- 1. Bean Bag Balance
- 2. Bean Bag Toss
- 3. Balloon Drop
- 4. Animal Jumping Tracks
- 5. Animal Yoga
- 6. Drop, Catch, Throw and Tag
- 7. Simon Says!
- 8. Hopscotch
- 9. Move it or Lose it
- 10. Red Rover RollOver
Phone screens shrinks your kids’ daily physical activity requirements, which may hurt their physical motor skill development. However, recess and gym games for kids are a great stimulus to develop their motor ability. A great idea would be to engage them with age-appropriate yet fun games. If you are looking for such exciting games for your gym class, here are 30 games that will make your job easier.
List of 30 Best Gym Games for Kids
With different types of games available in the market, we have classified our list in categories to help you to find the best PE games for kids:
Exciting Gym Games For Kindergartners
Preschoolers are full of energy and excitement, and physical activity boosts this trait. Physical exercises also improve their balance, reflex, flexibility and other motor skills crucial for their holistic development. Here are some amazing gym activities and workouts for kids to boost their fitness as well as their overall well-being:
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1. Bean Bag Balance
A good game to start with, it’s all about challenging the little ones to balance the bean bag on different parts of their body. Ask kids to walk or crawl with balancing bean bags on the shoulders, between the knees, on the back, etc.
This game will enhance their fine motor development as it involves walking, running, hopping, and maintaining momentary stillness- all by striking the right balance.
Tip: Get creative! Engage with them by visualizing funny scenarios, like asking them to imagine the bean bag as an egg that will fall and crack if the balance goes off.
2. Bean Bag Toss
This is another game where bean bag just serves the purpose. Bean bags are easy to grip and cause no injury even in accidental hits. To play the game, you can draw the targets on the floor and have kids throw the bean bags into targets. This will develop their accuracy, throwing and coordination skills.
Tip: To make the game livelier, you can put down hula hoops or baskets instead of drawing targets manually.
3. Balloon Drop
Volleying the balloon up high for as long and not letting it drop is the essence of the game. Allow kids to use their hands to keep the balloon off the ground, as this will enhance their flexibility and striking abilities.
Tip: As an add-on in the game, a teacher can ask students to call out a fellow student’s name while volleying up the balloon. This way, students can learn each other’s names and coordinate.
4. Animal Jumping Tracks
For little ones, this outdoor game can prove to be engaging. The idea is to draw different colored tracks and ask the kids to jump by chanting the color names. This game will foster color recognition and gross motor skills in kids.
Tips: Do not use more than four colors for preschool kids otherwise they will feel burnout switching colors and will /eventually lose interest.
5. Animal Yoga
It’s time to get some yoga poses for kids to get them moving. For this game, you can use cards with animal yoga poses on them. Simply ask the kids to pull out a card from the deck and imitate the yoga pose shown on the card. Playing such games regularly can improve their overall flexibility.
Tip: You can make the game more interesting by playing it in groups with half the class strength. Make a group of four students each and assign a card to them. Let the other half of the class decide on the best performers!
6. Drop, Catch, Throw and Tag
Preschool years are the best when it comes to firming the hand grip of kids. You can play this Drop and Catch game in groups but with a twist. Ask the kid in the middle to tag another kid and throw the ball to him while the latter will have to catch the ball before it bounces twice. This is a fun ball game for kids.
Tip: If the ball is too challenging to catch for kids, use a balloon.
7. Simon Says!
Wanna know how to get your students hooked to giggles on Wednesdays? Well, Simone says ‘play’! Simon Says is one of the best games to achieve fun and physical movement at the same time. You can use all the exercises to get the kids moving such as touching toes, side bends to touch the ground, hopping forward and backward, flamingo legs, jumping in one place, etc.
Tip: To add a more exciting touch to the game, you can incorporate dance songs for kids and get them grooving.
Related Reading: Co-curricular Activities and its Benefits for Students
Gym Class Games for Lower Elementary Kids
Gym games for kids are a fun way to make your classroom fun along with encouraging kids to stay fit. Here are some of the most exciting gym class activities for lower elementary kids:
Hopscotch is a classic, loved game among children and adults alike. It not only contributes to developing gross motor skills, but also coordination and numeracy skills. Draw numbers from 1 to 10 with some boxes and you are good to go!
