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9 Skill-Based Gymnastics Games for All Ages! [Video]

Posted 19 hours ago - by Gopher Community

Students love to play games, and teachers love to see their students build strength while learning core skills that align with National P.E. Standards! With these gymnastics games, students can gain core muscle, arm muscle, and confidence in gymnastics and tumbling; all while playing games and having fun! All you need are some mats! Brittney Resler, Owatonna Gymnastics Club Executive Director, shares nine gymnastic games that her gymnasts love and your students will too!

1. Active Warm-Up Game

 

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Grab your students’ attention as you call out spots around the gym. Wherever you call, they need to run to that location. You can mix it up by having your students run to a mat and complete an activity. Bunk Beds, Man Overboard, Fish Eggs, and Lover’s Leap are some fun activities that will get your students instantly moving, and enjoying it!

 

2. The Amazing Chase

 

Students will have fun with this ultimate game of tag! Place four mats around the gym and one in the middle. Students then run from one mat to the other, trying to tag the classmate in front of them. Meanwhile, they are running from the classmate behind them. Everyone runs in the same direction to avoid collisions! When a student is tagged, they go to the mat in the middle and complete 15 jumping jacks before joining the game again!

 

3. Wheelbarrow Workout

 

Build strength and teamwork! Students need to be in pairs to complete the Wheelbarrow Workout. One student in each pair will hold their partner’s ankles as they walk on their hands from one end of a mat and to the other. That’s not all! Once the holder calls out “Push-up”, the partner must perform a push-up before continuing. Once your students are comfortable with this exercise, have them hold their partner’s hands on their shoulders for an added challenge!

 

4. Headstand Progression

 

In this gymnastics video, students practice balance with a headstand progression! Positioned on a mat, students’ knees rest on their elbows. Have them practice balancing in this position. Once they are comfortable, they can lift their legs up, completing the headstand progression!

Take it a step further by having students hold their headstand! In pairs, one student will perform a headstand while the other student is their spotter, holding their partner’s legs up. When you say, “Go”, spotters need to run to another student in the headstand formation and spot them before they fall! The last pair in the headstand formation wins the game! Students should not hold this pose for too long because it can cause light-headedness.
 

5. Wall Walks

 

Once students can balance themselves in a headstand, they can move onto a handstand. This is a great activity to build confidence and arm strength. Put a mat on the floor, next to a mat on the wall. Students walk down the mat with their feet against the wall and hands on the floor. This strengthens their core and arm muscles, preparing them for handstands!

 

6. Forward Roll Progression

 

Motivate your class as they practice forward rolls! Stack a panel mat on top of another for extra cushion. Students should curve their back while rolling down the mat, looking at their stomachs can help create a c-shape curve in their spine! They can advance in the progression by removing the top mat and beginning their forward roll in the handstand formation.

 

7. Bridge Breakthrough

 

Increase core muscles, arm muscles, and stability with Bridge Breakthrough. Students’ fingers face their feet as they push their abdomen towards the ceiling. Once they have perfected the bridge pose, they can challenge their balance by lifting an arm or leg off the ground. Make this exercise fun by having students give their friends high fives!

 

8. Shipwreck

 

Shipwreck is a tag game that students will ask to play again! Begin with one student, the tagger, on a mat in the middle of four other mats, which are scattered around the gym. The rest of the class begins scattered across the other four mats. Once the tagger yells, “shipwreck”, everyone moves to another mat, running from the tagger. If someone is tagged, they go to the middle mat with the other taggers. The last student to be tagged is the winner!

 

9. Stick-It

 

Challenge your class with Stick-It! Each student stands on a mat, facing one another in a circle. The instructor call out various jumps or activities, such as a tuck jump.  The goal is to correctly perform the jump and land on your feet. If a student fumbles or falls, they are out. The last student standing is the winner! This is a great way to end class, and assess which jumps your students have mastered or need to practice more.

Keep students moving and learning with these games, progressions, and challenges! From a game of tag with a twist to a headstand progression, students will learn new skills while having fun!

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9 Safety Tips for Gymnastics Activities

Posted 2 weeks ago - by Gopher Community

Gymnastics is an exciting sport to introduce in Physical Education!  As students learn skills from jumping to tumbling, it is important to keep them safe. Brittney Resler, Owatonna Gymnastics Club Executive Director, shares nine tips to follow for a safe and fun gymnastics lesson.

 

Tip 1:  Always keep mats dry and clean

When mats are exposed to liquids, they become a slipping hazard for students. When it is time to clean mats, use a sanitizer without bleach, like Matt-Kleen Disinfectant. Bleach causes mats to fade and lose their color.

