P.E. Activities with Cones, Hoops, and Poly Spots
Every Physical Education teacher has equipment that they use on a daily basis. Whether they are teaching indoors, outdoors, or in an alternative space or location, these must-have pieces of equipment are always within reach. You know, those items you replenish every year because you use them ALL of the time? However, not every P.E. teacher’s list of essential equipment is going to look the same. Here our my most commonly used pieces of equipment (in no particular order) and 5 fun P.E. activities using them:
- Poly Spots
- Hula Hoops
Maze – Cooperative Activity
My favorite poly spot activity is a cooperative activity called Maze. You will need 30 poly spots and several already made maze cards for each group. Divide your class into 6 groups with about 5 students in each.
How to Play:
The students set the 30 poly spots into a 6 x 5 grid. One student in each group holds the pre-made maze cards on one side of the poly spot grid and the other 4 students stand on the opposite side. One student at a time picks a poly spot that they think will get them through the maze. If correct, they can keep picking. If they are wrong, they go back to the end of the line and the next person goes. This keeps going until all the team members get out of the maze.
My second favorite activity that includes poly spots is Musical Fitness. All you need to play this activity is 30-40 poly spots and 30-40 fitness exercise cards. Place the exercise cards in a circle around the perimeter of the gym. Then place the ploy spots on top of the exercise cards.
How to Play:
On the signal, have the students jog around the poly spots until the music tops. Whatever poly spot they stopped by is the exercise they need to perform. After 30-60 seconds, play the music again and have the students jog or perform a different movement activity around the ploy spots. Continue for 5-10 minutes. This activity is great for an instant activity/warm-up/ASAP to start class.
Flip It Fitness
My favorite activity to play with my students involving cones is Flip It Fitness. Kevin Tiller created this idea and the overall objective of the game is modeled after the bottle flip craze. As your students enter the gym, have them pair up and go to a set of cones.
How to Play:
At the signal, each pair of students starts to flip their cones. The first one to flip their cone and land it wins. The student that wins does a victory push-up and the other person does jumping jacks until a new challenger arrives. You can also do this activity in partner relay lines. In addition, you can write exercises on the cones themselves and have them perform the exercises when a cone flips and lands.
Another favorite use for cones is as target holders. Cones are great for all target games. You can use many skills including rolling, overhand throwing, and underhand throwing in order to get the students to hit the targets. You can also use a variety of equipment including throwing discs, foam dice, foam balls, etc.
My favorite hula-hoop activity is Hula Hoop Timer. Hand each student a hoop as they enter the gymnasium. You should have a series of exercises written on a whiteboard, a sheet of paper, or just have the students pick their own exercise.
How to Play:
At the signal, the students spin their hoop. While the hula hoops spins, the students perform the exercise until the hoop completely stops. You can also have them do this activity in pairs and you can specify what component of fitness they must perform. Look at a great video of this activity by Justin Cahill.
For additional P.E. activities featuring hoops and poly spots, check out these blogs:
* Disclaimer: The activities described above are common P.E. Activities and are not my own creations.
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Action Packed Coated-Foam Ball Activities for PE
Are you tired of playing the same activities with coated-foam ball year after year? If your answer is “YES!”, then this is the blog you want to read. Below, I compiled a list of top coated-foam ball activities that are sure to increase your students MVPA and have them begging you to play them over and over again.
This is a great activity for throwing, rolling, offensive/defensive, and cooperation skills. The objective of the game is to get all Satellites down at the same time. Split your class into 2 teams and have a team on each side of the gym. Have the teams work together to make their Satellites. Making each Satellite take exactly 6 hoops. To start, place 1 hoop on the floor, then place 2on the inside and have them touch, place the other 2 on the other sides and have them touch, and place the last hoop on the top. I usually have each team make 5 Satellites. Depending on how many hoops you have and the size of your gym you can decide on how many Satellites you’d like to play with. Check out a video example by Craig Bleess!
The objective of the game is to be the first to knock down all the other team’s pins. This activity works on students’ throwing, offense, defense, and teamwork skills. To start, divide the class into 2 teams and place a team on each side of the gymnasium. Place 10 or more pins down the midline of the gym. Then have each team pair up with their teammates along their baselines. One partner will lay down facing the pins in the sit-up position. The other partner will be the ball retrievers who will collect the coated-foam balls for their sit-up partners. The sit-up partner will then do sit-ups while throwing the foam ball at the pins down the middle of the gym. Throughout the game have the partners switch roles so that they both get frequent turns participating in each role. The team that collects the most pin wins. Alternatively, have the team that knocks down the last pin win. Check out this video example provided by @MrSpringPE and @WHS44_PE!
The objective of this game is to advance beach balls over to the other team's side and get them to cross over the other team’s baseline using the coated-foam balls. This activity works on teamwork, cooperation, overhand throwing skills, and rolling skills. To begin, separate your class into two groups. Have each group spread out on the boundary line using the whole length of the gymnasium. Then place as many beach balls as you want down the midline. The number of beach balls you want to use is up to you. I like to use 5 to 10. Scatter the coated-foam balls all around the middle of the gymnasium.
The purpose of this activity is be the first group to move the baton over to the other side past the designated finish line. This activity is fantastic for the skill of overhand throwing and throwing for accuracy. First, tape a beach ball on the bottom of a baton. Then take a string and feed it through the baton. Make sure the string is long enough so that you can attach it to both basketball hoops on each side of the gym. Divide the class into two teams. Add some coated-foam balls and have the students overhand throw the foam balls at the beach ball. The baton will then glide across the gym depending on which side makes contact more. Check out these examples by @NorthPolkWestPE and @AAHemi!
