There’s nothing kids need more to break up a day spent sitting still and listening than a fun PE class to let off some steam. In the old days, going to gym class probably included playing kickball or dodgeball after running a few laps. Since then, there have been countless reinventions of and variations on old classics as well as completely new games. Although there is no shortage of options, we love that the supplies required remain relatively minimal. You can transport to another galaxy using just a pool noodle or two or create a life-size game of Connect 4 using just Hula-Hoops. You’ll want to make sure to have some staples on hand like balls, beanbags, and parachutes. There are even PE games for kindergartners based on beloved children’s TV shows and party games. Regardless of your students’ athletic abilities, there is something for everyone on our list of elementary PE games!
1. Tic-Tac-Toe Relay
Elementary PE games that not only get students moving but also get them thinking are our favorites. Grab some Hula-Hoops and a few scarves or beanbags and get ready to watch the fun!
Learn more: Tic-Tac-Toe Relay at S&S Blog
2. Blob Tag
Pick two students to start as the Blob, then as they tag other kids, they will become part of the Blob. Be sure to demonstrate safe tagging, stressing the importance of soft touches.
Learn more: Blob Tag at Playworks
3. Cross the River
This fun game has multiple levels that students have to work through, including “get to the island,” “cross the river,” and “you lost a rock.”
Learn more: Cross the River at The PE Specialist
4. Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Cones
Line up cones, then have students pair up and stand on either side of a cone. Finally, call out head, shoulders, knees, or cones. If cones is called, students have to race to be the first to pick up their cone before their opponent.
Learn more: Head, Shoulders, Knees & Cones at S&S Blog
5. Spider Ball
Elementary PE games are often variations of dodgeball like this one. One or two players start with the ball and attempt to hit all of the runners as they run across the gym or field. If a player is hit, they can then join in and become a spider themselves.
Learn more: Spider Ball Game at Kid Activities
6. Crab Soccer
We love elementary PE games that require students to act like animals (and we think they will too). Similar to regular soccer, but students will need to play on all fours while maintaining a crab-like position.
Learn more: Crab Soccer at Playworks
7. Halloween Tag
This is the perfect PE game to play in October. It’s similar to tag, but there are witches, wizards, and blobs with no bones!
Learn more: Halloween Tag at The Physical Educator
8. Crazy Caterpillars
We love that this game is not only fun but also works on students’ hand-eye coordination. Students will have fun pushing their balls around the gym with pool noodles while building their caterpillars.
9. Monster Ball
You’ll need a large exercise ball or something similar to act as the monster ball in the middle. Make a square around the monster ball, divide the class into teams on either side of the square, then task the teams with throwing small balls at the monster ball to move it into the other team’s area.
Learn more: Monster Ball at The PE Specialist
10. Striker Ball
Striker ball is an enjoyable game that will keep your students entertained while working on reaction time and strategic planning. We love that there is limited setup required before playing.
Learn more: Striker Ball at S&S Blog
11. Parachute Tug-of-War
What list of elementary PE games would be complete without some parachute fun? So simple yet so fun, all you will need is a large parachute and enough students to create two teams. Have students stand on opposite sides of the parachute, then let them compete to see which side comes out on top.
Learn more: Parachute Tug-of-War at Mom Junction
12. Fleas Off the Parachute
Another fun parachute game where one team needs to try to keep the balls (fleas) on the parachute and the other tries to get them off.
Learn more: Fleas Off the Parachute at Mom Junction
13. Crazy Ball
The setup for this fun game is similar to kickball, with three bases and a home base. Crazy ball really is so crazy as it combines elements of football, Frisbee, and kickball!
Learn more: Crazy Ball at Health Beet
14. Bridge Tag
This game starts as simple tag but evolves into something more fun once the tagging begins. Once tagged, kids must form a bridge with their body and they can’t be freed until someone crawls through.
Learn more: Bridge Tag at Great Camp Games
15. Star Wars Tag
Elementary PE games that allow you to be your favorite movie character are just way too much fun! You will need two different-colored pool noodles to stand in for lightsabers. The tagger will have one color pool noodle that they use to tag students while the healer will have the other color that they will use to free their friends.
Learn more: Star Wars Tag at Great Camp Games
16. Rob the Nest
Create an obstacle course that leads to a nest of eggs (balls) and then divide the students into teams. They will have to race relay-style through the obstacles to retrieve eggs and bring them back to their team.
17. Four Corners
We love this classic game since it engages students physically while also working on color recognition for younger students. Have your students stand on a corner, then close their eyes and call out a color. Students standing on that color earn a point.
Learn more: Four Corners at The Many Little Joys
18. Movement Dice
This is a perfect warm-up that requires only a die and a sheet with corresponding exercises.
Learn more: Roll the Dice Movement Break at Teaching Littles
19. Rock, Paper, Scissors Tag
A fun spin on tag, children will tag one another and then play a quick game of Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine who has to sit and who gets to continue playing.
Learn more: Rock, Paper, Scissors Tag at Grade Onederful
20. Cornhole Cardio
This one is so fun but can be a little bit confusing, so be sure to leave plenty of time for instruction. Kids will be divided into teams before proceeding through a fun house that includes cornhole, running laps, and stacking cups.
Learn more: Cardio Cornhole at S&S Blog
21. Connect 4 Relay
This relay takes the game Connect 4 to a whole new level. Players must connect four dots either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
Students will love imitating their favorite animals while playing this fun variation of Four Corners where the taggers are the zookeepers.
23. Racket Whack-It
Students stand with rackets in hand while balls are thrown at them—they must either dodge the balls or swat them away.
