Beanbags are a great way to add excitement to any PE class. They can be utilized in a variety of PE games and activities, and they're also an excellent method to get kids active in and around your learning space. Beanbags are an ideal go-to equipment item because they are versatile, durable, and easy to store. You also get a great value when purchasing them because you can get a lot of them for such a little cost.
*** Pics from from Tracy Angel @Mrs_Coach_Angel
Why use beanbags in PE?
You can use physical education beanbag activities in a school setting or at home (distance learning) to teach various skills and PE concepts easily and quickly. Beanbags may be utilized in a variety of ways and can help children improve their manipulative skills, such as tossing, catching, and throwing. They can also help children improve their skill-related fitness components such as agility, balance, coordination, and reaction time. In addition, beanbags have great grip and are easy to catch and balance.
Beanbag Challenges- Practice Style
How to use beanbags in PE?
Beanbags are a common fixture in games and activities in physical education classes all across the world. They are an engaging way for students to work together in groups or individually.
Beanbags are perfect for stations and relays when your equipment closet is limited. You can incorporate them in a large group game (incorporating two teams) in a gym or other playing field to use as items to capture, toss, throw or balance. You could also have them collaborate by sharing bean bag activities
at home with their parents - this helps get support
from those who matter most!
Do beanbags help address PE standards?
Beanbags are not only fun for students to use, but they also engage them in activities that address SHAPE America's Standard 1: The physically literate individual demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.* The beanbag movements and activities you choose to use during lessons in your playing area can easily meet any national, state, or district standards.
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Fun ideas for using beanbags in a PE class, classroom, or at home
Get your students moving with these 30 fun and engaging bean bag activities:
There are several ways to have your students complete the following tasks: they can practice on their own, teach each other, or work at different stations in any play area.
1- Toss and catch
Two-Hand Catch- Toss the beanbag up in the air with 1 hand and catch it in front of your body using 2 hands.
One-Hand Catch- Toss the beanbag up in the air with 1 or 2 hands and catch it in front of your body using only 1 hand.
Rainbow Toss- Toss the beanbag across your body from 1 hand to the other. The beanbag should travel in a rainbow shape.
Toss/Clap/Catch- Toss the beanbag up in the air and clap once or a few times before you catch it.
Toss/Touch/Catch- Toss the beanbag up in the air and touch the ground before you catch it.
Toss/Turn/Catch- Toss the beanbag up in the air and turn around before you catch it.
2- Foot tricks
Kick-Up Catch- Put the beanbag on 1 foot and kick it up in the air. Catch it before it hits the ground.
Foot Kick-Up to Back- Put the beanbag on 1 foot and kick it up in the air. Catch it on the flat part of your back.
Two-Foot Release- Put the beanbag between your feet and jump up in the air. Release the beanbag in midair and then catch it.
3- Body tricks
Toss/Catch on Back- Toss the bean bag up in the air and catch it on your back. Keep your back nice and flat for success.
Behind Back Toss- Using one hand, reach behind your back and toss the bean bag up in the air. Catch it before it comes down.
Behind Back Catch- Toss the bean bag up in the air and turn halfway around. Catch it using 2 hands behind your back.
Under Leg Toss- Lift one of your legs and reach under that leg to toss the beanbag up in the air. Catch it with 1 hand.
Under Leg Catch- Toss the bean bag up in the air and reach under your leg to catch it.
4- Balance Activities
Head Balance Sit- Balance a beanbag on your head while standing. Slowly sit down and then stand back up again while balancing.
Head Balance Walk- Place a beanbag on your head and walk carefully around the classroom. If it falls, do 1 turn before you pick it up.
Body Part Balances- Balance the beanbag on different body parts like your shoulders, elbows, knees, chest, and heels.
Lying Feet Balance- Lie on your back and balance the beanbag between your feet. Raise your legs and lower them several times keeping the beanbag balanced.
Balance Push-up- Get in a push-up position and balance a beanbag on your back. Do some pushups or hold a plank position.
Crab Walk Balance- Get in a crab position and balance a beanbag on your stomach. Walk around the room while you balance it.
5- Target tosses
Toss to a Hoop Game- Take 3 to 5 giant steps away from a hula hoop on the ground. Toss the beanbag into the hoop.
Toss to a Bucket- Take 3 to 5 giant steps away from a bucket or trash bin. Toss the beanbag into the bucket.
Toss to a Poly Spot- Take 3 to 5 giant steps away from a poly spot on the ground. Toss the beanbag onto the poly spot.
Toss to a Cone- Take 3 to 5 giant steps away from a cone (open end towards you on a chair or bucket). Toss the beanbag into the cone.
The visuals depicted above can be found at Cap'n Pete's Power PE site located here
6- Partner and trio activities
Beanbag Partner Slide- Sit down across from your partner and slide the beanbag back and forth on the ground.
Partner Toss- From a comfortable distance, toss and catch a bean bag with a partner. Try catching with 1 hand or 2 hands.
2 Bag Partner Toss- From a comfortable distance, toss and catch with a partner using 2 beanbags. Toss each beanbag back and forth at the same time
Create a Move- With your body and one beanbag, create a movement. Then, challenge a partner to do the same move. Be creative while staying in your space and remaining safe.
Throw it Through- One partner holds a hula hoop at different height levels while the other partner tosses a beanbag through it. Vary the distance the beanbag is tossed.
Short Line Relays- In short lines of 2 to 4, students go 1 at a time performing a challenging task using a beanbag (i.e. balancing on the head) and return from the finish line to the start area.
Beanbag Movement Activities- 3 in a line: Short Line Relays
The use of beanbags in physical education can add a fun and challenging element to your lessons. They can be used for a wide range of activities, from target tosses to partner games. With so many different ways to use them, you're sure to find several that will work for your students. With a little imagination and creativity, you can come up with your own challenges and games to keep your physical education class engaged and active. I am confident you will find these 30 distinct beanbag movements and activities to be very useful in your instructional endeavors. The important thing is to get your students moving and having fun.
I hope you enjoyed reading about these beanbag ideas and were inspired to try them out in your learning area! Please let me know which ones are your favorites in the comments section below.
*SHAPE America. (2013). National Standards for K-12 Physical Education. Reston, VA: Author.
** Thanks to Tracy Angel @Mrs_Coach_Angel for her awesome student pics in this blog title photo. Check out all of her great tweets here!
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