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4 Fun, Low-Cost Elementary PE Games

Physical education (PE) is a vital component to a child’s school curriculum. PE not only provides much-needed physical activity and teaches the value of lifelong healthy habits, but it also improves academic performance. Physical activity has been linked to better classroom performance because it improves memory, focus, and cognitive performance, just to name a few things.
Despite the important benefits PE provides, schools come up short year after year in their budgets for it. Physical education equipment, staff, and lesson plans are items that get crossed off the list—but they don’t need to cost a lot. When it comes to elementary school PE, instructors can find fun, affordable ways to show kids the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Below are 5 fun games any elementary PE class can add to the schedule.
Balloon Blitz
You’ll need one foam noodle per child, about 50 ballons, and two goals to play balloon blitz. Balloon blitz is a different version of soccer that keeps every kid engaged, teaches teamwork, and requires a lot of physical activity. Split the kids into two teams and set up goals where each team can have one goalie protecting the goal. The kids need to use only the noodles to hit the balloons into their goal. The team with the most goals by the end of the period wins. With 50 balloons on the field, each kid will be able to work towards hitting some in and run around in the process.
Garbage Ball
Garbage ball is a fun game for younger kids while it teaches valuable motor skills. Garbage ball is just like dodgeball, only rather than aiming shots at each other, the “ball” is thrown on the other side of the line. Garbage ball doesn’t require actual balls—teachers can use any soft ball, paper wad, or really anything that can be thrown but won’t hurt. The teams each get an equal number of “trash” pieces to throw when the game starts, and the team with the least amount of trash on their side of the court by the end of the game wins.
Spin and Run
This is a humorous game that keeps kids laughing the entire time. Along with the giggling, they will be improving their coordination and getting much-needed aerobic activity. Have each kid spin around 10 times and then try to run across the gym or field. The fastest student wins, but the real goal is to simply stay upright! This is a fun game to warm kids up at the beginning of class.
This game involves a lot of running and reflex testing. Each player has a designated character (cow, sheep, dog, etc.). A few kids are “it” and will stand in the middle of the room calling out names of animals. If a child’s animal is called out, they must attempt to run to the other side of the room without being caught. If they are caught they must run a lap around the field or gym and return to the lineup.
These 5 games are sure to be a hit in any elementary school PE program. Use them for a rainy day, warm-up exercise, team-building activity, or simply as a regular part of your PE curriculum. Have fun!

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