These games assume that students are playing within their learning cohorts, and that sharing some equipment with minimal handling is permissible (not touching their face during games, washing hands afterwards to minimize the risks involved). They are adapted to allow for lack of physical touching, but many involve periodic movement to within 2m. As with any time you are organizing physical activities for large groups, consider the diversity in your classroom and make sure to pre-teach or adapt for students who would need help fully participating in the activity.
1. California Kickball/Baseball
This game can largely be played as normal with some minor alterations to the tagging-out rules.
a. Each corner of the diamond is actually two bases, side by side. One is the base for the team at bat (the running base) and that is the one that the runner must tag to be safe, or in passing. The other base is for the fielding team, and that is the base they must tag to tag a player out.
b.) The only way to tag out a player is to tag the base. There is no tagging during the run or during a stealing attempt (you may want to remove the option to steal)
2. Zone Soccer (Human Foosball)
Set up your playing area in a grid (either drag your heel through the dirt to create the lines, use cones or use skipping ropes). Students must stay in their own square, though they can move around it. This includes keeping their feet within their square… no stealing the ball from another square. That will probably be the hardest part for your competitive players. You can either stagger the players, or simply use full rows of the same team. Depending on the number of students involved, you may choose whether to include goalies.
Play will be a little slower, as students try and make good choices on where to pass the ball, but you can increase the pace of play by either giving a time limit for how long people can hold on to the ball before passing, or by adding a second ball to the game.
3. Mini golf with balls or frisbees
Set up a series of “holes” using laminated numbers and hula hoops. Students need to complete the whole course while keeping track of their score (a great time to work on tally marks for younger students, and use the range of scores for mode, median, and mean for the older ones!) Break your class up into groups, and have each group start at a different number to begin with, meaning no long wait times or crowding. Balls in question could be kick balls, handballs, or even bean-bags.
4. Fitness circuit
Set up a variety of fitness challenges and have students rotate through them. Have students come up with stations that can be included and switch them out from time to time. Consider having stations be timed, so that it is “as many as you can in 2 minutes” rather than “do 30 jumping jacks” as that allows less downtime and means that students who struggle with a skill aren’t still trying to finish the number of repetition while the rest of the group is waiting for them.
5. Captain’s Orders
One person is the leader (Captain). They call out different actions for students to do. You can use the ones below, or make up your own. This game can be easily adapted to link to books you are reading (imagine, for instance, how you’d play this game with a Harry Potter theme) or even subject matter (bonus points to the science teacher who makes this game work for cell division).
Man Overboard - Everyone drops to a plank position
Captain’s Coming - Stand to attention and salute
Starboard/Port - Players run to the designated side of the room… (for the non-nautical, when standing on a boat and looking towards the bow, Port is to the left, Starboard to the right)
Scrub the Deck - Crouch down and pretend to scrub the deck
Swab the Deck - Staying standing, pretend to mop the deck
Climb the Rigging - Pretend to climb
Find North/East/South/West - Players point in the appropriate cardinal direction… great for if you’re doing cartography, and you can add in the in-betweens as well if your students are ready for it.
Polly Want a Cracker - Flap your arms and make parrot noises
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