31 Unique Phys Ed Games Your Students Will Love (2023)

There’s nothing kids need more to break up a day spent sitting still and listening than a fun PE class to let off some steam. In the old days, going to gym class probably included playing kickball or dodgeball after running a few laps. Since then, there have been countless reinventions of and variations on old classics as well as completely new games. Although there is no shortage of options, we love that the supplies required remain relatively minimal. You’ll want to make sure to have some staples on hand like balls, Hula-Hoops, bean bags, and parachutes. Regardless of your students’ athletic abilities, there is something for everyone on our list of elementary PE games!

1. Tic-Tac-Toe Relay

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Elementary PE games that not only get students moving but also get them thinking are our favorites. Grab some Hula-Hoops and a few scarves or bean bags and get ready to watch the fun!

Learn more: S&S Blog

2. Blob Tag

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Pick two students to start as the Blob, then as they tag other kids, they will become part of the Blob. Be sure to demonstrate safe tagging, stressing the importance of soft touches.

Learn more: Playworks

3. Cross the River

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This fun game has multiple levels that students have to work through including “get to the island,” “cross the river,” and “you lost a rock.”

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Learn more: The PE Specialist

4. Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Cones

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Line up cones, then have students pair up and stand on either side of a cone. Finally, call out head, shoulders, knees, or cones. If cones is called, students have to race to be the first to pick up their cone before their opponent.

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Learn more: S&S Blog

5. Spider Ball

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Elementary PE games are often variations of dodgeball like this one. One or two players start with the ball and attempt to hit all of the runners as they run across the gym or field. If a player is hit, they can then join in and become a spider themselves.

Learn more: Kidactivities.net

6. Crab Soccer

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Similar to regular soccer but students will need to play on all fours while maintaining a crab-like position.

Learn more: Playworks

7. Halloween Tag

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This is the perfect PE game to play in October. It’s similar to tag, but there are witches, wizards, and blobs with no bones!

Learn more: The Physical Educator

8. Crazy Caterpillars

We love that this game is not only fun but also works on students’ hand-eye coordination. Students will have fun pushing their balls around the gym with pool noodles while building their caterpillars.

9. Monster Ball

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You’ll need a large exercise ball or something similar to act as the monster ball in the middle. Make a square around the monster ball, divide the class into teams on either side of the square, then task the teams with throwing small balls at the monster ball to move it into the other team’s area.

Learn more: The PE Specialist

10. Striker Ball

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Striker ball is an enjoyable game that will keep your students entertained while working on reaction time and strategic planning. We love that there is limited setup required before playing.

Learn more: S&S Blog

11. Parachute Tug-of-War

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What list of elementary PE games would be complete without some parachute fun? So simple yet so fun, all you will need is a large parachute and enough students to create two teams. Have students stand on opposite sides of the parachute, then let them compete to see which side comes out on top!

(Video) 20 Fun physical education games | PE GAMES | physed games

Learn more: Mom Junction

12. Fleas Off the Parachute

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Another fun parachute game where one team needs to try to keep the balls (fleas) on the parachute and the other tries to get them off.

Learn more: Mom Junction

13. Crazy Ball

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The setup for this fun game is similar to kickball, with three bases and a home base. Crazy ball really is so crazy as it combines elements of football, Frisbee, and kickball!

Learn more: Healthbeet.org

14. Bridge Tag

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This game starts as simple tag but evolves into something more fun once the tagging begins. Once tagged, kids must form a bridge with their body and they can’t be freed until someone crawls through.

Learn more: Great Camp Games

15. Star Wars Tag

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You will need two different-colored pool noodles to stand in for lightsabers. The tagger will have one color pool noodle that they use to tag students while the healer will have the other color that they will use to free their friends.

Learn more: Great Camp Games

16. Rob the Nest

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Create an obstacle course that leads to a nest of eggs (balls) and then divide the students into teams. They will have to race relay-style through the obstacles to retrieve eggs and bring them back to their team.

Learn more: Kiddo.edu

17. Four Corners

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We love this classic game since it engages students physically while also working on color recognition for younger students. Have your students stand on a corner, then close their eyes and call out a color. Students standing on that color earn a point.

Learn more: The Many Little Joys

18. Movement Dice

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This is a perfect warm-up that requires only a die and a sheet with corresponding exercises.

Learn more: Teaching Littles

19. Rock, Paper, Scissors Tag

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A fun spin on tag, children will tag one another and then play a quick game of Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine who has to sit and who gets to continue playing.

Learn more: Grade Onederful

20. Cornhole Cardio

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This one is so fun but can be a little bit confusing, so be sure to leave plenty of time for instruction. Kids will be divided into teams before proceeding through a fun house that includes cornhole, running laps, and stacking cups.

Learn more: S&S Blog

21. Connect Four

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You will need a lot of Hula-Hoops to create two Connect Four boards that are 7 by 6 hoops deep. Students will be the tokens and have to make a basketball shot before getting to move into the board.

Learn more: Elementary PE Teacher

22. Zookeepers

Students will love imitating their favorite animals while playing this fun variation of Four Corners where the taggers are the zookeepers.

23. Racket, Whack It

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Students stand with rackets in hand while balls are thrown at them—they must either dodge the balls or swat them away.

Learn more: PEgames.org

24. Crazy Moves

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Set mats out around the gym, then yell out a number. Students must race to the mat before it is already filled with the correct number of bodies.

Learn more: PEgames.org

25. Wheelbarrow Race

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An oldie but a goodie, wheelbarrow races require no equipment and are guaranteed to be a hit with your students.

Learn more: Wiki How

26. Pac-Man

Fans of retro video games like Pac-Man will get a kick out of this live-action version where students get to act out the characters.

27. Spaceship Tag

Give each of your students a Hula-Hoop (spaceship), then have them run around trying not to bump into anyone else’s spaceship or get tagged by the teacher (alien). Once your students get really good at it, you can add different levels of complexity.

28. Rock, Paper, Scissors, Bean Bag Balance

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We love this spin on Rock, Paper, Scissors because it works on balance and coordination. Students walk around the gym until they find an opponent, then the winner collects a bean bag, which they must balance on their head!

Learn more: Twitter/Christopher Sanders

29. Throwing, Catching, and Rolling

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This is a fun activity but it will require a lot of preparation, including asking the school maintenance staff to collect industrial-sized paper towel rolls. We love this activity because it reminds us of the old-school arcade game Skee-Ball!

Learn more: S&S Blog

30. Jenga Fitness

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Although Jenga is fun enough on its own, combining it with fun physical challenges is sure to be a winner with young students.

Learn more: S&S Blog

31. Volcanoes and Ice Cream Cones

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Divide the class into two teams, then assign one team as volcanoes and the other as ice cream cones. Next, spread cones around the gym, half upside down and half right side up. Finally, have the teams race to flip as many cones as possible to either volcanoes or ice cream cones.

Learn more: Prime Coaching Sport

What are your favorite elementary PE games to play with your class? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE groupon Facebook.

Plus, check outour favorite recess games for the classroom.

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