Bean Bag Games for PE

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Physical education classes are about more than just teaching sport techniques and endorsing competition. They are also an avenue to promote teamwork and cooperation, where all students participate, regardless of athletic ability. As a physical education teacher, you can organize bean bag games that allow students to work together while also exercising.

1 Bean Bag Scramble

Bean Bag Scramble, a game recommended by the site Teaching Ideas, is appropriate for an elementary physical education class. You need at least two or three bean bags per student. Intersperse the bean bags along the center line of the gym or playing field. Divide the class into two teams. Teams stand on opposite sides of the gym or field. Give each team a box for the bean bags it collects. When you blow the whistle, students run toward the center line, grab a bean bag and run back to drop it in the box. Students are only allowed to grab one bean bag at a time. When all the bean bags are removed from the middle, teams count how many bean bags they collected. The team with the most wins. To make the game more challenging, add a rule that a bean bag has to be passed between at least two players before it can be placed into the team’s box.

2 Frozen Bean Bag Tag

Frozen bean bag tag is a game in which all players have bean bags that they balance on their foreheads. The students walk around the playing area trying not to drop their bean bags. If a student drops his bean bag, he is frozen. To be freed, another player must try to replace the bean bag on the frozen student’s head without dropping her own.

3 Bean Bag Foot Tag

In this game, all players have a bean bag. They simultaneously try to tag other students while avoiding getting tagged themselves. To tag another student, a player must slide her bean bag on the floor and hit the other student’s foot. Rather than send tagged students off to the side, assign a physical activity for them to do to get back in the game, such as five push-ups or 10 jumping jacks.

4 Bean Bag Relay suggests organizing a relay game using bean bags. Divide children into two teams. Each team lines up single file. Every player must balance a bean bag from the starting point to the turning point -- marked by a traffic cone, for example -- and back. The catch is that children cannot touch the bean bags with their hands; instead, they must balance them on their shoulders, the top of their heads or on another part of their bodies. If a player drops his bean bag, he must run back to the start and try again. For a more challenging course, set up obstacles that the children have to maneuver around, or assign different stations where players have to crab walk, skip or do jumping jacks while balancing the bean bags. The first team to have all its players complete the course wins.

Michelle Brunet has published articles in newspapers and magazines such as "The Coast," "Our Children," "Arts East," "Halifax Magazine" and "Atlantic Books Today." She earned a Bachelor of Science in environmental studies from Saint Mary's University and a Bachelor of Education from Lakehead University.