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Some warm up exercices taken from http://www.teachingideas.co.uk, submitted by Juan Antonio Gómez Martínez.
Having set up your gymnasium with all the apparatus for the lesson, ask students to complete an agents mission.
"Your mission agents is to move from apparatus to apparatus without touching the floor".
Be sure to join the apparatus circuit with mats and hoops to act as stepping stones. Play the "mission impossible" theme music.
I like to divide the class in half (girls/boys) and the children are asked to start on a piece of apparatus, preferably away from others. You can vary the difficulty by adding rolling movements when travelling on a mat.
The kids love it!!!
Choose some pupils to be chasers. These are the people who tig others.
Then choose some other pupils to be farmers. When someone has been tigged, they lie on their back with their legs and arms in the air.
They then have to wait until a farmer comes and rolls them over. To make this more fun the children can also make a 'baa' noise when being rolled over.
This activity can be used as a warm up to most PE lessons and my Y5 children still haven't tired of it!!
Children respond to the following video controls, using the appropriate actions:
Play - walk around
Rewind - run / walk backwards
Fast Forward - run
Pause - jump on the spot
Stop - stop
Emma Holliday has also added the following command:
Eject - Jump Up!
Zoe also suggested:
Record - pull a funny face!
Elaine also contributed the following suggestions:
Search for the programme - get the children to skip sideways.
Change - they then change direction.
Slow Motion - walk in a slow exaggerated way.
Some more suggestions from Jill:
Shift - 3 secs to move quickly to a different part of the room
Spacebar - Find a space
Delete - Flat on the ground, face down
Control - Hold a position
Another suggestion from a visitor:
Change disk - As part of a swimming lesson, this can be used to get the children to duck under the water.
This is a simple warm-up activity, where the leader / teacher shouts commands and the group have to complete the relevant action:
Red - Stop
Yellow - Run on the spot
Green - Run around the area
Roundabout - turn round once
Motorway - sprint (leave until a bit later in the warm-up)
Speedbump - jump and carry on.
Carpool - travel in groups of 2 or more (suggested by Julia)
Foggy weather - two learners pair up one behind the other. The one in front leads the one at the back who has his / her eyes closed (contributed by I Bailey).
Low bridge - everyone walks around hunched over / low to the ground (suggested by Ed)
Traffic Jam - walk or slowly jog (shared by Nicky)
Right or Left - pupils change direction (suggested by Vicky)
School Zone - slow walking, stop and slow walking again (suggested by Kate)
Change Lanes - change direction (contributed by Kate)
Reverse Parking - walk backwards (contributed by Kate)
Roadworks - run in single file (suggested by Martin L)
Breakdown - lie down until rescued (shared by Martin L)
Rain - use arms to mimic windscreen wipers (contributed by Gaz Elsdon)
Zebra crossing - gallop like a zebra (suggested by Caz)
Pelican crossing - walk and move arms up an down in front of your body (opening and closing like a beak) or move by sides like wings (suggested by Caz)
Lollipop lady - children all put hands out in front of them and shout "stop" (suggested by Caz)
Traffic warden - children look at a pretend 'watch' and waggle finger saying "tut tut tut" (suggested by Caz)
Police Car - Sit on floor and spin round shouting "nee naw nee naw" (suggested by Laura)
Fire Engine - Run around pretending to have a hose in their hands. (suggested by Laura)
Some children could also form bridges, which others have to go under (contributed by Martin L).
Kate has suggested using different speeds when moving around:
1st gear: Walking speed
2nd gear: Jogging
3rd gear: Running
4th gear: Sprinting
Anthony Atkinson has suggested trying this activity with the children using a football or a basketball:
Park - Sit on the ball
New Car - Stop the ball and run to another. The teacher can try removing a ball to increase competition
A visitor has shared their experiences of using this game:
I used this lesson plus many more actions. We spent over a month adding just a few more commands each time. I have over 25 commands they have to know and remember. WE take a drivers test at the end of the unit. They receive tickets if they don't perform the exercise correctly. They have 4 chances and at the end of the class, all children receive a driver's license for their efforts. I have classes of 20+ and they are in total control during the activity.
Can you think of any more? Leave your suggestions in the comments...
The Washing Game
Try the washing game with the children in your class. Commands are as follows:
Skirt - Children sit on floor with legs stretched out wide.
Trousers - Children sit on floor with legs outstretched together.
Shorts - Children sit on floor hugging legs into stomach.
Dress - Children stand up with legs outstretched.
Washing machine - Jump up and down on the spot.
Spin Dryer - Spin around on the spot.
Can your class think of any more?
Run Through the Jungle
I've used this with as many as 180 kids at once.
Children are running through the 'jungle' and run into many animals, etc that they need to get away from. The teacher can give appropriate commands, and the children carry out a suitable action:
jump over logs
duck under branches
high knees through quicksand
run from the tiger
tip toe past the snake
talk to the monkeys (ooh, ooh, aah, aah), etc.