Tip: Bring a fun twist in the game by making new rules such as ‘low feet jump to 10’, ‘hope like a frog as you count’, etc.
9. Move it or Lose it
Incorporating movement in the classroom routine using visual cues card can do wonders for the overall development of kids. You can make a set of visual cue cards and mention different actions on them such as jumping high, marching around, running in place, etc. Have your kids pull out a card and mimic the action. This will help improve their gross motor skills, receptive language, and motor imitations.
Tip: Attach the visual cards to popsicle sticks to make them easy to carry and increase their mean life.
10. Red Rover RollOver
Every so often, schools have either limited budgets or are unable to get supplies when needed. In such cases, gym games for kids that can be played without any equipment come to the rescue and RRRO is one of them. Teachers should challenge the students to roll sideways from their position until they reach the finish line and touch one member of another team. It’s a great game for pleasant weather days and gives good exercise to little ones.
Tip: The bigger the team, the better the game.
11. Shark and Minnows
This one is another great game that doesn’t require any equipment or setup but will surely bring up some cute giggles. It’s a tag game where one student i.e., the shark chases the rest of the students i.e., minnows. Consequently, every tagged student becomes a shark until there is a single minnow left- the winner of the game.
Tip: Don’t forget to set some ground rules else the kids may run hither and thither, eventually increasing the risk of getting hurt.
12. Beach Ball Blanket Toss
Make groups of four and ask kids to hold all four corners each of a big cloth or bedsheet. Throw a beach ball on the blanket and watch the excitement of the other kids as they try to catch the bouncing ball. In all, a good game to build grip and patience.
Tip: Instead of using a big cotton cloth piece, you can use a quilt as it will give a good bounce, adding more thrill to the game.
13. See if You Can
Activity card games are a brilliant educational resource to teach kids, be it academics or movement skills. You can use such cards conveniently to teach kids about body composition and get them on a moving spree. The cards have instructions that go around movements like jumping, skipping, sprinting, balancing, leaping, etc.
Tip: Challenge kids to attempt 3 activities each within a set time.
14. Make an 8
This game will prove to be an excellent physical activity for teachers, let alone students. All you have to do is arrange for two tall cones and place them 3-4 meters apart. Now ask your students to face forward and move side-to-side in and out of the cone making a figure 8.
Tip: Once the students form an 8, ask them to repeat the activity while holding a basketball.
15. Catch the Cones
Teachers can stand on a box with 10 colored cones in her hand while the students stand all around the box. The game begins when the teacher throws the cones in the air all around and the students will have to catch the cones before they hit the ground. The student with a maximum number of cones at the end will be the winner. Playing this game repeatedly will enhance the catching and coordination skills of the students.
Tip: You can add a fun element to the game by giving points for different colored cones.
16. Obstacle Course
This is a fun indoor game for kids, Obstacle Course improves agility, balance, and coordination in young kids. Place obstacles such as hula hoops, chairs, or ropes on the floor and ask kids to move swiftly as they dodge them.
Related Reading: Best Outdoor Games for Kids of All Ages
Fun PE Games for Upper Elementary Kids
Physical activity games for kids are crucial for their growth. Let’s have a look at some fun PE activities for upper elementary kids!
17. Egg and Spoon
You cannot deny playing this ultimate hand-eye coordination game in your childhood. Simply give your students a spoon and ask them to balance the egg as they move from one point to another. The one who reaches the finishing line first wins the game.
Tip: Dancing or singing while balancing the egg on the spoon will make it all the more challenging and fun.
18. Follow the Pattern
Get set for an energetic and entertaining game that encompasses balancing activities with moving in patterns. The teacher will give calls throughout the game that will have instructions about the movement such as jumping and landing on two feet, galloping, hopping on one foot, etc. The students who follow all the patterns without fail will win the game.
Tip: You can level up the game by giving out calls every 20 seconds.
19. Tail Tag
Students aged 9-12 years can be taught skills such as teamwork, healthy competition, strategy, and other physical skills through such games. As the name suggests, Tail Tag is all about grabbing as many tails as possible. Here tails are nothing but a piece of cloth that will be tied to a belt. Students have to grab and collect these tails as they chase each other.
Tip: Do not tuck or tie the cloth too tightly for kids as unmindful grabbing might lead to subtle hurt.
