving around on scooters.
This game is played just like regular basketball except students use a bucket instead of the usual basketball hoop.
Break your class into small teams of 5 or 6 players. Give one student from each group a jump rope. That student will spin the jump rope on the ground while the other members of the group jump over it. If the “snake” touches a student, they are out.
42. Shipwreck or Captain Says
This is a game that puts a twist on the traditional “Simon Says.” Line your students up and start calling out commands that have to do with ships and pirates, such as “swab the deck” or “walk the plank.” Instead of saying “Simon says,” you’ll say, “Captain says.”
43. Hula hoop tag
This is another version of traditional tag. Students follow the same rules as regular tag, but they must spin a hula hoop while they run around.
44. Museum guard
This game is like freeze tag. Students will tiptoe silently around the play area pretending to sneak around a museum. When you call out “museum guard” they must freeze. Students who don’t freeze are out.
45. Mirror, Mirror
Divide your class into teams of two. Have them stand facing each other. One person does a move, and the other students must copy the move. Continue playing, encouraging students to make the movements harder and more complicated.
46. Backward tag
Play this game just like regular tag except students can only walk or run backward during play.
47. Alligators in the swamp
Choose several students to be alligators and have them lay on their stomachs in the middle of the play area. Spread them out so there are several feet between each alligator. The rest of the class starts on one end of the play area and has to try to get past the alligators. If an alligator tags them, they are out.
48. Sleeping baby
Students run around the play area until they hear the teacher yell, “sleeping baby.” At this point, all the kids drop to the floor and pretend to be sleeping. The last student to “fall asleep” is out.
49. Garbage tag
Wad up a bunch of pieces of paper to be the garbage. Choose one student to be “it.” That person starts to throw the garbage at the other players. Any player hit with a piece of garbage is out.
50. Lighthouse and ships
Place several obstacles around the gym, such as cones or mats. Students will close their eyes and pretend to be ships trying to get to the lighthouse. If they run into one of the obstacles, their ship is sunk and they are out.
PE class is about to get so much more fun for your students! Any of these games are sure to make PE their favorite class of the day.
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100 PE Games Books!
Start your school year right, by getting kids happy and active, in the gym or outside, with our pegames.org books! This will be the only Physical Education book you’ll need this year to guarantee to keep the most kids happy and active for the most amount of time possible throughout the day!
Elementary PE Games
Every game, warm-up, challenge and activity on this site has been tested by our resident PE specialist. Mr. H. has been teaching physical education at the elementary school level for 7 years, and will make sure that we post only the best of the best.
As a Grade 7 teacher, it can be challenging to keep warm-up games and Daily Physical Activities fresh and new.Having participated in a number of these games, I feel I’ll be able to provide greater variety to my students this year and beyond. Educator: Ian Cox
During the average 45 minute block of physical education, students are actually active (i.e. moving around, elevating their heart rates), for approximately 17 minutes (less than half!). With our website, and the hundreds (soon to be thousands, as our updates continue), of activities, warm-ups, games, individual and group challenges…etc. we aim to keep kids moving, moving, moving.
Please feel free to start navigating the site, as there are all sorts of options for physical activity for your students. We are updating daily, so please continue to check back frequently as there will always be something new to keep your kids smiling and active.
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Equipment: 2-5 evil red balls. Beanbags. Description: Choose 2-5 kids to be it and give them each an evil red ball (these are the aliens). Everyone else is an astronaut. Scatter the beanbags all around the gym, and hold onto the empty bin. If an astronaut is tagged...
Equipment: 2-5 evil red balls. Description: Choose 2-5 kids to be it and give them Evil Red Balls. If you get tagged by an Evil Red Ball, you must go down on your hands and knees wherever you are and pick and animal. Whichever animal you pick, you are only allowed to...
Equipment: 2-5 evil red balls. Description: Choose 2-5 kids to be it and give them Evil Red Balls. If you get tagged by an Evil Red Ball, then you must sit down on the ground,bring your knees up to your face, close your eyes and put your head down into the palms of...
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45 Fun And Simple Gym Games For Kids
February 3, 2022 // by Eileen Zajac
Gym Games for Preschool
1. balancing bean bags.
A balance game is important for your preschooler’s fine motor development. Have students use their bean bags in different ways practicing their balancing skills.
Learn more: Cliengage Family
2. Bean Bag Hula Hoops
This is a super easy activity that can be set up almost anywhere. Put down a hula hoop depending on the number of kiddos playing, add more where needed.
