Gold Rush Physed Activity Grades K-5

gold rush for PE

Gold Rush is a great game to do at the beginning of the year as students are learning to take turns, work together, and follow simple game directions. My name is Matt Barrows from Ravenwood Elementary and this PE activity is great for grades K-5.

Skills: Cooperation, Sharing Equipment, Understanding Rules & Procedures, and a mix of Fine & Gross Motor Skill Development


gold rush physed

Gold Rush Description

For the game gold rush, you will have 6 teams for this activity, and each team will have a lacrosse stick and a basket at their team space. Team spaces should be spaced out along the outer wall of the gym. Tennis balls will be dumped out on the ground everywhere in the gym.

When playing this game, I like to create a story using a leprechaun putting a curse on all of his gold.  If anyone touches the gold with their hands, it disappears!  Students have a “Gold Grabber” the lacrosse stick to scoop up the gold without touching it with their hands.  Students can use their feet to help get it into the net.

One person from their team at a time will run out and retrieve as many pieces of gold that they can with the lacrosse stick.  Once they’ve filled their net, they will run it back to their team and drop the gold in their basket.  Hand the stick to the next person on their team and repeat the process until all gold has been captured!  The game is over when all the gold has been captured, and each team can count the amount of pieces that they collected!

gold rush pe activity


You can vary the difficulty between lower and upper grades. For the younger grades, I let them use their hands at first to help get the gold into their gold grabbers. For the older grades, I will create alternate point values for different tennis balls. For instance, my blue tennis balls are worth 2 points, and my multi colored tennis balls are worth 3 points.

Students really enjoy the sneaky competitiveness in this game and enjoy it even more when you can attach a story or theme to it.

pe activity gold rush

About the Author:

My name is Matt Barrows.  I am a Physical Education Teacher at Ravenwood Elementary in the North Kansas City School District.  I have been teaching PE for 12 years now.  I strive on giving students positive choice activities in PE, and try to make fitness fun for everyone at an early age!  In my 12 years of teaching, I have been selected to our district Teaching Honor Cadre twice.  I was awarded with the MOSHAPE Kansas City PE Teacher of the Year in 2020.  I completed our district’s Superintendents Leadership Institute in 2022.  I’ve also written and been awarded several grants to help benefit our students, including Project Fit America, Kahler Grant for climbing additions, and ESPN for a climbing wall.  I want to continue to provide amazing opportunities for our students to keep them engaged in health and wellness!

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