20. Bounce the Bucket
Another game that will surely make a PE class exciting! You will require 8 cones, 3 buckets, and 4 balls. Arrange the cones on the sidelines and buckets in the middle, and Tada! your setup is ready. The students will have to bounce the ball on the ground once and then throw it into the bucket from a distance. Bounce the Bucket will help motor skill-building in upper elementary kids.
Tip: Use a basketball for a great bounce!
21. Jump the Noodle
In this game of two, you will just need a foam noodle. The idea is to jump over the noodle without touching it as the other player swipes it left, right and center. A pair that can finish 10 jumps each without any interruption receives the prize.
Tip: Allow the students to pair up themselves with their choice as it will help them coordinate and play.
22. Rob the Nest
All the basketball lovers, assemble! The students will love the thrill and competition that this game offers. A large square is to be made using 4 hoops with many basketballs in the middle. Each team member will come forth and dribble the basketballs from the middle to their team’s spot. Once no ball remains in the ball, know that it’s time to run around and steal the balls from each other.
Tip: Make 4 teams with no more than 2 players to avoid complexity and confusion.
23. Cat’s Corner
Similar to dodgeball, the throwers in the game are cats who try to hit the runners i.e., mice using the ball. If the mouse gets hit by the ball before landing in the corner safe space, he is considered out.
Tip: To keep the game interesting, there must be an equal number of cats and mice.
24. Shadow Tag
Tag games are a great way to engage the students. They aid in the development of skills like gross motor, endurance, and social and cognitive skills. Unlike other tag games, here students have to tag a runner’s shadow. A perfect time to play this game is during mid-day.
Tip: Set a rule where the player has to call out ‘SHADOW’ as soon as they hit a runner’s shadow, else they’ll be out of the game.
Top Gym Games for Middle Schoolers
PE games that incorporate empathy and teamwork are very important for middle schoolers ranging between fifth grade and eighth grade. Here are some of our favorites:
25. Backward Soccer
Where are all the soccer lovers? This game is soccer but with a backward twist. Players are not allowed to use their feet to advance the ball; their hands are the action weapons now. They must use only their hands to shoot, pass or dribble. Even goalies will only be allowed to use their hands in defense.
Tip: Keep a guide ready in case the students get all mixed up with the rules.
26. Yoga Cards
Yoga is a good option for middle schoolers. Keep some yoga cards ready for your next PE class and ask them to hold each yoga pose for not less than 10 seconds.
Tip: If some students repel the idea of yoga, don’t worry. They will surely appreciate how relaxed they feel after some meditation treat. You can also show them some meditation videos for added engagement.
27. Noodle Archery
This is a classic archery game but with some fun modifications. Hang one hula hoop or have someone hold for you at some distance. Set up three lines at a different distance from the hula hoop which will act as the shooting positions. Ask each student to throw the pool into the hoop once from each line.
Tip: Assign points to each line- highest to the farthest line and lowest to the closest one. This will make the game more competitive.
28. Relay Race
Relays are the real ‘old is gold’. This game has been there for ages and never fails to excite the players and spectators. Relay Race not only enhances the natural competitive side of children but also encourages the development of gross motor, teamwork, and empathy skills. One high-five between players and you know it’s time to take over the race.
Tip: The tip here is that there is no need for any tip. The game in itself is sufficient to keep you on your toes.
29. Pole Weave
This is a great exercise to do twice or thrice a week. Place three straight poles and three crossed poles diagonally on the ground. To win the game, students will have to jump over the cross poles and sprint to weave in and out of the straight poles without touching any of them.
Tip: You can make the game more challenging by asking students to jump over the crossed poles and back at least 3 times.
30. Speed Ball
A mix of basketball and soccer, this is a challenging brain game for kids. It is played in two groups where both teams have access to a basketball net and goals each on their side. A team player passes the ball in the air like a basketball, but if it falls on the ground, the game switches to soccer. It’s all hands now!
Tip: Keep negative marking when the ball falls on the ground to make the game competitive.
Related Reading: Enjoyable Kids’ Activities for a Whoopee Time
Let’s Make Fitness Fun for Kids!
