4 Winter Holiday PE Activities and Games

Deck the halls for the winter holiday season! Students know a break is coming, and they are usually a little more hyped up than during a normal week. In order to funnel that energy into something positive, it is always a great idea to indulge in some fun holiday games that you can tie into your curricular objectives. Below are four of our favorites. 

Winter Wonderland

This is a large obstacle course with winter themed activities. Some may want to take it as far as to turn the gym or PE space into a winter scene with snowflakes and the like, but you can keep it simple if you like. Some ideas for different stations in this wonderland include:

  • A skating rink where students stand on material that glides to skate around a set of cones
  • A snowball fight using these soft snowballs to throw across a line at stationary objects
  • Snow shoveling where they have to pick up bean bags (snow) to put in a basket in a short amount of time
  • A reindeer training station where thy have to do strength exercises

As you can see, the only limit is your imagination with this. Don’t forget that you can involve students in the design process to help them feel more ownership.

Reindeer Tag 

reindeer

In this game, two taggers are assigned to be Santa’s helpers. They need to collect the reindeer that have run away from the North Pole. Each reindeer will wear scarves or flags as their horns around their waist on a belt. Each reindeer can have up to four horns. When an elf tags the reindeer, they take away one horn. Thus, the reindeer now has three horns left. Once all the horns are taken, the reindeer turns into an elf to help catch the other reindeer. Play until all the reindeer are caught. You can also vary this by having reindeer do an exercise when caught and having everyone move in a certain way using locomotor skills. You can even have them play while practicing a skill such as dribbling a basketball, soccer ball, or self-tossing a ball. 

Snowman Takedown

For this game, you need to have enough hula hoops and bowling pins per student plus plenty of yarn balls or soft balls The setup is simple: put a pin or cone in a hula hoop. Place as many of these as you have students in the playing area. Each student then gets one ball. They must throw their ball at a snowman and try to knock it down. If they knock it down, they get a point. The person with the most points at the end of a round wins. The students are allowed to pick their knocked down snowman up. You can play the game continuously by adding in more and more balls. You can play elimination style. You can play where students must do exercises when the snowman is knocked down. You can vary the throwing style from overhand to underhand. You can even turn it into a bowling type underhand throw. 

Build a Snowman

snowman

This is a great team building activity, and there are a few ways to play. The simplest way is to put a bunch of equipment in the middle of the gym and then line students up in even groups. You then have one student from each group run to the middle of the gym and grab one piece of equipment. You continue this relay style until all the equipment is gone. Then each team must make a snowman out of the equipment they choose. Some other variations include giving each group the same equipment to build it on their own without the relay, or having the whole class make one large snowman. 

Equipment ideas:

Additional Resources:

About the Author:

literacy in physical education

Charles Silberman is a physical education and health teacher with 14 years of teaching experience. He has become a leader and advocate for incoming physical educators by running workshops on teaching in limited space at staff in-services and conferences, assisting with new teacher orientations, and other initiatives. He has experience writing curriculum from scratch and writing published information specific to physical education in state and nationally recognized publications and websites. Charles has also created a niche as a physical education specialist who fuses technology and primary instructional subjects into physical education lessons.

View all of his Professional Development courses at the S&S Worldwide online school.

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