This really gets kids' hearts pumping and they have a blast!
Carey Riding has suggested a new command:
Swing through the jungle like Tarzan - children reach up for the jungle vines and calling 'arrhhh, arh, arh' beating their chests etc.
First, pair up the children and sit them down, with legs flat (on the carpet) and spread out. Now give the pairs numbers 1,2,3 and so on.
You call a number and that pair will jump up and run round the whole of their team and sit down. The first one to sit back in place is the winner. Or as a team, the first pair run round and as soon as they are in place the next person gets up and runs, until the whole team has run round the whole team.
The first team to all sit down is the winning team.
This game is used in our recreational gymnastics group within our gymnastics club. It is part of the warm up to raise heart rate and body temperature for the gymnastics session ahead. It is also high on the fun factor, the children love it. It is nothing more than a version of "Stick-in-the mud". We call it "Tickly cat".
The person whom is "on" is the cat and she chases the other gymnasts (the mice!), and tags the mice. The mice then "fall asleep" lying on the floor in a star shape and they don't "wake up" until one of their friends tickles their tummy.
The game continues until everybody has had a go at being the cat or the time limit for the warm up is finished.
All our gymnasts really enjoy this game and there are usually a lot of smiles all around!
Mark the boundaries of your area.
One player starts off as 'it'. When a player is tagged they must link up by the arm with the 'it' and now they both become 'it' (linked up).
The game continues like this until only one player remains who is the winner. The link can break up at any time (minimum links of 3 people) and can also rejoin at any time
Fish and Chips
The game is a short warm-up idea which is fun and simple. It's called 'Fish and Chips'.
The children stand along a marked line in the centre of the playground. This line is called 'Fish and Chips'. A marked line to the left is called 'Fish'. One to the right is called 'Chips'.
When either fish, chips or fish and chips is called out, the children run and stand on that line.
Up, Down, Stop, Go!
Children have to listen very carefully!
On GO - children must stop still.
On STOP - children must move around the space either walking or running.
On UP - children must sit or lay down.
On DOWN - children must stretch up to the ceiling.
Teacher can catch children 'out' if so desired.
Front to Front
Children stand in pairs. The teacher calls out "front to front" and the children have to get into a pair and stand 'front to front', i.e. face each other.
After about 5 different instructions, the teacher shouts "change" and the children have to quickly find a new partner and stand in the manner of the teacher's last instruction.
Other instructions will be: back to back, elbow to elbow, side to side, toe to toe, finger to finger, knee to knee, hand to hand, shoulder to shoulder. Mix them up too, e.g. finger to shoulder, knee to hip, front to back etc.
The Teacher Says...
This game is adapted from the 'Simon says' game and encourages: balancing, stretching, cardio vascular exercise, and listening skills. It's better to keep the game fast-paced to engage children and to playfully 'catch them out'.
The teacher calls out a command e.g. "Miss Smith says do 5 star jumps" (to encourage cardio vascular exercise). The teacher can model the move correctly but sometimes perform the 'wrong' move, e.g. tuck jumps. or "Miss Smith says stretch as high as you can on one foot" (to encourage balancing skill) but teacher curls up in a ball.
If the game is kept pacy, children will find themselves incorrectly copying the teacher's movement instead of the verbal command!
This game can be adapted for a cool down activity as well: warm down stretches etc.
It can also be used for classroom practise if there are a few minutes to spare, and is also a good calming down and behaviour management technique. For example: the teacher can stand at the front of the class and begin the game by wiggling their fingers (a signal my class have learnt which immediately grabs their attention). The teacher then says "Miss Smith says touch your nose" while the teacher touches her ear, or, "Miss Smith says pat your head" while the teacher pats her stomach. To get the class to be calm, a good final command is "Miss Smith says fold your arms" and model correct command.
I have found that whispering commands and modelling calm, slow movements encourages further relaxation and calmness of the class.
I first tried this with children in Key Stage 2, but it also works with reception-aged children with a liitle patience. The children love it.
Split the class into two / three teams. Their aim is to reach the opposite side of the hall.
Each team stands in a line at one side of the hall with their legs spread apart. The person at the back then crawls underneath all of the pairs of legs and then becomes the person at the front. Once they have reached the front of the line, the child then has to shout next, so the person at the back knows when to start. Slow but surely the line starts to move forward!
Here's a tip: make the children stand really close together as its a little easier.
The first team to the opposite end of the hall is the winner.
The Atom Game
This game is called The Atom Game. Children run around the gym in all sorts of directions. The teacher calls out "Atom___" and a number. Which ever number is called, the children have to get into groups of that number. For example, the teacher calls "Atom 6!" and children get into groups of 6. Those left out of a group, are out.
A visitor has added the following suggestion:
I believe this activity could help increase inclusion in the classroom. Instead of looking for your friends, the students must quickly find others to form the group or they will be out. This may help form other friendly relationships in the class. This sounds great to me and could help with forming teams for other activities.