PE classes can be very fulfilling if the games are both exciting and physically challenging at the same time. Instead of forcing them for boring squats and push-ups, you can engage them in such games. Motivation is necessary but how it is conveyed also plays a central role. And, it’s all up to PE teachers to how tactfully they face this challenge. Moreover, the list of the gym games for kids is not exhaustive. There’s always room for tailoring a game to your student’s needs and skill requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can I motivate students to be physically active?
It’s a challenging task, but you do not need to worry! Apart from engaging them in group gym games for kids, you can allow them to groove to some dance and music, with activities like Zumba and Dance Aerobics. However, you must be vigilant about the kind of music being played on the speakers. A smart move would be to decide student-friendly music playlist well in advance. Secondly, you must highlight the difference between being a fitness freak and being physically active.
How often can I let students play these games?
It depends on the schedule of PE classes provided by the school authorities. For preschool kids, the gym games for kids could be played once every day. However, for upper elementary and middle schoolers, twice or thrice a week would be enough.
What are some PE activities for kids? ›
- Freeze Tag. ...
- Crazy Hoops. ...
- Capture the Flag. ...
- Frisbee Golf. ...
- CROSSNET. ...
- Hopscotch. ...
- Topple Ball. ...
- Beanbag Relay.
Fun PE games for kids like soccer, kickball, or basketball can be played with just a ball at a nearby park. Games like “H-O-R-S-E" or "around the world” can be played with just two or more players on a basketball court. Net sports like tennis, volleyball, and badminton are great PE games for kids.What are the 4 types of games in PE? ›
There are four basic types of games: invasion/territory, net/wall, striking/fielding and target.What are some gym activities? ›
- Squat. ...
- Box Jump. ...
- Plank. ...
- Bench Press. ...
- Treadmill Interval Sprints. ...
- Bosu Squats. ...
- Foam Roller.
activities such as: frisbee-golf, bocce beanbag, horse- shoes, team-handball, floor-hockey, bowling, rock-wall climbing, archery basketball, safe-dodge ball, soccer, cooperative-games, mini-golf, kickball, jump-roping, tag games, scatter dance, and fitness challenges.What are instant activities in PE? ›
Instant Activity is a management and teaching strategy that gives your students a task to begin immediately upon walking into the gym. Usually this will act as their warm-up activity as well.What are the 5 things in PE? ›
- Cardiovascular Endurance.
- Muscular Strength.
- Muscular Endurance.
- Body Composition.
Examples of target games include golf, archery, bowling, bocce ball, and billiards. Players/teams score by hitting an object into a court space in such a way that the opposing player/team cannot hit it back within the allowed amount of bounces.What are target games in PE? ›
Target games are those in which players send an object (such as a ball or dart) towards a target area. Sometimes this may also involve avoiding obstacles, defending, guarding, or blocking the path of the opposition's ball to stop them from scoring.What are the 8 invasion games? ›
Sports that use invasion game objectives include AFL, basketball, football (soccer), hockey, netball, rugby league, rugby union, and touch football.
What are the 8 exercises in gym? ›
There are eight essential exercises that should be included in your resistance training program: Squat, deadlift, power clean, bench press, reverse bent over row, pull-ups, military press, and dips. The squat and deadlift are the two most important exercises to be included.What are the 4 most important gym exercises? ›
In reality, we should all be doing aerobics, stretching, strengthening, and balance exercises.What is a good gym schedule? ›
If you want to work out five days per week and are working on both strength and cardiovascular fitness, try three days of strength training, two days of cardio, and two days of rest. If you want to work out four days a week, think about your goals: If you want to add muscle, cut a cardio day.How can I make my kids gym fun? ›
- Enjoy Exercise Yourself. Kids will always look up to their parents, so modeling a healthy lifestyle is key. ...
- Perform 'Activities', Not Exercises. ...
- Buy Some Backyard Toys or Props. ...
- Involve Friends. ...
- Indoor Exercises. ...
- Competitive Sports. ...
- Spice Up Routine Activities. ...
- Make Family Time Active.
