Run Mat & Wall Crawlers – Team Building & Warm-Up Activities

run mat warmup physed

PE Teacher Drew Burris shares 2 activities he uses with his PE classes to build skills like team building and climbing. These make great warm-up activities as well!

Activity 1: Run Mat

Skill: Team Building


At the beginning of every year, I include team building activities for the students. This way they can meet new people, as well as see where the strengths and weaknesses are. The Run Mat is an excellent tool for team building. I split the class into 4 groups, putting them behind a cone on each side of the gym. From there, two Run Mats will be going down to the other side to pass it off to the other teams. When students are working together and moving as one, it is an awesome sight. Students really get the aspect of team building with it, since everyone has a job inside of it.

Activity 2: Wall Climbers

Skill: Climbing


I wanted to create something for my K-6th students where they would have a challenge, but also have fun doing it. I was recently watching Spider-Man and thought it would be cool if students could climb like that, but knew there wasn’t even a possible way, until I thought of another way. Two green cones would be the starting spot with two red cones being the ending spot. I had students use their hands and feet to maneuver across the poly spots. They were able to have more than one foot and hand on a poly spot. We used the big and small spots. Students that were waiting in line were performing Mountain Climbers to prepare for the crawl. When the student in front of them got to the halfway point, they were able to go. When students crossed the red cone, they would head back to the end of the line for another chance to go. This was a great warm-up activity for the students. Not only were they engaged in physical activity, but were able to use their hands and feet for a single purpose. Always wanted a rock wall for the gym, but this activity came really close to one. If you want to make the activity really neat, you could film students while laying on your side (where it looks like they are really climbing the wall), and also play the Spider-Man theme song to get them in the spirit.

warmu-up pe activityAbout the Author:

Drew Burris is in his 7th year of teaching Physical Education at La Monte Elementary in La Monte, MO. He has been published on PE Central Several times, won the 2015 Star of the Classroom, won the 2016 CTA Teacher of the Year, and has presented his ideas at MOAHPERD twice. Drew says the best part of his job is seeing the students learning and also having fun being physically active. Drew has a website: with all his and other physical educators content on it.

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