Ian D AJS says...
This is a great activity!
You could introduce rules like... children cannot go with someone who has been in the same group as them, or there has to be at least one boy and girl in each group?
Children who are 'out' could jog on the edge of the playing area - after every round some children, who are jogging sensibly, could come back in which would mean they are still active at all times!
Another visitor explains that...
I haven't used this as an elimination game, but it's great for getting pupils into teams before another activity - if you do it with a few different numbers first.
I use this as a warm up activity to PE lessons especially in dance to get children thinking about the rhythm and beat of the music. It's based on the 'bop it' game bought in shops.
You need a CD or tape with a beat on and you call out the actions to which the children respond in the following ways:
Kick it - children kick in front of them (ensure they're all in a space first!)
Twist it - twist their bodies half way around then back, feet remaining in same place on the floor.
Spin it - children turn around
Pull it - imagine they are pulling two levers down from above their heads.
Bop it - jump in the air.
They must try to do all these actions on the beat of the music. I've used it with Y2 and 3 and they loved it!
Catch it... Header it...
Stand in a circle with a group however large.
The teacher stands in the middle with a ball and throws it to each person. When the teacher calls "header it" you MUST catch it and when the teacher calls "catch it" you MUST header it.
Other commands can be added later to increase the complexity!
This activity is great for PE warm-ups or cool-downs as well as a good transition activity.
I home school and find free play for recess a bad idea as my students have trouble switching back to school and worse they never get any excercise. So, between classes we exercise through dancing trantsitions. First, I set the timer for 10 minutes and turn on fast paced dancing music and instruct the student to creatively dance until the timer goes off... the wilder the dance, the better!
Just make sure that furniture is moved first, jumping, flipping and spinning are ok as long as they don't hurt any one else. For cool down, I reset the timer for five more minutes and play a bit slower music like soft rock or some softer country music and children continue dancing or playing quietly by themselves for 5 more minutes.
When the timer rings, set the timer for one more time for 5 minutes this time play quiet music such as classical or lullaby music with out the words and students sit quietly in one place and may lay there head down, read, write, draw or do another relaxed activity. Sometimes a guided relaxation tape is used for this time.
After this students are ready to return to work, energised, relaxed and up to the really important stuff!
This is a warm up game using coloured hoops and coloured bean bags.
Scatter the hoops around the area in which you are working. Split the class in half - smugglers or 'goodies'. The goodies have a 30 second head start to place bean bags in their correct corresponding coloured hoop. On the blow of the whistle, the smugglers 'steal' the bean bags from their correct hoops and place them incorrectly.
The 'goodies' have to keep going to try and remedy the problem.
Lots of fun, and gets the heart rate going!
Stuck in the Mud
Stuck in the mud is a classic game and is a great pulse raiser for any age.
Two people are 'on' (that is depending on the size of the class - my example is for a class of 15-23 students). They have to chase the people that are not 'on' and tag them.
When they have tagged another student who was not on, that person is 'stuck in the mud'. They stand with legs and arms out and they cannot move. The only way to release them is if another person who is not stuck goes under the student that is stuck to free them. They can go through the person's legs, or under their arms.
This continues for about 5-10 minutes or until everybody is stuck. To increase the difficulty level, use more catchers.
Frogs Stuck in the Mud
Kids squat down and have to jump like frogs.
Get two people to be 'it' and they should work together to get everyone stuck in the mud by touching them. Nobody can run or get up unless they are stuck in the mud!
I play this as a warm up in kids' karate class to boost leg power too... they get tired pretty quickly!
This task is an exercise for children to work as a class - learning to be a 'team'! They must also be very careful and help each other as much as possible.
Children are to stand in a circle, as close together as possible, then turn to face right - their left arm should be in the centre of the circle. Get the children to move a step in so that they are physically body to body with the children in front - it has to be so for the exercise to work!!!
On three, all children should try to sit! They will find that the person behind will support them, therefore so will the person behind them and so on - weight is evenly distributed! They will be able to almost hover!!
See if your children can work as a team! (There is no 'I' in TEAM!)
Cat and Mouse
Choose two of the class to be cats, everyone else is a mouse and wears a tail (coloured band) in the back of their shorts.
The mice run around and the cats try to catch them by pulling the tails out. Make sure tails are showing before starting and ask cats to collect tails that they pull out so that no one slips on them.
Count the tails at the end and the cat with the most tails is the winner!
An alternative version has been suggested by Jenny Bull:
Cat and Mouse
Equipment needed - coloured bands or bibs
This can be played anywhere but a large space is better.
Choose 3 or 4 students from the class to be the catchers or the 'cats' and send them to the end of the hall/ playground to 'sleep'. Give each of the remaining students coloured band or bib to tuck into the back of their shorts (to be their mouse tails). Shout 'wake up cats'. They then chase the mice and try to catch their tails. The cats have to catch as many tails as they can until they are all gone. When a mouse loses their tail they have to sit down.