Most of the physical activity should be aerobic, where kids use large muscles and continue for a period of time. Examples of aerobic activity are running, swimming, and dancing. School-age kids usually have brief bouts of moderate to strong physical activity alternating with light activity or rest throughout the day.What is a workout for kids? ›
Instead, kids can do push-ups, stomach crunches, pull-ups, and other exercises to help tone and strengthen muscles. They also improve their strength when they climb, do a handstand, or wrestle. Muscle strengthening and aerobic exercises like running, jumping, and hopping, also help build strong bones.What are 3 daily physical activities? ›
Moderate aerobic exercise includes activities such as brisk walking, biking, swimming and mowing the lawn. Vigorous aerobic exercise includes activities such as running, heavy yardwork and aerobic dancing.What are 4 physical fitness activities? ›
- Brisk walking or jogging.
- Yard work (mowing, raking)
- Climbing stairs or hills.
- Playing tennis or basketball.
- Planks. Planks target your abdominal muscles but give other muscles in your arms and legs a good workout. ...
- Lunges. Lunges strengthen your legs and glutes, stretching the muscles at the same time. ...
- Pushups. ...
- Squats. ...
- Overhead dumbbell presses. ...
- Single-leg deadlifts. ...
- Dumbbell rows. ...
- Side planks.
- Be a role model. Your children watch and mimic your habits, good and bad. ...
- Use exercise as transportation. ...
- Involve the whole family. ...
- Focus on fun. ...
- Make activity social. ...
- Use competition as a motivator. ...
- Include kids in household activities. ...
- Give gifts that promote physical activity.
What are 5 examples of sports activity? ›
- walking (recreational)
- fitness or gym.
- running or athletics.
- football or soccer.
A warm-up is a short activity or exercise undertaken prior to a more intensive exercise or activity. A warm-up is intended to prepare the body for movement, including exercise, sport, dance, and stretching.What are the best warm-up activities for PE? ›
According to Active Kids, jogging, backpedaling, and side shuffling are all great ways to warm up for some intense play and exercise. Donkey tails is a fun way to incorporate all three of these warm-ups into one game.What are 3 examples of vigorous physical activity? ›
- jogging or running.
- swimming fast.
- cycling fast or on hills.
- singles tennis.
Vigorous intensity activities are defined as activities ≥ 6 METS. Vigorous activities require the highest amount of oxygen consumption to complete the activity. Examples of vigorous physical activities include: running (5 mph >), swimming, shoveling, soccer, jumping rope, carrying heavy loads (i.e. bricks).What are 6 examples of physical health? ›
Physical health includes our endurance, strength, flexibility, cardiovascular, digestive health and more. This is how prepared our body is each day to move through the world.What are the three C's in PE? ›
Communication, Creativity, Commitment – The Three Cs That Can Turn An SEN Child's Behaviour Around - Teachwire.What are the 4 big ideas in PE? ›
Key concepts are the key areas or the big ideas that underpin learning in our subject. These are competence, performance, creativity and healthy active lifestyles. It is important that teachers and learners understand these as they form the basis of the language of learning in physical education.What are the three P's of PE? ›
This article describes a three-phase program for teaching affective skills in physical education. The program consists of three "P's" which stands for pre-instruction, play-teach-play, and processing the experience.What are 4 examples of a most popular target games? ›
Sports that use target game objectives include archery, bocce, croquet, golf and ten pin bowling. Target Games provide fun and engaging ways to develop physical literacy across the four domains as outlined below.
What are wall games in PE? ›
Net/wall games are games in which players send an object (e.g., ball, shuttle) over a net or against a wall so that it lands in an area that an opponent is defending. The aim is to make it difficult for the opponent to return the object or force them into a mistake.What are physical games? ›
Physical games are played using the body and may require attributes such as: Physical strength, to lift, throw or strike things, or to push or hit other people. Running speed, to reach places faster than others.What are the 4 categories of games? ›
Categories of Games
The model can be applied to four categories to games. These categories are: Target Games, Net/Wall Games, Striking/Fielding Games and Invasion games.
Striking and Fielding games are those in which one team can score points when a player strikes a ball (or similar object) and runs to designated playing areas while the other team attempts to retrieve the ball and return it to prevent their opponents from scoring.What types of PE games are invasion games? ›
- Invasion Games.
- Invasion Games.
- 1 .1 Pirates' Treasure. Pirate's Treasure is a fun way to learn the game skills of attacking as a team and using team tactics. ...
- 1.2 Team Tail Tag. ...
- 1.3 Team Corner Ball. ...
- 1.4 Castles. ...
- 1.5 Touch and Tag. ...
- 1.6 Tag Netball / Aranga Tag.
