Posts Tagged ‘Games’


Awesome Activities for the Last PE Lesson of the School Year

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

gym teacher holds a basketball in front of his young students

PE classes are a great way to end the school year on a high note and get children in the habit of staying active over the summer.

As PE teachers already know, encouraging kids to stay active should entail a lot of fun. The key is creating activities that are physically demanding, while also being entertaining and engaging. Read on to discover exciting games that will make the end of the school year more of a celebration and less of a chore.

Scavenger Hunts

Armed with imagination, energetic workout routines and a few fun clues, students will be instantly inspired to embark on whatever adventure you choose to send them on. Students will learn the value of teamwork while cheering on teammates during challenges, and improve their cognitive and reasoning skills as they decipher clues to keep moving forward.

What You’ll Need:

  • Written clues to lead students to destinations where they will perform exercises (one for each student)
  • Exercise sets which have been carefully thought out and planned ahead of time (one for each student)
  • Colored markers that students will locate at their assigned tasks (one color for each team, one marker of that color for each team member)

How to Play:

Prior to starting the game, instructors hide the markers at each “challenge area.” At the start of gameplay, decide the order in which students will perform tasks. Give them the first exercise at their “home base,” such as 20 jumping jacks, and award them with their first clue. Students must then decipher the clue as a team. This will lead them to their first location, where they will hunt for their team’s colored marker.

 

Upon returning to the “homebase” with the marker, the next student performs the next set of exercises for the next clue. This is repeated until each student has had a turn, each clue has been given out and gameplay is concluded.

 

Dance Parties

It’s no secret that grade school children love to dance, but did you know that dance improves emotional and social skills, as well? Why not turn their favorite activity into a fun end-of-year extravaganza? Students will happily try out complex cardiovascular fitness routines when they’re having a blast. So, find some upbeat music and make it a memorable last day of class.

What You’ll Need:

  • A device with a speaker to play positive music which is suitable for school and ideal for dancing. You can even take music requests from students beforehand.
  • A few carefully choreographed, age-appropriate fitness routines. Modern dance crazes like the Cupid Shuffle, Whip/Nae Nae or the Cha-Cha Slide are easy to learn and probably already familiar to some students.

How to Play:

This activity is as simple as pressing play on a music device. Try adding a little extra difficulty by instructing the kids to freeze every time the music stops – it’s amazing how long a child can stand still for competitive reasons.

Old-Fashioned Field Games

Set up some Field Day favorites, like sack races and egg-and-spoon races. Have stations for kids to try all the activities and either keep score on teams, or just make it about having fun. The great thing about these games is that most students won’t know how to do them well, so it will be an even playing field for everyone.

What You’ll Need:

  • Potato sacks
  • Eggs or ping pong balls
  • Spoons
  • Any other items for your Field Day ideas

How to Play:

Decide which Field Day activities you want to include, and then go online to find out the official rules and supplies. Feel free to tweak the games to fit the children’s age or interests.

The last days of school should favor fun, and with these great PE activities your students are sure to start the summer with a smile. Check out our lesson plans for more PE inspiration.

Put a Fresh Spin on PE Classes with These 4 Global Games

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

kids laughing playing a game in the classroom

The closer we come to the end of the school year, the more difficult it becomes to keep kids active and engaged. As children look forward to their time away from education, teachers need to work harder to ensure that they remain focused during PE classes.

There are plenty of things that educators can do to help revitalize student passion for movement and fitness. One great option is to introduce new games and cultural ideas from around the world. While the games children play vary from place to place, they usually all have numerous benefits when it comes to promoting fitness, social skills and concentration levels.

Here are four global games you can use to pique interest in your end-of-year PE classes, while expanding your students’ geographical education.

1. Catch the Dragon’s Tail from China

Though it’s designed for younger children, this game is great for students of all age levels. It’s a simple and exciting activity that’s particularly useful when you want to get your PE class working together as a team. The more people participating, the more challenging and fun the game becomes.

Catch the Dragon’s Tail starts when the children in your class form a human chain, standing one behind the other, with their hands on the shoulders of their classmate. The child right at the front of the chain is the “dragon’s head” and the child at the back is the “dragon’s tail.” The aim of the game is for the head to catch the tail, while all the students behind the dragon’s head try to stop this from happening.

As soon as the dragon’s head captures the tail, he or she becomes the tail, and the next student takes their place as the head.

2. Statues from Greece

Another game originally created for younger children but perfect for all age groups, is Statues. This game comes from Greece, where dozens of marble statues make up the natural environment for children across the country.

To play, choose one student to be “it,” and have them cover their eyes while standing in the center of a large open space. The student will need to count to a random number (at least 10) before opening their eyes. While the student is counting, the other students need to scatter until he/she yells agalmata, or “statue” in Greek. Upon that word, all students must freeze in place and take on a famous statuesque pose.

The student who is it will go around tagging any moving statues, and trying to make stationary ones move or laugh. The last statue remaining is the winner, becoming the new it.

