Do you find it difficult to keep your students engaged and active during a physical education class? If so, you are not alone. Many physical education teachers struggle with this issue. However, incorporating exciting and relevant fitness activities into your curriculum may help to keep your students interested and active.
In the past, a typical PE fitness workout might have included classes stretching, and performing calisthenics in squads or under a teacher's supervision. This was once the only style, but it is no longer relevant or appealing to today's children and youth. The student's and teacher's attention wanes, as does interest and engagement.
Kids today need more stimulation and motivation to move their bodies at school. They do not enjoy doing the same activity over and over again. Every lesson, however, becomes new and exciting when you add an arsenal of creative, fun, and unique movement activities and games to your curriculum. It also maintains their interest by keeping them focused and “on their toes!”
Five Engaging Fitness Activities
In this blog article, we'll look at five unique, large group fitness activities that you may include in your physical education curriculum at your school. They're a lot of fun, and they're great for teaching your kids about the health-related components of fitness in the gym or classroom. This includes cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, muscular strength, and muscular endurance. The instructions are also adaptable for younger and older students.
The highlighted PE activities in this blog article directly correlate with SHAPE America 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.* Take a look at them below.
1. Fitness Bingo
Students perform fitness movements using Bingo cards and markers. Teachers call out exercises from a "Call Sheet". A "BINGO" win can be achieved when a student fulfills a predetermined pattern on the Bingo card.
First, write some fitness exercises such as push-ups, jumping jacks, and sit-ups on a blank bingo card. Include rep counts on the cards. You can do a Google search for blank Bingo cards or click this site My Free Bingo Cards for a free version
Copy and laminate enough boards for you classes
Make sure that the exercises are different on each card and add illustrations if you desire
The teacher randomly selects and calls an exercise from a call sheet
Students mark their Fitness Card (using fitness Bingo Markers and perform the exercise that the teacher called out if it is on their card
After performing the movement, students go back to their Fitness Bingo Card and wait for the next exercise call
A winner is determined when a Bingo pattern is made
2. Jigsaw Fitness
Students in single relay lines of 2 - 4 students, take turns traveling and putting fitness puzzle pieces together and then collectively performing the puzzle task.
Create some puzzles that incorporate exercises, graphics, and rep/time counts. Copy and laminate the cards
You can make your own puzzles at this site. Free Editable Jigsaw Pieces Powerpoint Template. Just download an exercise picture and add your own text
Laminate the puzzles and then cut out the pieces and put them in a a baggie
Put out cones for relay lines and place hula hoops across a gym to put the puzzle pieces in
Students perform various locomotor movements (i.e. walking, jogging, skipping, etc.) down and back to pick up puzzle pieces. The puzzle pieces are scrambled up in hula hoops.
As a team, students put the pieces together and perform the exercise listed on the puzzle once it is assembled
3. Tic-Tac-Toe Fitness
Students work in partners or small groups and play classic Tic-Tac-Toe games (using Tic-Tac-Toe Fitness Cards) and incorporate exercise movement during the game.
First, write some fitness exercises such as planks, mountain climbers, and sit-ups on a Tic-Tac-Toe card. Include rep counts on the cards. The following site, Sample Temples has great cards for this purpose
Copy and laminate enough boards for your classes
Give players X's and O markers in which to play the game
Students put down an X or O on a square on the card and their partner performs the exercise. After the movement, partners switch
Students continue to play Tic-Tac-Toe and perform the designated exercises until 3 in a row on the board is accomplished
After a game is over, both partners run a lap and grab another card to play again
4. Fitness Scrabble
Students work in teams or small groups to travel to a certain location, retrieve laminated Scrabble letters, and use them to create words with their classmates.
Print and laminate scrabble letters from an online site such as Free Scrabble Letter Tiles
Scramble the scrabble letters in the middle of the playing area
Place students in small groups at cones or poly spots facing the letters
One player from each group moves to the middle of the room, where the Scrabble letters have been scrambled on the floor or inside hula hoops
They choose one letter and travel back to their starting spots and show the letter to their teammates
The next player in each line repeats the process. Different locomotor movements can be designated
As a team, students build words from scrabble letters. Word counts and letter scores can be officiated at the end of a set time
5. Fitness Adventures
Similar to a scavenger hunt, students perform fitness exercise movements and locomotor movements using adventure cards to inform and lead their paths.
First, write a name of a character (i.e Teddy Tiger) and include one fitness exercise and one locomotor movement on a card or sign
Make several signs with different characters, exercises, and movements. Scatter them around a gym or other playing area
Students start at any character sign and perform the listed fitness exercise
They then travel to the next sign as designated on their first one (i.e. skip from Teddy Tiger to Bobby Bear)
Another exercise is performed at Bobby Bear's area and they move on to the next sign
Students repeat this looping, self-guided activity for a set time. Use a gym timer to help
Physical education can be a fun and engaging way to promote a healthy lifestyle for your students. In this article, we have shared five fun fitness activities that will keep your kids engaged and active during class. These activities are a great way to get your students moving and help them learn about the importance of physical activity.
Which of these activities do you plan to try in your class? Let us know in the comments below.
*SHAPE America. (2013). National Standards for K-12 Physical Education. Reston, VA: Author.
Be sure to check out my next blog coming soon entitled: 5 MORE Fun Physical Education Fitness Activities to Keep Your Students Active and Engaged.
FREE Quick Mover Fitness Activities?
Do you need some FUN fitness activities and games for your physical education program that include detailed instructions and play diagrams? Download this FREE Quick Mover Fitness Set with 12 activities to use in your PE program!
They originate from the following Cap'n Pete resources: 1. Fitness Fun, 2. Instant Activities, 3. Radical Relays, and 4. Tag Games.
This freebie set will be sure to enhance your PE curriculum for years!
If you're looking for a way to incorporate some of the fun games referenced above and you don't have the time to create the materials to make them work flawlessly, check out Fired up Fitness: 5 Product Fitness Game Pack Bundle. It has five non-traditional, cutting-edge, and extremely enjoyable fitness games that help kids discover new methods to enjoy movement and can spark them to pursue a lifetime of healthy and active living.