Bowing, archery, bocce ball, golf, and billiards are all considered forms of target games. These types of games give the player one goal: to aim at a specific target.What are at least 5 common invasion games? ›
Classic invasion sports include soccer, basketball, football, hockey, ultimate, and rugby. This module provides lead-up activities aimed at developing the motor skills, movement patters, and strategic knowledge commonly associated with invasion sports.What is the 12 workout? ›
One viral trend known as the "12-3-30" workout did just that and is soothingly straightforward: You set your treadmill to an incline of 12 and a speed of 3 miles per hour and then walk for 30 minutes.What are the Big 7 exercises? ›
- Barbell row.
- Bench press.
- Overhead press.
- Farmer's walk.
What are 5 fitness exercises? ›
- Walking. Any exercise program should include cardiovascular exercise, which strengthens the heart and burns calories. ...
- Interval training. ...
- Squats. ...
- Lunges. ...
- Push-ups. ...
- Abdominal Crunches. ...
- Bent-over Row.
You need it all: cardio/aerobic exercise, strength training, weight-bearing exercise, stretching, breathing, and balance.What are the 3 types of exercise? ›
The three main types of physical activity are aerobic, muscle strengthening, and bone strengthening. Balance and flexibility activities are also beneficial.How do I create a fitness plan? ›
- Consider your fitness goals. ...
- Create a balanced routine. ...
- Start low and progress slowly. ...
- Build activity into your daily routine. ...
- Plan to include different activities. ...
- Try high-interval intensity training. ...
- Allow time for recovery. ...
- Put it on paper.
What is a Fitness Plan? Put simply, a fitness plan is a schedule of planned sessions of physical exercise. These sessions can be relaxed exercise, like a walk around the park, or it can be more strenuous, like interval training or resistance training.What is simple and fun exercise? ›
Kids should exercise for about an hour a day to improve coordination and muscle strength. Some fun exercises for kids include running, jumping, skipping, and bear crawls. Kids should also do muscle-building exercises like supermans, squats, and crab walks.How do I get my lazy kids active? ›
- Talk with your child's doctor. Your child's doctor can help your child understand why physical activity is important. ...
- Emphasize fun. ...
- Choose an activity that is developmentally appropriate. ...
- Plan ahead. ...
- Provide a safe environment. ...
- Provide active toys. ...
- Be a role model. ...
- Play with your children.
- Large Non-Slip Exercise Mat.
- 45″ Trampoline.
- Balance Pods.
- Large Peanut Balls.
- Medicine Ball.
- Climbing Rope.
- Climbing Ladder.
- Large Platform Swing.
- Bent-over row.
- Side lunge.
- Single-leg deadlift.
- Leg lift.
Even if your child isn't interested in sports, strength training can: Strengthen your child's bones. Help promote healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Help your child maintain a healthy weight.
How much can a 10 year old lift? ›
Standard barbell weights should be just fine for kids. They probably won't be using the 25-45 lb plates for a while, but most kids should be able to lift a barbell with 2.5-10 lb plates depending on the lift.What are the activities for grade 1 PE? ›
They should get practice walking, running, hopping, jumping, leaping, galloping, sliding, skipping, dodging, landing, turning, and side-stepping. In group activities, kids should learn how to move and change direction quickly.What are 5 types of target games? ›
Bowing, archery, bocce ball, golf, and billiards are all considered forms of target games. These types of games give the player one goal: to aim at a specific target. With precise movements and good hand-eye coordination, one can practice their way toward becoming a master at any one of these particular target games.What is Target 5 game? ›
Participants set up their area, placing five pylons one metre apart in a horizontal line. Participants select a throwing line that is a challenging distance from the pylons. On top of each pylon, participants place an object as a target, each worth a set number of points as decided by the group.What do 7th graders do in PE? ›
(5) In Grades 6-8 physical education, students apply sport concepts; recognize key elements for success; develop plans for health-related fitness, skill-related fitness, and skill improvement; apply knowledge of safety practices and self-management; and understand in greater detail the function of the body.What do 2nd graders learn in PE? ›
Whether it's walking and running; hopping, jumping, and leaping; or galloping, sliding, skipping, and turning — second graders are expected to build on the physical skills they learned in first grade. They should have time to practice combining these movements and try transitioning between them.