Physical Education Class Activities

Variations of DodgeBall

Dodge Wall

Objective:  To avoid getting hit with a ball thrown by the teacher or classmates while always keeping at least one hand on the wall.

Materials: Several soft dodgeballs (Nerf, Rhino Skin, Thin Rubber)

Directions:  Have the entire class line up against a wall of the gym.  Choose one or two students to be the designated thrower(s).  You may decide to be the first thrower yourself, and then have students who have gotten out join you as throwers a designated time (I prefer this option).

The thrower stands at the three point line or free throw line (depending on throwing ability) and tosses balls at the students on the wall.  Students may move anywhere along the wall to avoid the projectiles, but must always have a hand on the wall (or at least stay near it).  If students get hit with the ball (head shots do not count) they have to sit out on the sideline.  At a time designated by the teacher, the students may join the other throwers to try and get rid of the rest of the students.  The last one standing gets to be the first thrower for the next game.

Witch Doctor (aka Ditch Woctor)

Objective: To hit the other team’s witchdoctor with a ball.

Directions:         - Divide class into two teams (one on each half of gym, teams may not cross half-court)

                - Each team appoints one team-member as witchdoctor

                - If you get hit with a ball, you sit (where you got hit)

                - Witchdoctors can tag downed players back into the game

                - Game ends when witchdoctor gets hit (players then reconvene and pick a new witchdoctor)


Recharge Dodgeball

Objective: To get all players on the opposite team down before they can recharge.

Directions:        - Divide class into two teams (one on each half of gym, teams may not cross half-court)

                - If you get hit with a ball, you sit (where you got hit)

                - Players stay sitting until someone on their team catches a ball (in the air) from the other team

                - A standing player who catches a ball recharges his/her team

                - Sitting players cannot get people out on the other team or recharge their own team

Backboard Ball

Objective: Same as Recharge

Directions:         - (Same as recharge except for the method of recharging the team)

- To recharge players, a person must hit the backboard on the opposing teams side of the court with a ball (hitting the rim or net does not count) (Catching the other teams ball does not recharge the team)

- Sitting players may throw balls at the backboard to recharge their team, but must do so from a sitting position (they may not get people from the other team out however)

Pin Ball

Objective: To knock down all the opposite teams bowling pins with balls (not to hit people with balls)

Directions:        - Divide class into two teams (one on each half of gym, teams may not cross half-court)

                - Each team sets up 3 – 4 bowling pins on the backline of the volleyball court on their side of the gym

- Students may guard the pins, but only one person per pin and he/she must stay at least 3 feet from it at all times

- Students should only throw balls at the pins, not people (you can’t get out in this game)

Barrier Ball (a combination of pin ball and witchdoctor)

Objective: To knock down the pins

Directions:         - Set up only two pins on the back volleyball line

                - Erect barriers (two chairs w/mat covering them) on each side of half court

                - Students may hide behind the barriers to avoid being hit and plan attacks

                - Teams appoint one person as the pin defender/witchdoctor

                - The pin defender/witchdoctor is immune to all hits from balls

                - Everyone else must sit where they get hit, until tagged by the witchdoctor

Tag Games

Old Lady Witch

Objective: To make as many trips back and forth across the gym w/out being tagged

Directions:         - All students stand on a wall at one side of the gym

                - Teacher appoints 1-3 students (two works best) as witches

                - Witches stand in the middle of the gym facing the rest of the class

                - The students ask “Old Lady Witch Can We Come Over”

                - When the witches say “Yes” the students run for the other wall of the gym

                - Witches try to tag the students as they run to the other side of the gym

                - Any students tagged join the witches in the middle and become taggers in the next round

                - Once all students have made it to the wall or been tagged, a new round begins

Considerations:        - Kids love this game

                - A great way to begin and end class

Line Tag (a.k.a Pac-Man)

Objective:        • To tag other students while staying on lines in the gym (think Pac-Man).  Runners and taggers must stay on a line at all times.  This means turning at right angles and potentially getting trapped on a line between two taggers.

Materials:        • A gym or play area with lines that cross and turn (b-ball court, volleyball lines)

Setup:        • Students spread out and stand on a line in the gym or play area

        • Appoint two to three taggers to stand in the middle of the court.

        • Designate a wall or base for runners who get tagged.  If they are tagged they must come and stand by the wall/base and wait for the teacher or designated reviver to tag them back in.

Considerations:        • Make sure that students stay on a line as they move around, some students will try and jump from line to line.  I usually make this illegal, but sometimes allow it.

                • Lots of screaming and yelling as people chase others or get chased – it’s normal.

Freeze Tag:        Freeze if you get tagged. People can unfreeze you in different ways.

Ways to unfreeze people:         • Crawl through frozen person’s legs

                         • Tap the frozen person’s heel

                         • Do a crazy dance around the frozen person

                         • Appoint designated un-tagger people

Considerations:        • Kndg. and 1st graders might have trouble crawling through each others legs

                • Trying this with grades 5th and older can cause problems


Mat Games

Animal Doctor

Objective:        • Students play the role of animals or doctors.  They must transport sick animals to the hospital, fix them up, and return them to the farm.

Materials:        • Large Blankets or Mats that can act as stretchers for the sick animals.

Setup:        • Appoint half the class doctors and half the class animals (reverse roles later), and put them on different side of the gym or play area.

        • Setup the blankets or mats on the side with the animals.

        • Have the animal students act like their favorite animal, then go through the herd and tap a few animals on the head.  These animals become the sick animals and they lay down and act sick.

