Elementary Physical Education Activities Your Students Will Love!!



As part of your physical education program, elementary physical education activities are usually done for 5 minutes before (warm up) the physical education lesson begins and for 5 minutes, just before the period ends (cool down).


Sometimes my students enjoyed these activities so much, I would have a gym period using a variety of my physical education activities.

Close to the end of the year (May -June), I would have my kids partner up and they would have to create an activity and teach it to the rest of the class. It instilled self-motivation, co-operation, and sportsmanship. I could use it for an additional mark on the final report card. It was a WIN-WIN for all.

Here are 4 warm up elementary physical education activities that my students really enjoyed and I know yours will too!!

1. Face to Face

Scatter formation (possibly in a large circle) with partners. One odd player stands in the center and alternates between calling "Face to Face" and "Back to Back". The students take the positions accordingly.

When he calls "All change" the students must find new partners and the center player tries to get one too. The student left without a partner goes to the center and gives the commands.

If there was no "odd student" then I played too.

2. Partner Tag

All of the students but two hook arms in couples. Of the two that are free one is "it" or the chaser and the other is the runner.

The runner tries to avoid being tagged by locking arms with either member of any couple he chooses. When he does, the third student of the group becomes the runner and must avoid being tagged.

If the runner is tagged the runner and chaser change positions. To make the activity interesting, the couples should run and twist to elude the runner.

For a large number of students there can be more than one runner and chaser.

3. The Sheep And The Wolf

Formation: Two lines are drawn 20 to 30 feet apart. One student is the wolf and the rest are sheep. The sheep stand behind one line and the wolf stands in the center.

Aim: When the wolf claps his hands, the sheep try to run from one line to another without being tagged on the back. If they are caught, they become wolves. Only the original wolf can clap his hands to bring the sheep out.

4. Squirrels In The Trees

Have the class form a large circle and count off in three's. Have two students, one being a fox and the other a squirrel outside the circle.

Have the one's and three's join hands forming an arch (or tree) with the number two's in the middle as squirrels.

To start the activity, the fox chases the squirrel outside the tree. The squirrel runs into a tree to get away.

The squirrel in that tree must now run out of the tree and is chased by the fox. If the squirrel is caught, he becomes the fox.

Have all the squirrels squat down when they run into a tree so that all squirrels have a chance.

Have the other students that are trees change places with the squirrels so that everyone has a turn running.

Now here are 4 cool down elementary physical education activities that my students enjoyed as well.

1. Time Limit

Place the students in a circle with one student in the middle. The student in the center counts to ten to himself as a ball is passed around the circle from one student to the next.

When the student reaches ten, he yells "STOP" and the person with the ball is out. The last student is the winner.

One variation of this activity is to have students bounce the ball to each other instead of passing.

2. Squeeze-O

Students form a single line standing shoulder to shoulder with hands behind their backs. One student chosen to be "It" stands in front of the line facing it. A goal line is set up about 40 to 50 feet away.

The line of students moves toward the "It" student as he walks backwards. The student at the left end of the lne squeezes the hand of the person beside him. The squeeze is transferred all the way down to the last person in the line. The last person then yells "O".

As soon as he does, everyone runs towards the goal line. The "It" student chases them trying to tag them. As each student is tagged, they tag any others.

The first person tagged becomes "It" for the next game.

3. Frog In The Middle

This activity can be played in the playground, gym, auditorium or classroom.

Students form a circle around one student sitting cross-legged in the middle, who is the frog.

Students in the circle walk forward and backward from the frog chanting "Frog in the middle (sea), can't catch me".

The frog stays seated and tries to tag one of the students who is teasing him. The student who is tagged becomes the frog. Students need to be quite daring.

4. Charley Over The Water

Students hold hands to form a circle facing the center. One or more students stand in the center of the circle.

The circle students run or skip in one direction while chanting "Charley over the water, Charley over the sea, Charley catch the blackbird, you can't catch me".

At the word "me", the circle students immediately stop running and stoop with both hands touching the floor. At the same time the center students try to tag circle students before they can stoop.

Any tagged player changes places with the student that tagged him.

Caution students not to stoop before the word "me".

These are only a few of the elementary physical education activities that my kids participated in during their gym periods. Don't be afraid to mix up the warm up and cool down activities.

The most important thing is to enjoy teaching these elementary physical education activities, because your students will love them.



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