Learn more: Erikson Institute
3. Four Colors Four Corners
Four colors four corners is a simple game and it’s not only great fine motor activities it also will help students work with their understanding and comprehension of colors.
Learn more: The Many Little Joys
4. Animal Track Jump
Counting animal tracks will be very engaging to your kiddos. This is a great PE game that will help foster number recognition and development. Draw animal tracks with chalk and draw numbers inside.
Learn more: Modern Preschool
5. Animal Yoga
Make your own cards or print some out! Animal yoga is great for a center circle, PE class, or just a whole class break. Pull a physical card or have a presentation set up for students and have them simply copy the animal poses.
Learn more: Teachers Pay Teachers
Hopscotch is great for young learners! Practice gross motor and counting skills with fun playground games like this.
Learn more: Preschool Inspirations
7. Movement Dice
Movement dice are great for younger grades because they provide picture-word association, along with physical activity!
Learn more: Pinterest
8. Move It or Lose It
These popsicle sticks can be used at home or in the PE classroom!
9. Leap Frog – Split
In the crouch position, students work their way around the gymnasium without getting tagged.
Gym Games for Lower Elementary
10. elf express.
Elf Express is considered a holiday-themed game but can really be played at any time of the year. This Hula Hoop PE game spotlights a variety of important elementary skills.
Learn more: The Physical Educator
11. Yoga Freeze Dance
Who doesn’t love a dance party? Have you ever been left with extra time at the end of a PE class? Are your kiddos just not focused enough to play games today? Well, now is the time to become their favorite dance teacher!
Learn more: PE with Mr. G
12. See if You Can …
Teaching body composition can be a little bit difficult with the littler kiddos. Activity cards are a great way to get kids up and moving independently during PE class.
Learn more: Prime Coaching Sport
13. Silly Bananas
Silly Bananas is one of those simple activities for kids that they will be begging to play! This falls under the equipment-free games category and really is a spin on the tag.
14. Rock, Paper, Scissors Tag
Hands down a modern-day and old-school favorite are Rock, paper, scissors. Most students will for sure know how to play this game and if not, it’s super easy to teach even the youngest learners!
Learn more: Grade Onederful
15. Coin Exercise
This simple physical game can be a fun challenge for students. By setting time limits the physical education teacher can help students master physical skills and strengthen their bodies.
16. Garden Yoga
Sometimes getting excited students to take a break and enjoy nature can be a daunting task. With Garden Yoga partner students up and let them choose a spot outside and enjoy the calmness for a bit!
Learn more: Childhood 101
17. Spot On
Spot on is a great PE game that will challenge students with their overhand throwing. You’ll need a bunch of hula hoops for indoor activities like this one.
Learn more: S&S Blog
18. Spider Ball
This is definitely in my hat of favorite games. This is dodgeball with a twist. The game is played as typical dodge ball (use softballs) would be. EXCEPT students don’t ever get fully ‘out’ of the game!
Learn more: Kid Activities
19. Cornhole Cardio
Cornhole cardio is hands down one of the most engaging games for kids! This game requires a few more materials than a standard PE classroom has, but if you’ve got the materials USE THEM.
20. Blob Tag – Two Players
Blog tag – two players can be played in groups, two players, or as a whole class activity. Students might already know what blob tag is, need a simple refresher or a little game introduction!
Learn more: Choose PT
21. Teacher Island – Students; Catch the Cones
This is a great entire team activity, including you, the teacher! The teacher will stand on the island in the middle while students will stand around and catch the cones. Excited students will love this PE game.
22. Dog Catcher
Have students constantly switch corners. This is a great game because it’s possible to be played without any equipment!
Learn more: PE Games
Gym Games for Upper Elementary
23. throw archery.
Throw archery will help with motor skill-building in upper elementary students. Using jump ropes set up five target areas. Students will throw material of their choice to try to get points!
24. Space Invaders
This is one of my students’ favorite ball games. This game fosters students’ understanding and muscle memory of underhand throwing. Letting them practice softer and harder throws.
25. Witches Candy
There are definitely a few different versions of this fun chasing game. In this version, witches have stolen the children’s candy and the children must work together to get it back!
26. Chutes and Ladders
This life-size Chutes and Ladders game is made with colored hula hoops and other materials you’ll have laying around! Elementary school kids will absolutely love this game.