- Reduce or increase the number of mice.
- Allow all of the students to be cats and mice at the same time. They all have to chase each other and catch as many tails as they can. If they lose their tail they can still continue to catch other tails. The winner is the one with the most tails. This means that all students are active throughout the activity.
Sharks and Fish
Organise the children into pairs. One child is the shark, the other is the fish.
The fish follows the shark around and must imitate everything the shark does.
The teacher can shout out ideas such as 'swim' backwards, move slowly, rest on the floor etc.
Can you think of any other commands? Let us know in the comments...
This is a team game, which is great fun. My class ask to play it each week and never get tired of this fun game based on tag.
Split the class in half. Those who are 'on / it' have to tag others. When tagged, the child becomes a toilet! They have to kneel on one knee, arm up for the flush and other knee (foot on floor) flat for the toilet seat.
To be released, someone from your team has to go to the loo on you and flush your chain. No one can tag you whilst you're on the loo. Swap over after 10 minutes.
A funny, physical and thoroughly enjoyable game. A colleague passed this one to me but I have adapted it to suit my class of Y2 children.
Here is a variation, contributed by Maggie:
"We call this 'Flush the Loo'. Children are running around with 3-4 children who are 'on / it'. When they're caught they stand in one spot with their arm out and can't move until someone else flushes the loo. It's a fast pace than the other version and very good especially for 'active' boys. It's good to blow the whistle after 30 seconds and pick new people to be on. Also important to point out how to flush properly as they tend to bang down on each others' arm while they are running - a penalty is a time out for that one game. This has worked very well in my class and they love it."
The children should begin by walking around the room in any direction. On the various commands listed, they should carry out the appropriate action:
spaghetti - walk round the room tall and thin arms pointed together;
tagliatelli - walk round the room arms pointed side by side;
pasta twist - walk round the hall turning round and round;
pasta bow - walk round with legs and arms apart, bow shaped;
lasagne - lie flat on the floor; macaroni-make a circle with arms;
pasta shapes - make a 2D shape in small groups holding hands;
spaghetti hoops - make a 'hoop' in a small group holding hands;
canneloni - roll on the floor;
ravioli - stand back to back with a partner.
Hope you find these fun! I also use some pop songs for background music and the kids love it!
Have 3 students decide what character from the show 'Spongebob Squarepants' they want to be. All of the other students are jellyfish.
On the teacher's command, the Spongebob characters begin jelly fishing. If the jelly fish are caught they must go to bikini bottom (a designated area)
I play this game with my Foundation children.
Spread 4 different colour hoops around the floor space. Children move around the space (run, skip, crawl etc.) until teacher shouts "hoop".
The adult covers their eyes and counts slowly to 3. Children have this time to run to a hoop.
The adult says the colour of one hoop. Everyone in this hoop is out. Repeat until you have a winner.
The Mr. Man Game
This is an easy warm-up involving no equipment. Say the name of a Mr. Man and children have to move like him. The ones I use are:
Mr. Slow - move slowly.
Mr. Rush - move fast.
Mr. Jelly - shake your whole body.
Mr. Muddle - walk backwards.
Mr. Bounce - bounce!
Mr. Small - crouch and move.
Mr. Strong - move flexing your muscles.
Mr. Tall - stretch up and move (good for stretching once the children's hearts are racing.)
Sammy Rosehill has also suggested these ideas:
Mr. Tickle - wave around your arms in a crazy way.
Mr. Happy - move around with big smiles on your face.
You can obviously add more including Little Miss characters. The children can also add their own ideas meaning they never get bored of this game!
hildren who are out can close their eyes and select the hoop colour.
Aim - To develop space awareness and Locomotion / Travelling skills
Name of the game: Bumper cars.
Any amount of players.
Expectations: travel in a variety of ways (e.g. run, walk, leap) in different directions in response to signals (e.g. stop or go signals)
Equipment needed: Hula hoops and a gymnasium.
Game Instructions: I play this game with my Kindergarten and grade 1 class. Explain what personal space is and how you use it.
Give each student a hula hoop and have them hold it at waist level. Explain that this is there personal space car and they should not touch any other student’s car. Give them word directions e.g.: stop & go, stand up & sit down.
Have the students run from one end of the gym to the other. After, give them some directions while they are running, let them run freely around the gym. You can also make it an elimination game e.g.: the last one to stop or sit down has to sit out until there is only one.
Have a set of hoops scattered about the floor, with children moving about 'swimming'. The stroke can be changed with older children, e.g. front crawl / back stroke / running backwards.
When the teacher shouts "sharks", the children must get into hoops as quickly as possible (2 children to a hoop).
Remove one hoop each time you shout "sharks", and ask the children to help when they are out to still make them feel part of it.
When only two people are left make them touch the wall at each side of the hall on the way round the hoop to avoid cheating!
