Traditional sports, like baseball, football, basketball, and soccer, are great, timeless activities to get kids moving, and most PE programs thrive off of these sports. However, playing the same handful of sports can get boring and wear down on kids’ interests.
Mixing things up with some unconventional activities will help keep things fun for the students. There are hundreds of PE games that are fun and still follow physical education curriculum. Here are ten games that every kid should know.
1. Catch the Bacon
This is a simple game that requires very little preparation. This game has a few variations, but the version from my childhood days used nothing but a chalkboard eraser and an upturned trashcan.
Before the game starts, break the class up into two groups. Then start numbering the kids off. Each team should have a student number 1, student number 2, and so on.
Once each child has been numbered, set the bacon (chalkboard eraser, ball, or whatever item you choose) in the center of the field, between the two teams. Then call a number and the students with the corresponding number are to run out and attempt to catch the bacon and bring it back to their team. To add even more challenge, call more than one number at once.
Although this isn’t especially conventional, it’s fast entering the world of “traditional” sports. Some schools have even started league dodgeball teams.
There are several variations and the game can be played in the gym and on the blacktop. Just make sure that the kids stay safe and don’t get too rough.
This is another classic game that has gained quite a bit of popularity in recent years. There are a few different versions, but I would stick with traditional kickball, which essentially has the same rules as baseball without the bats and gloves, and with a different ball. Stay safe, and it’s probably best for your students to avoid diving for the ball.
Handball is probably one of the easiest games to prepare for as it only requires a ball and a wall. There are a few versions of this and the game itself is fairly adaptable depending on the players. You can play for points or play an elimination style game.
5. Capture the Flag
Capture the flag is another fairly popular outdoor activity. Get the other team’s flag into your team’s territory while protecting your own flag. Tag opposing players that have entered your zone to freeze them. They can then be tagged by their teammates to unfreeze. To make it a little more interesting, create a “jail” located near your flag.
6. Blindfolded Follow the Leader
Follow the leader is a fun and easy game on its own. Add blindfolds into the mix, and you have a whole new game. Blindfold everyone except the leader, and make sure there’s a “safe word” that followers can yell if they’re having trouble. This is a great teambuilding exercise and is very good for building trust between your students.
7. Frisbee Football
This is a fairly simple game. It’s just like football but with Frisbees, which get much more distance and air than normal footballs.
8. Kick Back
With the class split into two teams, have students kick balls back and forth between each other. This is essentially a game of catch with a kicking element.
9. Hide and Seek
This is a classic. Try to change things up a bit so that kids aren’t left idly hiding in one spot during the entire PE period.
This probably has the most variations of any other game in existence.
Tead Millsen says
I remember every one of these games! We always called it “Steal the Bacon” but the same idea.