Learn more: Pekins Learning
27. Connect Four
This partner team game can honestly be taught to upper or lower elementary students. Most elementary kiddos have played connect four before. Bring them a little friendly competition with this real-life connects four game! Use spot markers or hula hoops – hula!
Learn more: Elementary PE Teacher
Activity cards are always fun and simple for PE teachers. For use in PE centers or whole class activities. This game with make gym time fly by and students will be engaged the entire time.
29. Simple Dance Routine – Drumming
Sometimes my students love “do your thing” centers. I have different options for them to do and they choose what they like.
Learn more: YouTube
30. Four Square Hula Hoop
Using a bunch of hula hoops, engage your students with this easy setup, gym class game. In a pushup position, students will continuously throw bean bags in the different hula hoops.
31. Rob the Nest
A basketball favorite! You and your students will love the friendly competition this game will foster. Students will be active throughout the entire game. It is a perfect game for an exciting elementary school gym class.
32. Tic – Tac – Throw
Tic – Tac – Throw is perfect for small groups, centers, or just small classes. Fostering healthy competition, students will be asking to play this game over and over.
33. Bounce the Bucket
Great for centers or small groups, you’ll just need a ball and a bucket for this activity. The larger the ball, the larger bucket will be needed. Our class finds that basketballs bounce the best, but require a slightly larger bucket.
34. Backwards Soccer
One of my absolute favorite ball games is backward soccer! Explain to students that the rules of this game are basically just the absolute opposite of regular soccer!
35. Keepers of the Castle
Setting up colored Hula Hoops in four corners and one in the middle is the only setup required for this gym class game.
Icebergs is a fun warm-up game. In a spin-off of musical chairs, students must sit on an iceberg (mat) in the number that teachers call out.
Gym Games for Middle School
37. speed ball.
This is a mix between soccer and basketball (with no bounce passing). The ball starts in the air and once it hits the ground students switch to soccer.
38. Create your Own!
Challenge students to create their own PE activity. This is perfect for middle school students.
39. Movement Bingo
Great for a short period of time just to get your students moving!
Learn more: Learning Zone Express
40. Yoga Cards
Your middle schoolers will love some yoga. Even though some might be over it, they will appreciate how relaxed they feel after a little meditation!
41. Team Memory
A twist on the classic memory board game, playing with objects of different colors, frisbees, and testing your student’s memories!
Learn more: PhysEd Games
42. Zone Kickball
Keep your kids safely distanced this year with this kickball twist!
Learn more: American Coaching Academy
43. Noodle Archery
The classic game of archery with a social distancing twist that your students will absolutely love.
Learn more: Ziggity Zoom
44. Exercise Cards
Exercise cards are great for in-school social distance and distance learning PE cards. Print them out or use them on a PowerPoint!
45. Submarine Tag
This game will be engaging for middle schoolers and upper elementary students.
Learn more: The PE Shed
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PE lessons with little or no equipment
No equipment, no problem!
We all know that sinking feeling when you realise you can’t find the PE shed key, or someone has “borrowed” all the footballs. Here are a few ideas for when you’ve got a class ready for PE and absolutely no equipment.
All these activities can be used inside or outside.
The class sits in a circle, everyone cross-legged with their arms round each other’s shoulders. At a signal, they all try to stand up without breaking hold. This also works well in smaller groups, perhaps building up to the whole class.
Children choose a line or a mark on the floor. At a signal, they jump from one side to the other, counting how many bounces they can make before they are told to stop.
Put the children in pairs and sit them down in two lines facing each other with legs outstretched, forming a “ladder”. Give each pair a number. When you call their number, the pair must step over the other children’s legs to get to the end of the ladder, run around the ladder and then step over the legs to get back to their places. Make sure there is enough space between the pairs for children to move safely and emphasise the need to move sensibly and to sit sensibly!
Put the children into pairs, face to face. Children put their hands out, palms facing but not touching. Partner 1 moves their hand and partner 2 copies, then swap.
Mark your partner
Put the children into pairs. One is the leader; one is the follower. The follower must try to stay close enough to the leader to touch them on the shoulder, without touching them. The children move around the space. When the teacher says “freeze!” the follower checks to see if they can still touch the leader on the shoulder. Then swap roles.
High jump practice
Put the children in pairs, next to a wall. In turns, jump as high as they can, reach up and touch the wall. Ask the children to devise a way of measuring the height jumped (this is easier with a brick wall) One partner jumps 3 times in succession, their partner coaches them, then they swap.