Natalie Still has suggested that this game can be linked to the film 'Finding Nemo'... the sharks can be called 'Bruce' and the fish are 'Nemo', 'Dory' or other characters from the film!
The Sharks are Coming!
Children walk around the room and when the teacher shouts "The Sharks are coming", the children shout "How many?".
The teacher then shouts out a number and the children must get into groups of the number shouted.
The children who are left out, are out!
You can try and catch the children out by shouting "1".
Choose two 'catchers', who link arms/hold hands. They chase the others (as in 'tig') and catch them.
If you are caught, you join the chain. When four people are in the chain, the chain splits into 2 sets of 2.
This goes on until you have a WINNER!!!
2 green balls, 2 red balls, 2 sashes of the same colour
6 children are chosen out of the class to be dinosaurs while the other children run around and try to avoid getting caught.
2 children of those children hold the green balls or “freeze balls” and 2 of the children hold the red balls or “dance balls”. The remaining 2 children are to wear sashes and it is their job to be officers and unfreeze the children that have been caught by the freeze and dance dinosaurs.
This means that whenever the freeze dinosaurs move towards the other children, those children have to freeze in order to prevent getting caught and whenever they see a dance dinosaur coming towards them they need to dance to prevent getting caught. If a child is caught, they need to freeze in a dinosaur pose until the officers come and unfreeze them.
(More dinosaurs can be added, if desired, and actions can be altered to suit individual needs)
If you have a small class, only elect one child per dinosaur.
In the hall / gym, split the children into two groups then number them. For example if there are 20 students in the class split them into groups of ten then number each student from 1-10.
Have them sit on opposites sides of the hall / gym, then call out a number i.e. 3
Both number threes will get up and run to the middle of the hall where a duster (preferable a soft one not one with a hard back) and two newspapers rolled up (the hockey sticks) are waiting. Each child takes a newspaper stick and tries to hit the duster into their goal.
If someone scores another number is called out and the next two will have a go. If no one scores after a few minutes to make sure everyone has a go call out another number and the ones playing must drop their "sticks" where they are and the next students have a go.
This can also be played in pairs when the teacher calls out two numbers etc.
Late for School!
This is a fun warm up activity. Tell the children to copy all your actions.
Pretend you are asleep and suddenly wake up and are late for school. Everything you do is done on the spot but in a hurry. Brush your teeth, wash your face, put your clothes on run downstairs, run back up (forgot to put trousers / skirt on) back down stairs, eat breakfast, pick up your bag, open front door, shut door, run down the street, jump over a hedge, look both ways, cross the road etc.
Finally arrive at school slowing down panting and puffing then suddenly stop at the closed gates.
You must provide a running commentary whilst doing the actions and you can make it as fun as you like with as many actions as necessary to warm up the children. It is a fun and easy to follow pulse-raiser.
A similar cool-down activity (contributed by a visitor) is called "Getting ready for bed". This involves a lot of stretching as we mime removing clothes, hugging teddy bears, etc. It ends with children lying on the floor 'asleep'.
Equipment required: 20 tennis balls, 20 marker cones (10 of each colour), 6 small soft balls or size 1 mini footballs.
Set up 10 cones with a tennis ball on each at either end of the hall, with a centre line which players must not cross and divide the group into 2 equal teams.
The objective of the game is to roll the soft balls to try and knock the tennis balls off the opposing teams cones. The game is continous and is played until all balls are knocked off.
Make a Letter
This warm up can be performed inside or outside.
Teacher calls out a letter and children make their bodies into that shape. Teacher can demonstrate if children find it difficult.
I prefer to stick with capital letters as most are straight shapes. This is especially useful if you have been teaching phonics that morning
This game can be played in the summer when you have use of the field and nice dry soft grass. The commands should be carried out as quickly as possible - children who are not quick enough are out.
FRONT - children lie on their front.
BACK - children lie on back.
SIT - children sit with legs crossed.
STAND - children stand up straight.
ARCH or BRIDGE - children create arch with hands on floor and feet on floor facing down.
STAR - children do 5 star jumps counting out loud as they do each one returning to the position they were in before command given.
SQUATS - same as star but this time doing squat thrust.
TURTLE - find a partner and stand back to back (need to be reminded to move away from partner when next call is given to prevent clashes). If you are trying to get children eliminated you can state that they are not to partner with someone they have already had.
HEDGEHOG (after a few sessions this changes to road kill - children can be so lovely!) - Children enact squashed hedgehog on floor.
1, 2, 3 and so on - have to get into group of the number given.
Divide the class into 4 groups and have them move into each corner of the gym or play area. Give each of the groups a fruit name such as apples, oranges, bananas and watermelons.
Call two of the fruit names and those groups have to run and change places. They maintain the same name throughout the game.
When you call "Fruit Basket" all of the children run and sit in the center of the gym. (I use this to end the game).