        • The doctors then go pick up the sick animals, put them on the stretchers and carry them back to the other side of the gym.  They pretend to cure the sick animals and then bring them back to the other side of the gym.

        • While this is going on, the teacher picks other animals to be sick

Considerations:        • Students may not be able to carry other students on the stretchers.  Encourage them to work together to get the students to the hospital.  If they still can’t do it, lend a strong arm.

        • There is a lot of touching going on this game between students.  I’ve never had a problem with it, but some students may find it uncomfortable.

Mat/Milk Crate Relays

Objective:        • To get all the members on your team hauled, on a mat, across the gym and back

Materials:        • Mats (also works great with milk crates – little kids only – have them sit in the crates)

Setup:                • Divide the kids into four groups and give each group one mat

• Each group must work together to drag/push one teammate at a time on the mat (or in the crate) across the gym and back.

Condsiderations:        • Getting into groups can be tricky.  Often times it is best to let the kids form their own groups and ask for volunteers to fill in any groups with too few people in them.

                • Help out the groups that are going slow or having trouble hauling someone

                • After a few races the kids will just want you to push/pull them across the gym

Hoop Jumping

Objective:        • To jump through a hoop at increasing degrees of difficulty

Setup:                • Stack several mats on top of each other and create a very padded landing area

                • Hold a hoola hoop up and let kids jump through the hoop onto the maps (if they want to)


Considerations:        • Don’t hold the hoola hoop too high

                • If someone hits the hoola hoop – drop it so you don’t hurt anyone

                • Make sure you have lots of padding

                • All age groups love this


Objective:         • Students will gain better control of their bodies and movements

Activities:        • Setup up several mats and have kids divide up among them

                • Show kids how to: Somersault, Cartwheel, Backbend, Bridge, Roundoff

                • Challenge different groups to see who is first to 100 somersaults/cartwheels

                • Put all the mats together in one line and let the kids freestyle

Considerations:        • Music is a great way to stop and start the activities

                • Help the kids with their backbends and cartwheels, some will get really frustrated if they can’t do it

                • Spot the kids for back-handsprings – they love it.

Net and Racket Games

Wack-it Ball

Objective:        • Just like baseball except students use a tennis racket and ball

Tennis Skills

Objective:        • To use basic tennis skills and learn how the game is scored

Activities:        • Have kids get in pairs, each person has a racket, but each pair has only one ball

                • Students practice bouncing the ball on their racket while the partner counts the consecutive hits

                • After switching, students practice hitting the ball on the ground

                • Students practice hitting the ball against the wall

                • Students then practice hitting the ball back and forth, keeping a basic score

Considerations:        • Tennis works for third and above, not very good for anything below

• Watch out for boys who like to hit too hard

                • Make sure the kids share with their partners

                • When hitting against the wall (inside) or fence (outside) make sure the kids are spread out


Objective:        • Similar to kickball – Round the bases and score runs while practicing tennis skills

Setup:                • Form two teams, only the defensive players and the batter get rackets

                • Teacher “pitches” the tennis ball to the batter who hits it with the racket

                • The batter starts rounding the bases.

• The defensive players must hit the tennis ball (which the batter hit) towards the wall where the batter started at. (This usually takes several hits)

• Runners may continue advancing until the tennis ball hits the batters wall.  If a runner is caught in between bases when the tennis ball hits the batters wall, he/she is out.

Considerations:        • If people aren’t getting out, just rotate offense/defense once the batters have gone through the order

                • Make sure to warn people of racket dangers – not to get too close to one another.

Clean-out the Backyard

Objective:        • Students throw all the balls on their side over the net to the other teams side.

                • The first team to have no balls left on their side wins.

Materials:         •Volleyball net (or some other barrier), Lots of balls (rubber, soccer, foam, anything that’s not too hard)

Setup:                • Before class fill a trash can with the balls.

• Divide the class into two teams, one on each side of the net.  

• When the students are ready, begin distributing the balls evenly among both teams (I usually just throw them and let the students chase after them)

Considerations:        • It’s very rare that someone wins this game since there are balls flying back and forth all the time.

        • If one team seems to be getting the advantage, join the other team and help them out.

        • Students will try and kick balls under the net.  Give them a one-minute penalty if they do this and it usually stops it pretty quick.


Red Rover

Considerations:         Just make sure that the kids don’t keep calling the same person over and over again.

Duck-Duck Goose

Considerations: Kindergarten and First Grade; 2nd graders at the beginning of the year (older grades don’t appreciate it as much


Objective: To catch a ball from the thrower and accumulate 500 points based on a throw’s value

Directions:        - Teacher calls out a number between 1 – 500 and throws the ball

                - Whomever catches the ball collects the point value of the throw (i.e. “200” Johnny gets 200)

                - Once a player gets 500 points he/she becomes the thrower

Consideratons        - Great for an end of class game while you wait for the teachers to come pick up the kids (once in a while they are great and the natives can get restless if they have to wait in line.

Sack Races

Variations:        - One person, two legs in a sack

- Three Legged race with partner

- Pull Along (one person sits on a sack and a partner pulls them on the sack)

- Bob and Weave (obstacle course style)

Kickball and its variations


SuperKickball – this variation requires runners to circle the bases twice (1st, 2nd, 3rd - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Home).   You can also have up to 3 runners on a single base at one time.  It’s a great game if you have a really large group.  It gets more people involved in the game.  Force outs can only happen if there are four runners on a base.

Throwball – for kids who can’t kick very well