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Tip 2: Place mats purposefully around your gym

With a dusty gym floor, mats can slip, which can be harmful to your students. Place them up against the wall for more static movements, or use the Velcro to attach multiple mats together. Another option is to purcahse non-slip drawer liners to place underneath mats.

Tip 3: Only take mats out when they are needed

Even small mats can be a tripping hazard for your class.

Tip 4: Keep activity areas safe with mats

When using panel mats, cover the whole area students are active in. If you don’t have enough mats to cover your entire gym space, make sure the areas students are practicing cartwheels or handstands in are protected with mats.

Tip 5: Thickness, size, and length are important in choosing the best mat

While planning your lesson, be certain you have the correct mat for each activity! For head-first skills, use a thick mat to protect your students’ heads. Smaller mats can be used for basic jumps. Check out these tumbling mats, all backed by an Unconditional 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!

Tip 6: Tumbling activities require mats and your attention

Don’t include tumbling activities in your lesson without proper mats. It’s important, especially during tumbling activities, that you watch your student.

Tip 7: Only spot skills you are comfortable with

In order to keep students safe, only perform exercises that you are comfortable spotting. If you are not comfortable with a skill, reach out to your local gymnastic’s club to learn proper spotting technique.

Tip 8: Teach students how to land

Sometimes, students understand how to being the skill, but not how to finish. Have your class practice feet-first landings.

Tip 9: Know your district’s safety protocols

Before starting a tumbling unit in your class, seek out your school district’s protocols. If you follow these safety tips, an injury should not occur. If an injury does happen in your class, contact the school nurse immediately.

Tumbling is a very fun and exciting unit that your students will love! If you have any additional safety tips or tumbling activity ideas please share with us in the comments below!

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Gymnastics Activities for Beginners

Posted 2 weeks ago - by Gopher Community

Gymnastics and tumbling are a great way for students to learn fundamental skills like balancing and rolling, while strengthening their bodies.

Partner V Lean BackIt is great to begin a gymnastics lesson with stretching to warm-up arms, legs, and calf muscles. Next, have students partner stretch to practice balance and gain confidence in beginner stunts such as the Partner Chair Balance, the Partner “V” Lean Back, and the Partner “V” Lean Side.

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  • Partner Chair Balance: Partners face each other and hold hands. Their knees bend and they squat as if sitting in a chair.
  • Partner “V” Lean Back: Partners face each other and hold hands. They lean back until their arms are fully extended.
  • Partner “V” Lean Side: Partners stand side-by-side and hold one of their partner’s hands. They continue to lean until that arm is fully extended.

Having students hold stunt poses with a partner challenges communication and strength.

Balance beanbag on headNext, have students practice balancing on their own. Have them practice balancing on one foot and walking foward and backwards in a straight line.

  • Balancing something, such as a beanbag, on their head can help them keep their chin up, implementing good posture
  • Use jump ropes, floor tape, or chalk to create lines of various shapes
  • Keep tumbling mats folded for safe practice of balancing on an elevated surface
  • Challenge them to balance on various body parts, supporting themselves in more ways than the typical two feet. Hold poses for 10 seconds.

Once they are comfortable walking in a straight line and holding poses, teach your students how to roll across the tumbling mat. The Log Roll, Forward Roll, Straddle Roll, and Cartwheels are fun challenges!

  • Log Roll: Students lie on a mat with their arms straight above their head, rolling on their side, back, side, and continuously moving in this circular motion. They should try rolling in a straight line.
  • Forward Roll: Students balance on the balls of their feet and extend their arms out. Then, their hands move to the mat as they tuck their chin to their chest and tighten their abdominal muscles. Students who struggle tucking their chin can practice holding a beanbag underneath their chin. Students roll forward on their shoulders, by pushing off their feet.
  • Straddle Roll: Start with legs far apart. Bend at the waist, placing hands down on the mat. Their chin should tuck to their chest to protect their head and neck. Roll forward on their shoulders; push off with hands and feet.
  • Cartwheels: Students can begin practicing cartwheels by learning the hand, hand, foot, foot sequence. Next, have them focus on keeping their legs straight up in a “V”. Trying to perform cartwheels in a straight line will help them perfect the skill, strengthen arms, and increase balance.

Once they have mastered balancing, rolling, and tumbling, they can build their endurance by practicing them all in a continuous sequence. Creating sequences offers students the chance to be creative, have fun, and build confidence in their gymnastic skills.

Teaching gymnastics in your P.E. class allows your students to safely learn skills, strengthen muscles, and motivate themselves through new challenges. Share your favorite gymnastics activities for physical education below!