3. Sepak Takraw from the Philippines

The traditional game from the Philippines is perfect for children aged 5 and up. The word Sepak is the Malay word for “kick,” while Takraw is the Thai word for a woven or rattan ball. In other words, this is a kind of kick-based volleyball that uses a net, and requires children to use only their head, chest, knees or feet to touch the ball.

Sepak Takraw requires teachers to create small 8×8 grids for two groups of six children. Those children then need to divide into teams of three, which form a triangle shape either side of the net.  The goal is to hit the ball over the net in such a way that the opposing team can’t hit it back. The serving group scores points if the other group:

  • Catches or holds the balls
  • Allows the ball to hit the ground more than once
  • Doesn’t return the ball in three hits or less
  • Hits the balls out of bounds

4. Kin-Ball from Canada

Kin-ball is a game that originates from Quebec, Canada. It’s a team game that’s perfect for anyone aged 6 and up, and it can become more or less challenging depending on the age of the students involved. PE teacher Mario Demers created Kin-ball in 1987, and it’s known to some as “cooperative golf.”

To play Kin-ball, teachers will need to arrange students into groups of six, which are further divided into smaller teams of three. Each group of six will need two hoops and one ball. While one group is the “receiving” group, holding an empty hoop, the other is the “serving” group, holding a ball inside their group. The serving group will drop to a knee, holding their hoop high, and one player will let go of the hoop to punch the ball towards the receiving group. The goal is for the receiving group to move to capture the ball in their hoop.

Kin-ball is a great way to get children active, and encourage them to work together more efficiently in teams.

Expanding the World of Physical Education

There are dozens of exciting global games that can add a fresh spin to PE for students who are becoming bored or distracted during standard activities. These unique games not only encourage new forms of movement in children, but can also improve teamwork and introduce students to new cultures from around the world.

For more PE ideas, check out our lesson plans.

3 Thanksgiving Themed Games to Play With Your Family

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

thanksgiving

Like most holidays, Thanksgiving is synonymous with gorging on scrumptious food. That can be great for your tastebuds, but not so nice for your physical health and well being.

The American Council on Exercise estimates that the average Thanksgiving meal — complete with turkey, gravy, side dishes, and dessert — is around 3,000 calories and 229 grams of fat. That figure grows even further when you add in drinks and all-day snacking. To put it into perspective, those calories represent nearly twice the recommended daily calorie intake and more than four times the amount of fat a person is supposed to eat in one day.

Despite those figures, a big Thanksgiving meal is often an uncompromising part of family celebrations, and something to look forward to! With the onslaught of a food coma on the horizon, here are a few fun Thanksgiving themed activities so you can balance your Thanksgiving meal with some healthy activities this November.

Turkey Tag

This is a holiday adaptation of the beloved game of schoolyard tag. Turkey Tag can be played with small or large groups. Two players are designated turkeys, and given a rubber chicken or other item to indicate their role. They then run around the set play area trying to tag other players. Once tagged, players are transformed into turkeys and must move around the play area flapping their “wings.” They’re stuck in that position until a non-tagged player taps them on the shoulder.

Turkey Tag is a perfect activity if you have limited resources and a large group of people. Plus the rules are easy to explain and understand, and your kids will love transforming the older members of the group into gobbling turkeys.

Capture the Turkey

Inspired by the game Capture the Flag, Capture the Turkey is perfect for large families who can create 2 or more teams of 7 to 10 people. Each team should be indicated by a different color shirt or some other identifying clothing.

Divide a large playing space so each team has its own “turkey farm” territory and within it, a small turkey pen and turkey jail area. Within their respective turkey pens, each team will have a rubber chicken or a construction paper turkey that needs to be captured by an opposing team. The premise of the game is to capture this turkey without being tagged by a member of the opposite team.

If tagged, players move to the turkey farm jail and must squawk loudly so a team member knows to come and save them. A team wins once they’ve successfully kidnapped the other team’s rubber turkey and brought it back to their turkey farm.

Capture the Turkey is a good choice for middle school aged children and their family members.

Turkey Trot

Like Turkey Tag, Turkey Trot can be played with small or large groups of people. Divide your family members and friends into groups of two, and have one person pick up a rubber turkey or some other small item that’s easy to throw.

Teams should then be positioned a few paces from one another in the playing area. Players toss the turkey back and forth to music being played in the background. Once that music stops, the person with the turkey must run from their partner in an attempt to continue hanging onto the turkey. If they’re tagged, they must surrender the turkey to their partner and flap their wings and gobble three times before they’re able to try and recapture the bird. When the music restarts, partners go back to tossing the rubber turkey between themselves.

This game builds a number of essential skills such as hand-eye coordination and running, making it an especially good game for younger children still developing motor skills.

There you have it — three activities that will help mitigate the factors of an indulgent Thanksgiving dinner, not to mention get you outside when all you want to do is participate in an all day snack-fest. Try them out this Thanksgiving — at the very least, we promise they’ll increase your appetite for your Thanksgiving feast!