Learn more: Racket Whack-It via PEgames.org
24. Crazy Moves
Set mats out around the gym, then yell out a number. Students must race to the mat before it is already filled with the correct number of bodies.
Learn more: Crazy Moves at PEgames.org
25. Wheelbarrow Race
Sometimes the best elementary PE games are the simplest. An oldie but a goodie, wheelbarrow races require no equipment and are guaranteed to be a hit with your students.
Learn more: Wheelbarrow Race at wikiHow
26. Live-Action Pac-Man
Fans of retro video games like Pac-Man will get a kick out of this live-action version where students get to act out the characters.
27. Spaceship Tag
Give each of your students a Hula-Hoop (spaceship), then have them run around trying not to bump into anyone else’s spaceship or get tagged by the teacher (alien). Once your students get really good at it, you can add different levels of complexity.
28. Rock, Paper, Scissors Beanbag Balance
We love this spin on Rock, Paper, Scissors because it works on balance and coordination. Students walk around the gym until they find an opponent, then the winner collects a beanbag, which they must balance on their head!
Learn more: Rock, Paper, Scissors Beanbag Balance at PE Universe
29. Throwing, Catching, and Rolling
This is a fun activity but it will require a lot of preparation, including asking the school maintenance staff to collect industrial-sized paper towel rolls. We love this activity because it reminds us of the old-school arcade game Skee-Ball!
Learn more: Winter Activity at S&S Blog
30. Jenga Fitness
Although Jenga is fun enough on its own, combining it with fun physical challenges is sure to be a winner with young students.
Learn more: Jenga Fitness at S&S Blog
31. Volcanoes and Ice Cream Cones
Divide the class into two teams, then assign one team as volcanoes and the other as ice cream cones. Next, spread cones around the gym, half upside down and half right side up. Finally, have the teams race to flip as many cones as possible to either volcanoes or ice cream cones.
Learn more: Warm-Up Games at Prime Coaching Sport
32. 3 Ball
This fun variation on dodgeball will have your students getting exercise while having a ton of fun! Begin with three balls on a basketball court. If you are hit by a ball, you are out. If you take a step while holding a ball, you are out. There are other rules surrounding getting out and also how to get back in, which can be found in this video.
33. Musical Hula-Hoops
PE games for kindergartners that are similar to party games are some of our favorites! Think musical chairs but with Hula-Hoops! Lay enough Hula-Hoops around the edge of the gym minus five students since they will be in the muscle pot. Once the music starts, students walk around the gym. When the music stops, whoever doesn’t find a Hula-Hoop becomes the new muscle pot!
34. 10-Second Tag
This game is perfect to play at the beginning of the year since it helps with learning names and allows the teacher to get to know the first student in line.
35. The Border
This game is so fun and requires no equipment whatsoever. Divide the gym into two sides. One side can move freely while the other side must avoid letting their feet touch the floor by rolling around, crawling, etc.
36. Freedom Catch
This is a simple throwing, catching, and tag game that will certainly be a hit with your PE class. Captors attempt to tag players so they can send them to jail. You can be freed if someone on your team runs to a freedom cone while throwing a ball to the jailed person. If the ball is caught by the jailed person, they can rejoin the game.
37. Oscar’s Trashcan
As far as PE games for kindergartners goes, this one is a guaranteed winner since it is based on the show Sesame Street. You’ll need two large areas that can be sectioned off to use as trash cans and also a lot of medium-size balls. There are two teams who must compete to fill their opponent’s trash can while emptying their own. Once over, the trash will be counted and the team with the least amount of trash in their trash can wins!
38. 4-Way Frisbee
Divide your class into four separate teams, who will compete for points by catching a Frisbee inside one of the designated goal areas. Defenders are also able to go into the goal areas. There are a number of other rules that can be applied so you can modify the game in a way that’s best for your class.
39. Badminton King’s/Queen’s Court
This one is simple but fun since it is played rapid-fire with kids waiting their turn to take on the King or Queen of the court. Two players start and as soon as a point is earned, the loser swaps places with another player. The goal is to be the player that stays on the court the longest, consistently knocking out new opponents.
40. Jumping and Landing Stations
Kids love stations and they definitely love jumping, so why not combine those things into one super-fun gym class? They’ll have a blast challenging themselves with all the different obstacles presented in this video.
41. Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course
Regardless of whether you’ve ever seen an episode of American Ninja Warrior, you are probably familiar with the concept and so are your students. Plus, you’ll probably have just as much fun as your students setting up the obstacles and testing them out!
42. Balloon Tennis
Since kids love playing keepy-uppy with a balloon, they will love taking it a step further with balloon tag!
43. Indoor Putting Green
If your school can afford to invest in these unique putting green sets, you can introduce the game of golf to kids as young as kindergarten. Who knows, you might just have a future Masters winner in your class!
44. Scooter Activities
Let’s be honest, we all have fond memories of using scooters in gym class. Regardless of whether you do a scooter sleigh or scooter hockey, we think there is something for everyone in this fun video.
45. Pick It Up
This is the perfect PE game to play if you are stuck in a small space with a good-size group. Teams win by making all of their beanbag shots and then collecting all of their dots and stacking them into a nice neat pile.
46. Dodgeball Variations
Since not all kids love having balls thrown at them, why not try a dodgeball alternative that uses gym equipment as targets rather than fellow students? For example, have each student stand in front of a Hula-Hoop with a bowling ball inside of it. Students need to protect their hoop while attempting to knock over their opponents’ pins.