Playing sports or other games in gym class is a great way to exercise and have fun. Play a variety of games with teens in gym class, including old favorites, new discoveries, and original games they create with you.
Classic Fun Gym Games for High School Students
Due to their wide appeal, a few standout games were introduced as physical education programs grew and developed.
The game of gym class dodgeball is highly competitive, requires little equipment, and involves the entire class at the same time. The object of the game is to eliminate all the players on the other team by hitting them with a ball or catching one they throw. In this game, there are two teams with any number of players and only a few balls are in play to make it challenging. The fun part about dodgeball is that you can hit your friends, or enemies, with a flying object with a teacher’s permission. Teaming up with the class to get a teacher out of trouble can also be fun if your teacher likes to play.
Relay races are small team activities with endless possibilities. There should be at least two teams, each with two members. It is more fun and competitive when there are more teams and players. Players complete their designated leg of the race one at a time, then tag their teammate to complete their leg, and so on until the entire team finishes. There are a variety of relay races available, including straight running, crawling, skipping, and walking backwards. In addition to relay races using tricycles, balloons, and bananas, Fun Attic offers more than ten ideas for fun and entertaining races.
You need a large gymnasium with lots of open wall space and some handballs to play handball. Individuals and groups can play handball skills and games together. As the ball bounces off the wall, teens hit it back with their hands. Because it involves an individual challenge and repetition, this coordination game can be addictive.
Four squares make up this game. A court can be made with just some tape and a space where you can tape down a grid with four equal, intersecting squares. Individual players must get others out and advance to the fourth square, which is the highest level. There is a game ball that you must bounce inside another square without the person in that square hitting it. Four Square is a fast-paced game that can be played by any number of children because it has a line for waiting players who enter the game when someone leaves. There is nothing complicated about this game, but it is highly addictive, making it a lot of fun to play.
Kickball is a team game that takes into account individual skills and preferences. Due to the fact that multiple players can be on a base at once, Matball uses large gym mats as bases instead of standard bases. There are two teams, one starts as the kicking team and the other as the outfield team. On each teammate’s turn, each kicker advances to the first mat and decides if they can make it without getting out. At the end of the game, the team with the most runs wins. When teens work together and run the bases as a group or create distractions to get the fastest players home, they have the most fun.
You can encourage each student’s skill set with obstacle courses if you want an individual activity. Create a course with various obstacles and time each person as they attempt to complete it. Among the classic obstacles are crawling through tunnels, funny walks like the crab walk, and zigzagging through cones. When you get creative with obstacles, this can be a lot of fun for teens.
Capture the Flag
Indoor capture the flag is similar to a team game of tag, but there are many versions. It is the goal of each team to steal the flag(s) of the other team before their own is stolen. To make the game more exciting, start with at least four teams instead of two. Include bonus point items or give each team more than one flag. Only one flag may be taken at a time.
A comprehensive physical education program typically includes individual fitness, cooperative games, and a basic introduction to classic sports. You might include the following, depending on your specific facilities:
- Basketball Breakthrough will teach you the basic rules of this two-team game.
- Volleyball – The Art of Coaching Volleyball presents standard gameplay and set-up, along with relevant terminology.
- Kids Sports Activities has information about ping pong rules, setup, and table dimensions.
- Dummies.com breaks down the complicated rules of baseball in a simple manner.
- This study guide explains the history, rules, and team strategies of gym class soccer.
- In gym class, football rules are often modified without tackling, such as flag football.
- Groups with access to a swimming pool teach everything from basic strokes to pool exercises.
- The game of lacrosse is played in physical education classes with modified equipment.
It is common for kids to participate in several sports in high school, either as players or spectators. These traditional games appeal to teens who are die-hard athletes or passionate about a specific sport. Teenagers who aren’t as active, however, might find it difficult to enjoy a curriculum filled with competitive sports.
Modern Favorite Phys Ed Games
There have been major changes in physical education standards across the country in recent years. All kids, not just those who excel at or love sports, are being promoted to be healthy. According to a Scholastic report, the new changes aim to engage kids in physical activities and recreational games they will likely continue playing into adulthood. Individual participation in activities chosen by each student or group games with less competition is now encouraged by teachers.
