If you're searching for a creative and exciting approach to add intensity to your physical education class, consider including boot camp activities. A physical education boot camp may be a fun way to get children moving in PE classes by incorporating a military theme. The workouts are meant to improve cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength across the entire body, and they may be customized to any fitness level or developmental stage.
In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of using boot camp activities in a physical education class, what you need to know before you start, as well as provide a few examples of activities and movement experiences that you can use in a school gym, classroom or outdoor playing area. Let's get started!
What are the benefits of using boot camp activities in physical education classes?
Boot camp activities are a great way to get students engaged in physical education class. These activities, which focus on the entire body, may help to enhance the kid's physical fitness levels, coordination, and even cooperation skills. In addition, boot camp activities can be a lot of fun! They often involve high-intensity intervals of cardio and strength-training exercises, which can make for a challenging and exciting fitness exercise workout. They can also assist the body to burn calories, which can help to optimize kids' body composition. As a result, they are an excellent option for physical education classes of all levels.
Utilizing boot camp movement experiences in PE lessons can provide a fun and exciting way to meet SHAPE America's Standard 3 which states: The physically literate individual demonstrates the knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical activity and fitness.*
What do I need to know before I start a boot camp activity?
Before you begin incorporating boot camp activities into your physical education class, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, it is important to consider the age and ability level of your students. You will want to make sure that the activities are developmentally appropriate and that all students can participate safely. Second, you will need to think about what fitness equipment you have available and how you can use it to create a boot camp experience. Finally, be sure to warm up and cool down properly before and after the activities.
Now that we've gone over the basics, let's take a look at some examples of
What are some creative ways to integrate a physical education boot camp theme?
1. As a warm-up: Get students moving and revved up for learning with a few rounds of boot camp class exercises. Incorporate some HIT (High-Intensity Training), using jumping jacks, high knees, push-ups, body squats, and other exercises to get their heart rates up before a targeted PE lesson.
2. Circuit training: Set up a whole body workout circuit where students move from one station to the next. Incorporate a fitness circuit card at each station and add a variety of cardio and strength-training exercises, using bodyweight, and other equipment. Classroom teachers can do a mini circuit in a school hallway or outside as a great brain break.
3. Interval training/personal bests: Time your students as they see how many reps of an exercise they can do in 30 seconds. You can use a coordinated gym timer or have students use stopwatches in small groups. They can be in teams or pairs and alternate being the timer and the participant. Switch movements often and the kids can keep track of their personal bests.
4. Hit the deck: Get students moving with this fun game that can be played indoors or outdoors. Using a deck of cards, each suit is assigned an exercise (e.g., clubs = push-ups, spades = jumping jacks, hearts = sit-ups, diamonds = squat jumps). The number on the card determines how many reps of the assigned exercise must be completed. Face cards are worth ten and aces are worth eleven. Jokers are wild and can be used as a break or to make up your own rules.
5. Obstacle course: Create an obstacle course using a variety of materials, such as cones, hula hoops, mats, jump ropes and agility ladders. Give students specific instructions on how to complete the course and have them work together to get through it as quickly as possible. Check out the speed & agility stations below...they work great as a obstacle course PE Boot Camp!
6. Relay activities: Relay races are a great way to get students moving and laughing. Keep your lines short, with only three or four in a row. You can set up a variety of different races, such as sack races, three-legged races, or wheelchair races. Students can work together as a team to complete the race, making it a great way to build teamwork skills.
7. Fitness challenges: Use boot camp activities and high-intensity interval training to work on PE manipulative skills and hand-eye coordination. For example, you can have students toss a playground ball back and forth between partners while they jog in place. They might dribble a soccer ball around cones while completing a set number of jumping jacks while they pass each cone.
8. Stations: Incorporate different sections of the armed forces into basic training stations. For example, students might do some Navy Seal-style activities at one station, Army-style activities at another, and Air Force-style activities at another. Invite a parent with a military-themed background to join your session. Check out the Veteran's Day, Military-themed stations below!
9. Scavenger hunts: Scavenger hunts are another fun activity that will get students moving around. You can hide objects like rubber ducks or chickens around the gym , classroom, or outside and have students search for them. Incorporate some fitness exercises into the mix. This is a great activity for getting students familiar with their surroundings and promoting physical activity at the same.
10. Tug-O-War: This classic game is a great way to build teamwork and get students moving. Divide your class into two teams and have them line up opposite each other. Then, give each team a Tug-O-War rope or towel. The object of the game is to pull the other team across the center line. The team that succeeds in doing this wins the match. Check out this Tug-O-War tournament resource!
Boot camp activities are a great way to add excitement and intensity to your physical education class. By including a military theme, you can get students engaged in an active and challenging workout. Consider using boot camp activities as a warm-up, during circuit training, incorporating relays and obstacle courses, or basic training stations as a source of inspiration.
Whatever way you choose to use them, your students are sure to enjoy these activities. Thanks for reading. Until next time, happy boot camp-ing! Leave a comment below if you have any questions or suggestions.
*SHAPE America. (2013). National Standards for K-12 Physical Education. Reston, VA: Author
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