With childhood obesity on the rise, physical education in schools plays an important role in contributing to children’s daily activity levels and educating them on the value of fitness. While traditional sports and exercises certainly have a place in the P.E. curriculum, fitness-based games and activities can also benefit kids physically and keep them engaged and interested in physical education.
Frisbee horseshoes is a fun indoor/outdoor game that teaches kids how to accurately throw a Frisbee disc while also allowing them to practice teamwork. For a class of 28 students, you’ll need 14 Frisbees and 14 Hula-Hoops. Position the Hula-Hoops 20 feet apart and divide children into pairs, giving each pair a Frisbee, then combine two pairs to form a group of four students. Have student pairs stand at opposing Hula-Hoops, so that each student is actually standing with his competition. One at a time, one student from each pair throws the disc and tries to get it in the opposing hoop. If it lands inside the Hula-Hoop, that team is awarded three points. If no Frisbees are in the hoop after both teams have thrown, the team with the disc closest to the hoop earns one point. Afterward, the other team members collect the Frisbee and take their turns. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Crab soccer calls for foam balls or plastic kickballs as well as two soccer nets. This indoor game requires students to be divided into two teams, with all positions played from a crab stance -- hands and feet on the ground, stomach facing the ceiling or sky. Designate the playing field, which is similar to a traditional soccer field, with opposing goal lines and a clear midfield line. Give each student a number, then call out two to five numbers at a time. These students will move to midfield where the balls are and attempt to kick the ball into the other side’s goal. All students on the opposing side work as goalies and may kick the ball to deflect a goal, but may not attempt to score their own goals yet. After two to three minutes, have students retreat to their own sides, reposition the balls in the middle, and repeat the process with the other team. Do this until all students have had their numbers called.
Played inside or out, ultimate spongeball develops teamwork skills and utilizes near constant movement for maximum exercise. Foam balls are required, with student teams of four to eight students each. The field consists of two goal lines and two side lines, and each team lines up at their own goal line. The first team on offense passes the ball to one another to try and get it past the opposing team’s goal line, but whoever has the ball cannot run; they can only pivot and pass to another player. Defensive players will be trying to block passes and steal the ball. A goal is scored when a player past the opposing team’s goal line catches the ball.
Around the USA Fitness
Around the USA Fitness is an indoor activity that relies on different stations, or “cities,” set up around the gym. Designate one wall as the Atlantic Ocean and the opposite as the Pacific, then make signs for eight to 10 different cities, each with instructions on a physical activity that must be completed before they can move to the next city. For instance, students could do 20 jumping jacks after arriving in New York City, then 15 crunches in Atlanta. Include instructions on the signs on which city students should visit next, and divide the class into smaller groups starting at different stations so students are more spread out. The activity is complete once all students have visited all cities.
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