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3 Tactical Soccer Games for PE [Video]

Posted 1 month ago - by Gopher Community

Before starting a soccer unit, I find it beneficial for students to self-assess and think about whether they are a beginner, expert, or somewhere in between. This helps them make real-time decisions during the game based on their level of comfort.

I always start with more students on offense to increase scoring and skill practice. Once the students show me mastery of these skills, I make the teams even. I also focus on progressing from warm-ups to conditioning activities, and end each game with one or two focus skills. The focus skills of the games below are passing and possession.


Color Call Out

 

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The goal of a good warm-up is to get students ready for game play. Focus on a specific skill or activity such as passing, shooting, or keeping your head up.

Set-Up:

Teams begin by passing the ball with short passes. Start with stationary passing, and then progress to moving while passing. When either goalkeeper calls your team color, the player on the ball takes two touches and tries to score on that goalie. The keeper then throws the ball out to another team member in the same group and the passing continues. Teachers can use other skills to progress to, such as volleying to a partner, headers, or throw-ins.

Stop every few minutes to stretch dynamically, making sure all muscle groups are stretched.
 

Attackers vs. Defenders

 

Disguising conditioning during small-sided games keeps the game fast paced and keeps students actively engaged both physically and mentally.

Set-Up: I recommend setting this activity up in a small-sided games format with multiple fields and teams.

  • 1 large goal at end of field
  • 2 small goals on the sidelines, 1 on each side (use cones or pop-up goals)

The offense will stay in the shape of two forwards up front and five midfielders behind them. Encourage them to “play big” instead of grouping together to make more of a challenge for the defense.

The attacking group tries to score on the big goal, while the goalkeeper and defenders try to win the ball and score by shooting into the two smaller goals down the sidelines. Adding these sideline goals helps eliminate defenders simply clearing the ball into the middle and encourages them to start their attack down the sideline. This also helps the defensive team to stay compact and communicate to help defined as a unit.

Play for about five to six minutes and then switch up defensive and offensive players, so each student gets the opportunity to play both positions.

 

Soccer Match-Up

 

This is a possession game where each player picks a partner on the other team. Players are only allowed to defend the person they are matched-up with. I start with a simple scoring system where four consecutive passes earns a team one point. You can adjust the number of passes to increase or decrease difficulty. The goal is to encourage students to dribble the ball and create passing opportunities to their teammates.

This game meets SHAPE America National Physical Education Standards 1 and 2.

Standard 1 - The physically literate individual demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.

Standard 2 - The physically literate individual applies knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies and tactics related to movement and performance.

 

Game and activity ideas provided by Michael Cummings.

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25 Medicine Ball Exercises [Video]

Posted 1 month ago - by Gopher Community

Medicine Balls are a great way to introduce your class to weight lifting! They are available in a variety of weights, offering a challenge to students who are new to training, as well as established athletes. Their uniform weight allows your physical education class to focus more on form and technique, and the special tacky material and raised panels offer the best grip, making it safe to use. We compiled exercises with medicine balls for a complete workout! In the videos below, you’ll discover medicine ball exercises for upper body, lower body, core, partner passing, and wall-ball passing!

Upper-Body Exercises

Work with a partner to perform theses medicine ball exercises!Pairing your students up can be a great way to motivate them, have more fun and work harder!

From med ball push ups to triceps extensions, this video includes five muscle building medicine ball exercises.

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Lower-Body Exercises

Medicine balls can be used while performing lunges, squats and presses.

 


Core Exercises

Medicine balls can be a great addition to your core workout!

 


Partner Passing Exercises

Pair your students up to perform these medicine ball exercises! Pairing your students up can be a great way to motivate them. Workouts can also be more fun with a partner!

 


Wall Passing Exercises

Utilize your entire workout area by performing med ball exercises against a wall. Either pass against the wall while shuffling or lean against it with wall sits.

 


Medicine balls are available in 11 individual weights, ranging from 4 to 30lbs, and are also available in sets with storage and instructions. Receive free shipping on UltraFit™ Evolution™ Medicine Balls today by using the promo code VideoFreeShip at checkout!

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Resistance Tubing: A Complete Workout for PE

Posted 1 month ago - by Gopher Community

Want to get your students a great workout but low on storage space for equipment? Resistance Tubing is a great way to add resistance to fitness workouts in physical education, and saves on storage space! It also offers infinite possibilities for adding variety to your class workouts.

We compiled exercises for a complete physical education resistance-tubing workout! In the video playlist below, you’ll find resistance tubing exercises for upper body, lower body, core, and stretching/flexibility. Resistance Tubing is available in sets, packs, or individually in 5 ranging resistance levels to meet your personal needs and goals. Receive free shipping on ProStretch™ Resistance Tubing with Plastic Handles today by using the promo code VideoFreeShip at checkout!