Standing long jump practice
Put the children in pairs and ask them to stand on a line. Partner one jumps as far as they can from the line. Partner 2 stands where Partner 1 landed. Partner 1 returns to the line, takes one step to the side (this is quite important) and jumps again, trying to beat their previous distance.
Line the children up facing forward. Decide on a finish line. The winner is the child who reaches the line last without stopping moving. If a child is seen to stop moving, they are out and must move to the side. They then become a judge, looking out for other people have stopped moving! No bumping or pushing allowed. This is a nice calming cool down activity.
Set the children the challenge of devising a new game or activity in pairs or groups of 4. Explain their game to another pair or group.
The games that I am going to describe can be played with partners, in groups, or as a whole class, with or without gym equipment.
The main skills I want students to demonstrate when they play these games are co-operation, sportsmanship and enjoyment .
Here's How to Navigate an Unfamiliar Staffroom
1. Catch the Cane
Have the students form a circle or divide the class in two and make two circles. Each student has a number from 1 to the end.
One student is “It” and stands in the middle of the circle holding a cane or meter stick with one end on the floor. This student calls out one of the numbers and let’s go of the cane.
The student whose number was called, must catch the cane before it falls to the floor. If s/he fails, s/he becomes “It”.
Divide the class into 2 even teams (or 4 for a large class and run two games simultaneously).
Team 1 forms a circle and each member of team 2 stands between two members of team 1.
A team 1 member holds a ball (volleyball, soccer ball, football, etc.) and a member of team 2 holds the same type of ball (differentiate the balls, colour, etc.).
On the word “go”, each team member passes their ball to their team member on their right (or left). The team that completes the full circle with their ball gets a point.
The teacher can vary the game by calling out, “circle” (the student with the ball must run around the circle before passing the ball) or “zig-zag” or “bounce the ball”, etc. I’m sure you get the idea. It’s great fun.
3. Bounce Change
Have students form two lines (the red team and the blue team) behind two leaders about 15 feet apart. Each student in each line gets a number from 1 to the end.
Place a hula hoop at opposite ends of each team’s line. Place a blue ball in one hoop and a red ball in the other hoop.
When the teacher calls out a number, the two students with that number must run to a hoop, get their team’s colour ball and bounce it to the other team’s hoop.
In the meantime, the leader of each team, has their team form and sit in a circle. Once the student place the ball in the other team’s hoop, he returns and sits in his team’s circle. The first team all sitting gets a point.
The game continues with the teacher calling out a different number.
4. Stretched Baseball
Play this game on a baseball diamond or line up 4 bases about 10 feet apart with the first base being about 25 feet from home plate.
Divide the class into two teams, one team at bat and the other in the field. Each player gets a turn at bat instead of 3 outs.
Rather than a baseball, you can use a beach ball or T-ball for primary grade students or kick a soccer ball. If the fielding player throws the ball past home plate before the runner reaches home, the runner is out.
Count runs just as in baseball.
5. The Oyster Shell
Divide the class into two teams (“X” and “Y”) and have them stand along two parallel lines with a space of 10 feet between the lines. This space is neutral territory.
Each team has a goal line some distance back from their parallel line.
The teacher, standing in the neutral area, tosses the oyster shell (use a bean bag with a taped “X” on one side and “Y” on the other) into the air. If it lands with the “X” side up, the “X” team members must run back to their goal line before a “Y” team member tags (captures) them.
The “Y” team scores a point for each “X” team member captured. The first team to reach a certain score or with the most points after a certain time win.
6. Treasure Chase
Students line up behind a line with hands folded so that there is a small opening at the top of their hands.
One student faces the line with a small treasure (stone, piece of chalk, etc.) in his folded hands.
The student with the treasure starts at either end of the line and puts his hands over each student’s hands as if to drop the treasure into them.
One student does get the treasure and waits until he thinks no one is watching him. At that point he runs toward a goal line at the far end of the gym or field.
If he reaches the goal line without being tagged hew wins. If he’s tagged, the tagger gives out the treasure for the next game.
7. The Mouse Trap
Half of the class join hands and form a large circle.
The other half of the class are mice and run in and out of the circle.
On a signal from the teacher, the trap closes (students drop arms and squat).
All mice caught in the trap are out. Repeat until all the mice are caught and then switch the mice and the students forming the trap.
This website has some brilliant lesson plans and activities for you to bookmark and explore further.
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