With obesity at epidemic rates among children, coupled with the stranglehold of fast food on American culture and the seemingly endless supply of electronic entertainments and distractions, it is now more important than ever that our children receive a quality physical education.
The following list will give you ideas for all types of fun PE games that emphasize different aspects of Phys. Ed. Keep in mind that some of these games will require PE equipment.
1. DODGEBALL: Teaches quick thinking, targeting/accuracy, and teamwork.
2. BEAN BAG SHUFFLE: Students receive a colored card (4 different colors possible, each represents a different motor skill). Students then perform that motion until the teacher gives them a different card.
3. BASKETBALL: Develops accuracy and many different motor skills, in addition to teamwork.
4. ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS, CATCH: Students form two teams, each team plays rock, paper, scissors (between each team, not individual members), and the winning team gets to chase the other to the opposite wall and capture as many of that team’s players as possible. Repeat until only one group remains.
5. CAPTURE THE FLAG: Requires team working and running.
6. STAR WARS DODGEBALL: Like normal dodgeball, except each team secretly chooses one member to be a Jedi who can touch players who have been hit and restore them to the game.
7. FOOTBALL: A complex, strategic game that makes use of many motor skills.
8. WITCHES, GOBLINS, GNOMES: Each team decides whether they want to be a witch, a gnome, or a goblin. Witches chase goblins, goblins chase gnomes, gnomes chase witches.
9. DODGEBALL SKITTLES: Like dodgeball, except when a person is hit, anyone who he hits can now return to the game.
10. REACTION GAME: Students get in a circle around a ball and perform the commands that the teacher calls out. When the teacher yells “Ball!” the kids all jump for it – whoever gets it first wins.
11. JUMPING JACK DODGEBALL: Like dodgeball, except eliminated players can get back in the game by doing 20 jumping jacks.
12. UNTYING THE KNOT: Students tangle each other into a knot and must get out. Primarily for problem solving.
13. TAG: Simple but effective.
14. CHASE THE TEACHER: Have the students run laps around the track, except they are chasing after the teacher.
15. SOCCER: Teaches cooperation and many foot/leg motor skills.
16. FRISBEE TIC TAC TOE: Players throw a Frisbee onto a giant tic tac toe board.
17. 21: Teaches basketball skills without having to arrange an entire game.
18. WALL BALL: Develops quick thinking, reflexes, and catching.
19. FREEZE TAG: Like tag, but players who have been tagged are simply frozen in place and can be restored by a teammate’s touch.
20. RUGBY: Similar to football, but with no plays – players are constantly in motion.
21. SECRET HANDSHAKE: Players are assigned three motions – each student and a partner must agree on a dance/”secret handshake” consisting of those moves which they must repeat exactly.
22. DANCE COMPETITION: One student performs a dance move – opponent must repeat it or loses.
23. HACKEY SACK: Useful for developing soccer skills.
24. CATCH: Catching is the basis for many sports, so it should be practiced.
25. FETCH: Like catch, except the catcher has to run over and return the ball instead of throwing it back. Not just for dogs anymore.
Erick D. Smith is a blogger living in San Diego, California who writes about the importance of physical education and teaching children how to live healthier lifestyles.