Caution: With the little ones, this can cause collisions!
This also works well under the parachute.
Three Blind Mice
This is a chase game based on the nursery rhyme 'Three Blind Mice'.
Split the class into two teams - mice and farmer's wives. The mice have ribbons or scarves tucked into the back of their shorts.
The children spread out and on the command 'Chop off their tails!' the farmer's wives try to grab as many tails as they can.
You will need 20 tennis balls. Split the hall / gym in half and split the class in 2 groups.
The aim of the game is to have the least amount of balls at your side. The children will roll all their tennis balls to the other side of the room, while the other team tries to pass them all back. After a fixed amount of time, count up the number of tennis balls on each side.
The side with the lowest number of tennis balls is the winner!
Sue has suggested this variation... You can play a similar game using pieces of screwed up newspaper and a centre line. On 'go' the children throw the balls of paper across the other side and when 'stop' is signalled the team with the least paper balls wins.
Guess the Corner
Pick on person from the class to be the caller. They have to be blindfolded, or close their eyes.
Name the four corners of the hall / playground (the names can be anything, e.g. flowers, food...)
The rest of the class have 30 seconds to run to one of those corners.
The caller then shouts the name of one of the corners.
Whoever is in this corner is out.
Continue in this way until there is only one child left.
Little Owl suggested the following variation:
I'm a Brownie Leader and our group play something similar but instead of blindfolding a person we use a dice. The corners are numbered 1 to 4 and the children all run around the hall, on a blast of a whistle they get into any corner. Leader rolls the dice. If a 2 is rolled then anyone in that corner is out. If a 5 or 6 is rolled everyone is safe and the game continues until there is one person left in. If the children need to let off a bit more steam if a 5 or 6 is rolled anyone that has been previously out can come back into the game and then the leader/adult decides when to end the game.
Sobz also suggested that:
Get the class doing activites like hopping, crawling, lunges etc to the corners for a great warm up. Or if doing themes, pretend to be an animal etc.
Another visitor has tried the game and says:
We played this game in my class, only instead of being out, the children in the corner had to do an activity (10 jumping jacks, 10 sit ups, 10 wall push ups).
The Numbers Game
Set up a square, marked out in the four corners of the hall, and marked with numbers 1,2,3,4 respectively.
On the floor of the hall, spread out, will be 4 sets of numbers from 1-8 (so there will be four 1’s, four 2’s etc in the hall). Pupils will jog around the hall in and out of numbers.
The teacher shouts a number between 1 and 8. At this, the pupils have to pick up whatever number they are closest to, and using the numbers in the corners have to get the number the teacher shouted using adding or subtraction, e.g. if the teacher shouts 3 and the pupil picks up number 5, then that pupil must run to the corner numbered 2, as 5 minus 2 equals 3.
There will be a section marked out in the middle of the hall for those that can’t be solved, e.g. if the teacher shouts 1 and pupil picks up number 1 then they can't make 1 by adding or subtracting numbers 1, 2, 3 or 4.
Cups and Saucers
Place enough small flexi cones on the floor so that there are at least one for each child. Half of them need to be placed on the floor in the normal way, and half upside down. This creates the cups and saucers.
Divide the class in two, depending on whether they are a cup or saucer and they have to turn the flexi cones over for their team. The team with the most cones turned over within a set time, e.g. 30 seconds, wins.
The game can be repeated by lengthening the time, travelling in a specific way e.g. hopping, or having an uneven split of cones to start with.
Here are some variations, contributed by Matt:
1) When you have finished this game you get each team to go back to their side, then on the whistle each team member runs out and collects one cone and takes it back to their side. When all the cones are gone from the middle they can steal one cone at a time from the other team. The team with the most cones at the end wins. Make sure they only take one cone. You can add penalties such as taking 5 off a team if they take more than 1 at a time.
2) Place 4 hoops around the hall / playground, one for each colour cone. Have a good team and a bad team... the good team has to run out collect one cone and put it in the correct colour hoop, the bad team has to run out collect one cone and place it in a different colour hoop. When they have all gone from the middle, the good team has to try to sort the cones out into the correct colour hoop and the bad team has to mix them up. Only one cone can be pickd up at a time and if a cone is picked up it must be put into a hoop (you can not just pick up a cone and throw it out of the hoop).
Run around the Teepees
This is a fun, partner game / warm-up activity which can be played with the whole class. It's best played on grass if possible or a soft surface, although, I have played this in our hall successfully.
Children find a partner. Then make a circle. One is the Indian and sits on the ground, cross legged. The other is the teepee and stands behind their partner with their legs open.
To play, blow a whistle or ring a bell and tell the children which way round the circle they will be running. I usually point the way as the game starts.
The 'Indians' have to go into their teepees (through their partner's legs) and run as fast as they can around the outside of the circle back to their teepee and enter through their partners legs again and sit down cross legged. No one is allowed to push and overtaking must be around the outside of slower runners. This game is particularly popular with boys!!!