Ultimate Frisbee is a non-contact team sport involving a frisbee instead of a ball, similar to football, basketball, and soccer. You’ll need a large, open area, such as a football field, to play. Having the ability to play this game and the importance of teamwork are the best features. Once you have the frisbee, you can only pivot, not run, so teams must utilize all of their players to score. Also, the lack of contact prevents injuries and levels the playing field for less athletic kids.
As the name suggests, this is a slow-paced game. As in golf, there are designated “holes,” which are targets of some kind like safety cones or trees that you try to hit with a frisbee. Frisbee golf is best played in a large outdoor area, but can also be played inside a large gym. For those with limited resources, trees and fences can be used as holes outside, or spots can be taped around the gym interior. Teenagers compete against each other for the lowest score in this individual game.
With simple rules and a slower pace, this active game is great for players of all ages and skill levels. Playing pickleball requires a tennis court with a net, pickleball paddles, and a ball that resembles a whiffle ball. You can play singles or with a small team. This giant-sized ping pong game will feel like a giant ping pong game for teens.
You get Yuki Ball when you combine capture the flag with a snowball fight. Based on a Japanese game, teams hide behind barriers and launch small softballs to steal the other team’s flag. For around $800, you can buy a Yuki Ball kit that includes balls, barriers, pinnies, and buckets. In a gymnasium, you can play more than one game at once with two teams of up to seven players each. Make your own snowball set with cardboard box barriers and wool dryer balls or the fake snowballs you find in stores around winter.
Hunger Games Gym Class Competition
Use this fun game inspired by The Hunger Games novels and movies to tie pop culture into your curriculum. In this game, the goal is to be the last person standing. Your goal is to avoid getting hit by other players’ “weapons” like dodgeballs and pool noodles. Competitions can take place in a gym, in several rooms, or outside.
Players are placed in a circle at equal distances from the center of the room and all the “weapons” are placed in the center. Teenagers have the option of acquiring a weapon or running away. A bandana or flag hangs from each player’s waist, which, when pulled off, eliminates them from the game. A person who is hit by a weapon is not out of the game, but they lose the use of that body part for the remainder of the game.
The high-paced game gets the whole class moving at once, requires cooperative teamwork, and integrates other learning areas. In Hoop Scrabble, you form small teams and place hula hoops around the perimeter of the gym in their designated areas. Put a lot of small balls in the center of the room, such as tennis or ping pong balls. In order to win, teams must collect balls and spell a word inside their hoop before anyone else does or steals their balls. Teens don’t need to be athletic to enjoy this creative game. As soon as all the balls are collected, teams start stealing from one another, which makes the game even more enjoyable.
Original PE Games
You and your teens can sometimes create the best gym games together. Make traditional or classic games unique by using special equipment or rules.
This is an advanced version of following the leader. It does not require any equipment, just an open space and some creative, willing children. Set up each team in a line, one behind the other, with at least five people per team. In a line, teams will jog together. The teacher will call out “Shape Shift” at various points and teams must respond accordingly.
In each line, the first person forms a shape or pose with his arms, then everyone holds the same position while running. Whenever you call out “Shape Shift,” the second person in each line forms a new arm pose, and all team members copy it. As a result, the first person in line will turn around and run backward for the rest of the game. Turn the entire team backward by repeating these actions. Playing this game is fun and non-competitive.
The flag team is an individualized version of capture the flag. Each student should have a hula hoop on the floor and a flag in the middle of the hoop. It is the goal of each person to protect their flag and steal at least one other flag at the same time. If your flag is stolen, you choose someone who still has their flag to join. Once you are out, you cannot steal any more flags, but you can help the other person defend theirs.
As far as offense and defense are concerned, the rules are simple. Neither you nor anyone else can stand inside their hoop. You must tag someone on the back only to prevent them from stealing your flag. You are out if you are tagged on the back by any player during the game.
Get Your Game On
Fun means different things to different people. With a wide variety of games, you can create a physical education class that caters to every child. You can only know if teens will enjoy a game if you try it. Try introducing some new games to your group and see which ones become favorites.