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31 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’ll want to make sure to have some staples on hand like balls, Hula-Hoops, bean bags, and parachutes. Regardless of your students’ athletic abilities, there is something for everyone on our list of elementary PE games!

1. Tic-Tac-Toe Relay

Students stand in the background. In the foreground are several hula hoops laid out on the floor (elementary PE games)

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 bean bags and get ready to watch the fun!

Learn more: S&S Blog

2. Blob Tag

A large group of elementary school aged children are holding hands and running outside (elementary PE games)

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: Playworks

3. Cross the River

A graphic shows how to setup his game. (elementary PE games)

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: The PE Specialist

4. Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Cones

Three photos show students lined up on a line of cones in a gymnasium (elementary PE games)

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: S&S Blog

5. Spider Ball

Four children facing the camera are chasing after a soccer ball flying through the air (elementary PE games)

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: Kidactivities.net

6. Crab Soccer

People are shown on all fours ready to kick a ball while imitating crabs (elementary PE games)

Similar to regular soccer but students will need to play on all fours while maintaining a crab-like position.

Learn more: Playworks

7. Halloween Tag

A graphic shows neon stick people standing in hula hoops and some have witch hats on. Text reads Halloween Tag (elementary PE games)

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: 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

A diagram shows how to setup a gynmasium for Monster ball. The left side shows the blue team and the right side shows the red. There is a large ball in a square in between the teams.

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: The PE Specialist

10. Striker Ball

Large cones and students are spread around a gymnasium.

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: S&S Blog

11. Parachute Tug-of-War

Students stand around a brightly colored parachute.

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: Mom Junction

12. Fleas Off the Parachute

Students stand around a large parachute with small balls bouncing on the top of it.

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: Mom Junction

13. Crazy Ball

A collage of pictures shows a little boy holding a frisbee, a few large dodge balls, and a group of children running.

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: Healthbeet.org

14. Bridge Tag

A stick figure is shown on all fours.

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: Great Camp Games

15. Star Wars Tag

A drawing of Star Wars shows a battle with different colored lightsabers.

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: Great Camp Games

16. Rob the Nest

Students are shown retrieving balls from a circle in the middle of an obstacle course.

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.

Learn more: Kiddo.edu

17. Four Corners

Four corners are designated by different colored papers. Students stand on different corners. different colored pa

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: The Many Little Joys

18. Movement Dice

A piece of paper has exercises listed next to each side of a dice (elementary PE games)

This is a perfect warm-up that requires only a die and a sheet with corresponding exercises.

Learn more: Teaching Littles

19. Rock, Paper, Scissors Tag

A graphic shows cartoon children jumping and the text reads our version of rock, paper, scissors tag (elementary PE games)

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: Grade Onederful

20. Cornhole Cardio

Students stand about 10 yards back from cornhold boards. There are cones scattered throughout the gymnasium.

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: S&S Blog

21. Connect Four

circles are laid out on the ground and students stand in two lines behind them (elementary PE games)

You will need a lot of Hula-Hoops to create two Connect Four boards that are 7 by 6 hoops deep. Students will be the tokens and have to make a basketball shot before getting to move into the board.

Learn more: Elementary PE Teacher

22. Zookeepers

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

A diagram shows how to setup the game Rack It, 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: PEgames.org

24. Crazy Moves

A diagram shows 5 mats laid out with x's on them to represent the students.

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: PEgames.org

25. Wheelbarrow Race

A cartoon image shows two kids on their hands while two other kids hold their legs. A third child is yelling Go in the background.

An oldie but a goodie, wheelbarrow races require no equipment and are guaranteed to be a hit with your students.

Learn more: Wiki How

26. 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, Bean Bag Balance

Two children stand playing rock, paper, scissors, with bean bags on their heads (elementary PE games)

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 bean bag, which they must balance on their head!

Learn more: Twitter/Christopher Sanders

29. Throwing, Catching, and Rolling

Wedge mats are laid out in front of kiddie swimming pools which are filled with industrial sized paper towel rolls. Children are scattered around holding whiffle balls.

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: S&S Blog

30. Jenga Fitness

A diagram explains the rules to playing 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: S&S Blog

31. Volcanoes and Ice Cream Cones

A diagram shows children running around flipping cones either upside down or right side up (elementary PE games)

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: Prime Coaching Sport

What are your favorite elementary PE games to play with your class? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, check out our favorite recess games for the classroom.

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