When they have had 2 goes, swap over. This is a firm favourite with my class. An idea I saw used on a PGL weekend with school a few years ago.
A visitor has explained...
I usually also call out 'teepees'; the teepees must run around the circle and back to their spot. This creates excitement as the children don't know what you will call out! Again, swap roles after a few turns.
All the children get into a big circle. The teacher chooses 4 or 5 children to stand in the middle.
On the whistle they then run to a child standing in the circle, tag them and they in turn run to another child.
A way of varying this is to shout 'hop' or 'bunny hop' at various times so the children make use of different muscles.
This is a very simple warm-up game.
Start with the children spaced out. Then name an object in the room (e.g. something yellow, a wall, your best friend, opposite sex, John Smith, teacher etc.). Then, the children have to run over to that object, get down on their knees and 'worship' the object by repeatedly bowing and exclaiming 'oh, (wall) we love you'.
Change the object continuously and give children different options so they're not all in one corner (e.g. a wall, a window) and identify good examples of ways to get up quickly to the class.
The object is to get all four suits of your teams' playing cards.
You can have as many teams to accomodate the size of the class. Each team is assigned a card, e.g. Ace, King, Jack, 10, 9 etc...
There are cones or domes that are put into rows and colour cordinated. You can also design it differently.
The first person on every team must run out to the cones and pick one up. Underneath the cone is a card face down. They must lift the card and if it is not their team's chosen face / number, then they must put it back face down and give the next person inline a five to go next.
If it is their card they must bring it back to their team and keep moving until they collect all four.
The cone remains empty and if another person picks that cone without a card, it is stil considered a turn. The teams can think of ways to move faster and remember which cones were picked. They can assign each person a colour and they must communicate so they know what cards were picked by the team.
You'll need a few scarves, pieces of cloth etc for a blindfold.
Pick around 2-5 kids (depending on how many are in your group/class) and blindfold them up. Then get the others to find a space and stay there, but make sure they don't go too far away. The blindfolded ones have to try and find the others. If they find and touch one, they have to go and get a blindfold and join in too! The last one not found, wins!
Tips: Everybody could talk and giggle and shout 'Here I am!' to help the blindfolded, but remember, they cannot move!
OR if you don't have enough blindfolds, the ones who have been found have to run around, tapping the blind ones and talking to confuse them!
Cats and Mice
Two groups of equal size line up facing the coach/teacher. If the coach shouts mice the cats have to chance the mice to a line about 10 metres away and vice-versa for shouting cats.
This game is great for awareness and agility and you can make it more fun by pointing in one direction and shouting another.
I even tried this with 14 year olds and they had a great time.
Have the children stand in a large circle. Then ask the children if they know where their head is. After they all say yes, then repeat the step asking if they know where their shoulders knees and toes are.
After doing this and they are familar with the parts of the body begin to sing the song... Head shoulders knees and toes knees and toes... (as you sing the words they touch that part of their body). This is a great way to stretch out and this gives them an understanding of their body.
Cool Downs and Stretches
Get all the kids to run around...then shout FREEZE... choose a child to be 'it'. They must go around and collect another child as if they are a train (they do this while walking). Then when they have collected everyone, it's best to work on flexibility after your walk, when muscles are the most warm and pliable.
Do these stretches slowly – never to the point of discomfort. Hold each stretch for six to eight slow, deep breaths. Imagine releasing muscle tension with each exhale. Begin each stretch standing up, and feel free to rest one hand on something for balance if necessary.
Calf and hip stretch. Take a giant step forward with your left foot. Bend your left knee (but don't push it beyond your foot); keep your right heel on the ground and your right leg straight behind you. Keep your abdominal muscles gently contracted so there's no excess arch in your back. You should feel the stretch in both your right calf and hip. Hold for several deep breaths. Then switch legs and repeat.
Back and hamstring stretch. Stand with your feet together and your knees slightly bent. Lean forward from the waist and let your arms and head hang loosely toward the ground. Don't necessarily try to touch your toes – just let your body hang under its own weight and ease into the stretch with each deep exhale. Slowly stand up (to avoid light-headedness) and repeat.
Shin and thigh stretch. Grasp your right toes with your right hand, and gently pull your foot up behind you, keeping your right knee pointed toward the ground. Your heel doesn't have to reach your buttocks – just pull to the point of feeling a gentle stretch in the front of the thigh, hip, and shin. Hold for several deep breaths. Then switch legs and repeat.
Get the children to lay down for 20 seconds, then ask them to wake up and get out of bed (get up slowly) and march slowly downstairs.
Then they walk around the room as if they were going to the doctors. After a little while they are at the doctors for a check up. The children sit down and put their hands on their heads for 10 seconds and then feel their heart. A great way to end a lesson.
