First impressions are important, even when it comes to gym class. The first day of school offers the opportunity to teach the kids about the gym and expectations for PE class. The age of the students will influence the specific types of activities you teach on the first day.

Gym Equipment Stations

Using gym equipment properly is an important skill for kids. It keeps them safe and makes the equipment last longer. Setting up stations with different gym equipment gives the kids the chance to practice proper techniques. Demonstrate each piece of equipment to the group, then assign the students to different stations, where they get the chance to use the equipment. Supervise the students to make sure they are using the equipment properly.

Name Circle

This PE game combines exercise with learning names of the students. The students stand in a circle, and the first person says her name and then does an exercise. The second person repeats the first person's name and her exercise. Then he states his own name and does his own exercise. This continues around the circle with each person saying all the names and performing all the exercises of the past students before adding her own.

Parachute Games

A large parachute provides plenty of entertainment for the students on the first day of gym class. Parachute activities require students to work together to manipulate a large piece of fabric. You can make ocean waves, bounce balls on the parachute or raise the parachute and run under it to create a mushroom.

To add the name element to the game, call out a letter; the group raises the parachute and everyone whose name starts with that letter runs under the parachute and switches places with someone else whose name starts with the same letter. You can call out more than one letter per round if only one student has a name that starts with a particular letter.