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Upper Body

Try bicep curls and triceps extensions for a great upper body workout.

 

 

Lower Body

To achieve an awesome lower body workout, incorporate resistance tubing in your squat workouts.

 

 

Core

Strengthen your core with V-Up Sit-Ups.

 

 

Stretching and Flexibility

Add resistance bands to overhead stretches.

 

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Fitness Bars: A Total Body Workout for P.E. [Video]

Posted 2 months ago - by Gopher Community

A great way to introduce your students to fitness training is to get a fitness bar in their hands! Fitness bars, also referred to as aerobic body bars, take your class workout to the next level. They are great for building muscle definition and teaching better lifting technique. Add resistance to any movement and help acclimate your students to resistance training. We compiled exercises for a complete physical education class bar workout! In the video playlist above, you’ll find fitness bar exercises for upper body, lower body, core, balance, and flexibility/agility, with a total of 25 fitness exercises!

Fitness bars are available individually in 6 sizes and also in multiple pack options that are perfect for physical education. Receive free shipping on UltraFit™ Fitness Bars today by using the promo code VideoFreeShip at checkout!

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Upper Body

Fitness Bars are extremely versatile and offer a great upper body bar workout.

 

 

Lower Body

Balance the bar in a rack position or hold the bar for a variety of lower body exercises.

 

 

Core

Perform core exercises like V-Up Sit Ups or Balancing Rows.

 

 

Balance

Use Gopher's Fitness Bars to either add resistance to balancing exercises or help maintain balance during movements.

 

 

Flexibility/Agility

Increase flexibility by using the bar similar to stretching stick. Also, lay the bar on the floor to practice agility movements.

 

 

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Superhero PE Games to Get Students Moving [Video]

Posted 3 months ago - by Gopher Community

In honor of National Superhero Day (April 28), we have compiled 5 fun superhero-themed games that your students will love! These games use Rainbow Sets of equipment to distinguish different superhero teams. Every color represents a different superhero!

  • Red = Ironman
  • Orange = The Human Torch
  • Yellow = Wolverine
  • Green = The Incredible Hulk
  • Blue = Superman / Superwoman
  • Purple = Batman, The Phantom, or Psylocke (Batman doesn’t have any superpowers so his character might be difficult to use in these games)

 

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Superpower Shakedown

 

Similar to Everybody’s It Tag, students run around the gym trying to collect super powers (flags) from other students while protecting their own! We used Infinite Flag Belts to divide the players into 6 different superhero teams. Students will have a blast making up names for the new powers they acquire. The person with the largest arsenal of powers at the end of a designated time is the winner!

 

Super Power Pile-Up

 

Help! All of our superheroes have lost their powers! Place six hula hoops around the outside of the play area. Students must run around the gym, collect their super powers (ClassicCoat Balls) and return them to their base. Once a team has collected all of its super powers, they can steal powers from other teams. The team with the most super powers/balls at the end of a designated time is the winner!

 

Superhero Battle Royale

 

This game is a battle between all six superhero teams!  Players collect their colored superpowers (ClassicCoat Balls) scattered around the gym floor and work to score on the other team’s AllAround Jr. Goal - weakening them with every ball scored. The team with the least amount of balls in their team’s goal is the winner!

 

Superhero Revival

 

Teams designate a player to tag other superheroes with their team’s colored ClassicCoat Balls! If tagged with the ball, the player is drained of all of their powers and must go back to their base to revive. In order to revive, the player must perform 10 burpees to be allowed back into the game! Nobody is safe! Even taggers can still be tagged by other teams.

 

ACTION! Super Shielders

 

Students will love this unique superhero-themed game available only from Gopher. The goal of Super Shielders is to protect your city while the other team tries to knock over your team’s buildings. Superheroes will love the cape and shield that comes with the set. Add a unique twist to the game with archenemies that can tag anybody and make them perform an exercise before returning to the game. The first team to knock over their opponent’s buildings is the winner. This game includes activity instructions with even more game ideas and variations! Shop or learn more about Super Shielders!

 

Your students will have a blast saving the world with these fun superhero games for physical education!

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5 Unique Game Ideas with Block 'Em [Video]

Posted 3 months ago - by Gopher Community

In ACTION! Block ‘Em, students use foam blocks to build a 6 x 6 block tower while preventing the opposing team from knocking it over. Students love this fun twist to a knockdown-style game, but the best news is that these blocks can be used for so much more!

