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Indoor PE Activities
This page was designed so that we can share ideas on indoor PE activities. Often times on rainy days the students have been kept in the room all day with minimal activity, and, at least for my first graders, become very restless. Doing the same indoor activities becomes very boring for my students and, instead of releasing energy, they hold it in. Here are some activities that I do in my class for rainy day PE. Please add so that we all have more ideas for our students.
First, I still always do the normal stretches routine so that they get up and start moving around. They do this by their desks so that they have their own space.
Silent Ball Math
- Either the traditional form or I have a ball with numbers on it and wherever their hands fall they need to add the two numbers (this makes the game go quicker so we can play more rounds).
Kids sit on their desks and throw a ball to each other. They have to remain SILENT. If they talk, or miss a good throw they are out and have to go back to their chair. If they make a bad throw, they are out. It seems that with the math one if they don't get the problem right, they are out....
Heads Up Seven Up
The students really enjoy playing this one. Just make sure they aren't looking at the ground for shoes to cheat!! Also, once they guess, don't have them tell the correct answer until everyone has had a chance to guess!
Around the world
I play this with both spelling and addition/subtraction facts
for some reason they never get tired of this one
I brought in a few disco CD's and I play a song for about 5-10 seconds and then stop. When the music stops so does the dancing. This goes quickly and we usually play at least two rounds. Then, at the end, I have a thirty second dance off and everyone (including me) is allowed to dance around the room (This game does require rules to be set, one of mine is no one on the floor, because I found they were spinning and doing tricks).
I learned about this at one of the Meet the Pros sessions. The song, "Cha-Cha Slide," tells the students to do a series of movements: hop one time, stomp right foot, slide to the left, etc. I use the song as a Brain Break activity, and my students absolutely love it. I also incorporated this song and dance into a PE lesson as well. My students absolutely love to do the Cha-Cha Slide. To help motivate them in the beginning, I chose two students (one boy and one girl) to perform in front of the class (they all wanted to do this). After the song was over, those two students each chose one boy and one girl to be the "Dancer of the Day" next time. All of my students have had the chance to be the "Dancer of the Day," which they get most excited about. The Cha-Cha Slide is a great way to have the students move around and get their wiggles out.
Running in Place
strangely effective! They love to try to do this against the timer and see how fast their hearts are beating (or 'beeping' if you ask them) when they have done it for varying amounts of time.
- I know that this sounds like a very young kids game, but my fifth graders love to play it. Anytime I have 3 or 4 minutes that I didn't expect I play the game. One person is in charge, and the rest of the class follows. You touch different parts of your body and do different physical moves and the students follow along. You can reward a hard-working student by making him the caller. Have fun!!
Move Like a
I usually have them pretend to be an animal or even an inanimate object (if a tree could move, how would it?), and try to move (carefully) around the room like that thing.
Let them take off their shoes
regardless of the activity, they think it's awesome to be there without their shoes on...one word of advice: open your window!
another great one for beat your high score, beat the timer, and see how fast your heart beats!
have each kid write a math fact on a piece of paper, then crumple it up. Make a line of desks in the middle be the dividing line. Everyone holds their ball of paper and when you say, "Go!" they all throw it over the desks to the other team who tries to throw them back. At the end of the set time (30 seconds is more than plenty), they have to unball whatever papers are on their side, and write out and solve all the facts. Whichever team is done first is the winner!
Grab some wall:
I'm not sure why we made up this game, but my classroom and the classroom next door do fun push ups against the walls. The kids "grab some wall" and I set the pace. We play fun games where I start to go into the push up, but stop and see if I can catch them. We do fast push ups, slow push ups, clap in between push ups you name it. We also the put our backs against the wall and sit down until our knees are parallel with the floor. Then we count slowly to 20....then we see who can stay the longest. That person gets to choose the next exercise.
My Daddy is a Pretzel
: by Baron Baptiste--this book takes students through parent's careers aligning them with a yoga pose. Great for transitions and getting some PE minutes in during class. Start with reading the book and trying one pose a day or one for a week. Try only the ones you are comfortable with. :-)
I have a Tae Bo DVD that I use for rainy day P.E. It is called
Billy Blanks Tae Bo Kicks
. The DVD is for kids and has kids of all ages working out to fun music. Billy talks to the kids and instructs them on how to do certain moves. I like it because I can put the DVD in for twenty minutes and the kids are really getting a workout.
