It often amazes me just how many fitness games come with complicated rules and require so much equipment. Not every physical educator, day care center, recreational program, or family has the space or means by which to acquire large amounts of equipment.
So how do you keep children active? You get creative!
As a physical education teacher who has no gym and no inside space for my class, I have come up with some games that meet learning outcomes while keeping students engaged and active. The ones I find work best are the good old-fashioned games that I played as a child, and even my parents before me. Timeless games with a spark of creativity yield the best results in my experience. I am sharing a few ideas with you in the hopes that they spark a creative storm of pure genius in you.
How to Play:
The concept of playing hangman is simple. You have one person pick a word and draw out the number of spaces that equal the number of letters in that word. If the word is “fast,” then there would be four spaces like this: _ _ _ _. Children then take turns trying to guess a letter in the word. If they guess the letter right, it goes where it belongs in the appropriate space. If it is not right, the letter is written on a space on the board or paper you are using to play, and then a body part is drawn on the writing surface. Personally, I like to make it detailed. First, I draw a head, an eye for the next wrong guess, and so on so that students have more guesses.
I turn this into a fitness activity by having a set of exercise cards or exercises written on note cards nearby. After each guess, the guesser picks up an exercise card and everyone in the group has to do that exercise. Have one student write down the missed letters. Have another student fill in the spaces when a right letter is guessed. Let one student hold the exercise card and another draw the hangman. This way, everyone is involved, moving, and having fun. Continue reading