Check out 5 unique PE activity ideas to use with ACTION! Block ‘Em:

 

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Spelling Bee Block ‘Em:

 

The foam blocks can be used to spell out words in a team relay! Encourage students to come up with and spell out the most creative word or have each team spell out the same word in a timed relay. Correct spelling and legibility count!

 

Block ‘Em Breakdown:

 

Each team has 4 - 6 stacks of blocks on opposing ends of the play area. Teams must protect their stacks of blocks while trying to knock over the opposing team’s stacks.  The team to completely demolish the other team’s stacks first, wins!

 

Building Block ‘Em:

 

Instead of destroying towers, this game focuses on building them. Teams work together in a relay-style game to try and build the fastest pyramid. Students can be creative in how their pyramid is built! For a fun addition to the game, create a knockdown component. The first team to build its pyramid and knock it down is the winner! Students can either build a really tall and slim tower that’s riskier to build, but easier to knock over or a really sturdy structure that’s harder to knock down.

 

Block ‘Em Bowling:

 

Stack the foam blocks as a pyramid and have kids bowl to knock them all down. Blocks can also be scattered around the play area to be knocked over individually in a knockdown game!

 

ACTION! Block 'Em: 

 

In the classic game of ACTION! Block ‘Em, students try to build a 6 x 6 block wall while the other team tries to knock it over. Students can either work to build the wall, protect it, or knock down the other team’s wall. Every block that gets knocked over by the other team must be returned to the center play area. The first team to build their wall is the winner!

 

ACTION! Block ‘Em is an extremely versatile game and makes for a great addition to your physical education supplies. Each pack comes with activity instructions with even more game ideas and variations – check it out here!

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The PE Game Your Equipment Room Needs [Video]

Posted 3 months ago - by Gopher Community

As a physical educator, purchasing equipment that can be used for multiple activities and units is like hitting the jackpot! One of our favorite items that’s big on versatility is ToppleTubes. ToppleTubes are unique 2-color tubes with endless uses in physical education. They’re great for PE games and activities like stacking, relays, and knockdown, but their versatility also makes them a great addition for sport-skill units and fitness activities.

We’ve put together 10 game and activity ideas that will make ToppleTubes your favorite piece of equipment!

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Football Skills

ToppleTubes can be a great addition to any agility drill. Use them in your football unit for the 3-cone drill or quarterback movement drills. Practice juking by having students juke left if yellow is facing up and right if blue is facing up. Lastly, use ToppleTubes as catching boundaries or targets!

 

 

Basketball Skills

Use ToppleTubes during your basketball unit by having students dribble from tube to tube and flip them over to their team’s color. This activity is great for practicing control and maintaining space. 

 

 

 

Topple Balance

Place a ToppleTube on each end of a balance beam. Students must walk to one end, bend down, flip the ToppleTube over, and then repeat the same steps on the other side. Have students flip each ToppleTube over 5 times for ultimate practice!

 

 

ToppleTube Tip Over

Two teams each have a designated number of ToppleTubes that they must protect. Defenders try to defend their ToppleTube, while offenders try to knock over the other team’s ToppleTube. If an opponent knocks over a ToppleTube, he/she flips the tube over and possession changes. The team with the most ToppleTubes with their team’s color facing up at end of a designated time is the winner!

 

 

Indoor Baseball of Softball

Refine aim and control during indoor baseball or softball units by using ToppleTubes as targets for grounders! ToppleTubes can also be used for a variety of strength and conditioning exercises or activities for baseball or softball teams.

 

 

 

ToppleTube Cardio

Space the ToppleTubes around the gym for teams to compete against each other by flipping the ToppleTube over to their team’s color. Switch up the movement for a great warm-up activity!

 

 

 

Fitness Games & Activities

Instead of completing 10 reps of lunges or push-ups, have students alternate with a partner! Whenever they complete a rep, flip the ToppleTube over to their color. When the music stops, whoever’s color is facing up earns a point! Another fitness activity is to practice Russian Twists in a circle and use the ToppleTubes to pass around the circle.

 

 

Tennis Targets

ToppleTubes are great for tennis targets! Place the ToppleTubes a few feet in front of your students and have them aim to knock them over with the tennis ball. This will help your students to practice rallying and control.

 

 

 

ToppleTube Target Knockdown

Players aim to knock down their opponent’s ToppleTubes. If it is knocked over, the student must run over and flip the ToppleTube to their team’s color. The team with the most colors facing up, wins!

 

 

 

Building/Stacking Relay

 In a relay style game, students race to the other end of the gym to build a pyramid using all of their ToppleTubes. Once their pyramid is complete, they must use their three foam balls to knock down all of their ToppleTubes. The first team to knock all of them over, wins!

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