I have a foam photo cube, I put different stuff in the windows, for example, coins, sight words, vocab words, etc., the students stand in a circle and toss the cube to others in the circle. I teach Kindergarten so this helping them to develop spatial awareness and some gross motor skills. Some of them are pretty clueless when it comes to depth perception. =-)
My Kinder kids love this song. It goes through a series of movement such as walk, gallop, tip toe, run, skate, and hop. The first time it gives you instructions and the second time you have to listen to the sounds in order to know what to do. Also, we run in place since we do this song inside.
My first grade students love this game! The object of the game is to have students disguise their voice by saying howdy partner without being recognized. The only thing they can't do, is whisper. Here's how it works: You choose a student to start the game by coming up to the front of the class. The student will turn around and face the white board, as well as close and cover his or her eyes. Then the teacher will point at a student to come up to the student who's facing the white board, that student will disguise his or her voice and say "howdy partner." As soon as the student says howdy partner they must quickly return to their seat. The teacher will instruct the student facing the board to turn around, and try to guess who said howdy partner. If the student guesses correct he or she can stay in front of the class, and continue guessing. If he guesses wrong, the student who came up and said howdy partner takes over and guesses the next person
This is a game that my fifth grade students love to play! I hang a piece string down the middle of my classroom and have the students sit "criss-cross" on top of their desk. (The string has to be over their head). Using a blown up balloon, the students take turns passing to their teammates. They then have to hit the balloon over the string to the other team. The same rules apply as in volleyball, except the students are not allowed to move around. It's a great way to encourage team work and it's a fun game to play on a rainy day.
Our district Sparks program has a unit on dancing that is easily done in the classroom. One of the teachers at my school is doing it this year and she says it's great. You do however, need a CD player to play the music. The best part is, it is standards based!
Basically, you play fun music and the students dance with the music. When you press pause, they need to freeze. It isn't necessarily something that is a complicated P.E. lesson, but it works really well when the students are getting "fidgety" or you have a few extra minutes. They love it and they get some of their energy out!
My students are always begging me to play their music. My class really likes Soulja boy and I agreed to play the clean version for them. I had a few students teach the class the dance moves and in between the chorus, the students must do a physical activity, such as lunges, head rolls etc. We now play the song daily and I allow different students to come up and lead the song as well as the physical activities. This has proven to be a great brain break and a good time for a transition. I tell the students that as soon as the song is over, they have one minute to regroup, refocus and get back to work. The students know that this is a special activity and behave accordingly. It has also been a great way to get in extra PE time!
Crabcrawls--have students crawl like crabs with the hands and feet on the floor, bellies in the air. They have to maneuver around the classroom. To make it more interesting, we play "Get the Jewels." I have four children be crabs at a time. I put out different colored unifix cubes (about 5-10) all over the floor. I put out four colors--one color per child. Students have to collect these "jewels" and take it to their designated treasure chest. As students crabcrawl on the floor, they have to pick up their jewels and balance them on his/her belly. They also are not allowed to bump into other students/objects. My students like this game and it also helps increase body awareness.
More on Body-Awareness/Sensory Integration:
Sun-Salutations (to practice deep breathing), body squeezes(hugging self), marching (like running in place), back pushes with a partner (2 students leaning back to back and gently pushing against each other--rocking back and forth), chair lifts (student lift self off of chair--for 3 seconds, 5 seconds, try 10 seconds!) These exercises help "wake students up" who are "low enegry" and also help "calm" students who are "high energy" and need to relax and calm their bodies down.
Clean the room:
Divide the class in half and have a dividing line between (masking tape works great). Give each team "trash" (balled up socks, soft dog toys, etc.). On "go" both sides, staying seated, throw their trash over the line at the other team and at the same time get the trash that is thrown to them and throw it back. The object is too get as little trash on your side as possible. They'll quickly realize that throwing the trash at the other people is a bad idea and try to strategically throw it where it would be more difficult to reach. My fourth graders love this one and they have amazed me at how far they can stretch to reach trash without leaving their bottoms!
Everyone loves 4 square! But it takes forever to get a turn! My college Elementary PE teacher came up with 9 square to include more students at a time. Have a 3x3 square marked out in masking tape under the desks. All they have to do is push the desks aside. IF you have a large classroom, you may be able to fit 2. Have the children play 9 square and keep track of their places when time's up so they know where exactly to begin next time and there are no arguments or torturous decisions on who'll be where first!
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