Wiggler, Waggle, Wander
This activity is a warm-up to teach students how to get into their own groups of the assigned number while remaining in their own space. While the students walk around the gymnasium they stay in their own space and repeat wiggle, waggle, wander. When the teacher calls out a number they must freeze into a group that contains the number of students called out.
Ten" Synchronized Fitness
Objectives: Cooperation, Fitness, Teamwork
Presentation: This activity allows the students to work cooperatively to achieve the specific exercise the teacher assigns. Teacher picks a leader and has that student lead the assigned exercise to his or her classmates. The class gets five turns to attempt to synchronize the exercise. The highest number of the five attempts is recorded.
Objectives: Responsibility, Accountability, and Fitness
On the board is written a series of exercises. As students enter the gym they read the board and independently do each number of the listed exercise. When finished they sit on the center circle.
Make An Entrance!
Make a boundary using cones. It should be a large rectangle with an entrance and an exit. Choose ten to twelve students to begin the activity in this area. Make a line of students that is standing just before the entrance.
The first student in line enters the rectangle through the entrance. This student is the "it" and tries to tag the others. If they are unable to tag anyone within ten seconds they must exit the rectangle and a new "it" enters the rectangle. If a student inside the rectangle gets tagged by the "it" they leave the rectangle and a new player enters. Students may run anywhere they want inside the rectangle.
Everybody's It High Ten!
Objectives: Cardiovascular endurance, Competition, Cooperation, and spatial awareness
Presentation: everybody is it. When any student is tagged, that student has to freeze where they were tagged and hold their arms up in the air like a "high position. When any other student runs by and gives them a "high ten' back they are unfrozen and can again rejoin the activity.
Student's can unfreeze and then refreeze a player, if two students tag each other at the same time they both become frozen and have to wait until they are rescued to re-enter the game.
Objectives: catching, counting hand eye coordination
Presentation: Break students into pairs and give each pair one "z" ball.
Students face each other about five feet apart. Players must drop the ball the height of their partners head. Their partner tries to catch the ball after it bounces one time. If the ball is caught the player who caught it receives one point. They then drop the ball from the height of their partners head. If caught another point is given. The first partner to get eleven points wins.
Objectives: Cooperation, cardiovascular endurance
Two players hold hands and face each other. when the signal is given each player tries to touch the top of their partners toes using their feet. Each time this happens that player earns a point.
Equipment: None While music plays students move around the gymnasium in locomotor skill of teacher's choice. When music stops each student finds another to hug in a nice way. Teacher calls out a new locomotor skill and music begins. When music stops students hug nicely in groups of three. Music begins again and when it stops students now hug in groups of four. The last round has ALL students in one huge hug!
"I'm A Star!"
Objective: Creativity, Leadership
Place polyspots or other markers in an arc along one sideline. Place one polystar in the front of the arc. Each student stands on a spot and looks at the leader, who is facing the spot. The leader chooses an activity to do that all other students must follow. After about twenty or thirty seconds, teacher tells students to switch. Students move one spot to their left.
Objectives: Cardiovascular skills, Dodging, Fleeing, and Listening skills
Make a large circle with polyspots or other markers. Teacher chooses a student to be in the middle. All other students stand on a spot and try to make non-verbal communication with another student to allow each of those students to switch places without getting tagged. If a student loses their spot to the player in the middle they become the new middle tagger.
Way to cool to be a chicken monster!
Set-up: Students are in scatter formation around the gymnasium
Presentation: students roam around the gymnasium with their hands above their head in a circle, they are an egg. They must find another egg and play roh, sham, bo, (rock, paper, scissors) until there is a winner. If they win the round they become a chicken and roam around the gymnasium flapping their arms like a chicken. The other player stays an egg and looks for another egg to play. When the chicken finds another chicken they again play rock paper scissors.
The winner becomes a too cool chicken and holds their thumbs up and roams the gymnasium looking for another too cool chicken. When one is found they play again, winner becomes a chicken monster and roams the gymnasium holding their arms and hands up like frankenstein's monster. They look for another chicken monster. if they win this round they become a way to cool chicken monster holding their thumbs up way above their head.
Who's The Leader?
Set-up: students are in a scatter formation throughout the gymnasium
Presentation: One student covers their eyes. when the leader is chosen they do fitness exercises and change them quite a bit. The detective (student who had their eyes closed at the beginning of the activity.) gets three guesses as to whom the leader is.
Objectives: Knowledge of the continents, Fitness, Locomotor Skills
Students gather in the center of the gymnasium. Place cards upside down in the center circle. When the music begins students each pick up one card and reads it. They then go to the matching continent sign on the wall and travel to that continent with any locomotor movement they decide they want. When they reach the matching continent they do one of the fitness activities listed next to the continent. Some of the fitness activities we use are; Sit-ups, Push-ups, Planks, wall push-ups, bottom kicks, Crunches, Mountain Climbers, Roadrunners, Supermans etc. Special Rules; Can't do the same fitness activity two times in a row, can't do the same locomotor movement two times in a row.