The objective of this activity is to pop the critter’s on the wall and move up to the next level. This game is awesome for the skill of overhand throwing. It may also be used as an instant activity. This activity requires that you have a projector, either a tablet, laptop, or phone, and internet access. Just download the app called Jitterbug by Friskies® and project it on a white screen or the gym wall. Roll out a bunch of coated-foam balls and let the students overhand throw at the bugs projected. You then control when the bugs pop from your electronic device allowing them to move up to the next level. This activity is definitely one that students love! Check out a video example! (@jcarder87 and @physedreview)
The objective of this game is to get a coated-foam ball into a hoop. The game works on the skills of throwing and/or striking. First, set up volleyball nets across the entire gym. Place 20 hoops on the floor on each side of the gym. Create 2 teams and place them on each side of the gym. The students will then strike the coated-foam balls with either the underhand or overhand serve or throw the balls overhand/underhand over the net to the other side. If the ball lands inside the hoop, the other team then takes that hula hoop out and places it in a designated area. The first team to remove all the hoops wins. You may also have the team place the hoops that they win on their side of the floor and the team with the most hula hoops after a certain amount of time wins. See a video example! Check out more from Benjamin Pirillo on his YouTube channel, TeachPhysEd!
The objective of this game is to collect as many hoops as you can. This game works on underhand throwing and rolling for accuracy. To begin, have the students get into partners and stand behind a cone. You can either use the width or the length of the gymnasium. It depends on how many students you have. Take hoops and scatter them all over the gym floor. On the signal, have the students take turns rolling the coated-foam balls at the hula hoops. If the ball goes into a hula hoop and stays, that group gets to keep the hula hoop. Play for a certain amount of time or until all the hula hoops are gone.
I hope your students enjoy these activities as much as my students do. These activities were found via searching and collaborating with P.E. professionals from all over the country either by google searches, social media sites, books, P.E. conventions, and more.
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P.E. and Fitness Ideas with Hoops and Cones
Are you in need of new physical education activities using equipment staples like cones and hoops? Look no further than these fun and simple ideas!
Fitness Fun with Cones
1. Flip It Fitness – On the signal have your students pair up next to a pair up cones. Each student tries to flip his/her cone until it lands on its base! The first successful student gives his/her partner a high five and say “good game”. The winning student then jogs around the play area to a find a new challenger. They do this by looking for a student who is doing jumping jacks. These are the individuals who were unsuccessful during the challenge. Check out Justin Cahill's example.
2. Flip It Relays – Separate your class into relay groups of any size. On the signal, see which group can win the relay by flipping a series of cones that are spread out down the gymnasium. Have the students take turns flipping the cones. If successful, they move on to the next cone. If not, the group does an assigned exercise one time together as a team before the next person in the group gives it a try. The activity keeps going until one group wins the relay race. Check out Ken Smith's variation of the Cone Flipping Game (Kevin Tiller).
3. Flip It with Skill Development – Same as Flip It Fitness & Flip It Relay except all the students dribble a basketball while playing the game. Check out Mike Morris' variation on the Cone Flip Race (Kevin Tiller).
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Fitness Fun with Hoops
1. Fitness Timer – Hand a hoop to each student as he/she enters the gymnasium. You can either have students come up with their own exercise or you can write some on a whiteboard and/or use a projector with a list of exercises they can choose from. The students then pick any exercise they want to do and spin their hoop. They perform the exercise until the hoop completely stops spinning. Keep going until the music stops. Check out this example video! (Justin Cahill)
2. Partner Fitness Timer – Same as Fitness Timer, but now it’s done in pairs. One student picks the exercise, while the other student spins the hoop. The action continues until the music stops. See the Partner Fitness Timer in action! (Justin Cahill)
3. Toss It Fitness – Take a hoop and tape it with six different colors of floor tape. Then create an exercise master sheet that has an exercise for each color. Have the students toss the hoop up in the air and catch it. Whatever color the student catches have them match the color with the exercise on the exercise master sheet. See example here. (Teri Elliott)
More Hoop Ideas
1. Pop the Bubbles – Divide your class into partner relay lines. In front of each relay line, place a set of four hoops with a poly spot in a row. On the signal, have your students take turns underhand throwing and/or rolling a bean bag into the first bubble (hoop w/ poly spot). If it lands in the bubble (hoop) then bring the hoop back and continue until all the hoops are collected. See photo examples here. (Jillian Scharlach)
2. Fitness Pyramid – Create a Pyramid with hoops. Starting with 5 then 4, 3, 2, and 1. Then place a pair of dice in each hoop. Create 5 relay lines with your class. On the signal, the first 2 students in each line go to the first line and take turns rolling the dice. The greater number moves up and the lower number runs a lap and then gets back into one of the relay lines. You can have them add, subtract, multiply, and use greater than or less than. Check out this example video! (Ms. Isler)
3. Number Battle – Create two teams. Each team has 3, 4, or 5 hoops with written number words in each hoop. Have numbers 1-10 in each hoop. On the signal, all the students on each team run to the other team’s hoop where the written numbers are and takes one to bring back to their hoops on the other side. On the way back they must find a poly spot (with numbers 1-10 written on them) that matches their number on the card and step on it before they can place it in their hoops. The team with the most numbered words at the end wins. You determine the length of time the game is played. Video Example (Mike Morris)
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Student-Led Instant Activities for Physical Education
I don’t know about you but I’m always looking for ways to increase my students MVPA (Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity) time. Since my students receive Physical Education only once a week for 45 minutes, time is very precious. I don’t want it to be wasted. When I decided to start looking for quality instant activities or ASAP’S (Activity As Soon As Possible), I wanted them to infuse the 5 Components of Fitness, as well as, be able to expose my students to subject matter that they’re learning academically in their classrooms. Throughout my career, I have gathered quite a collection of integrated academic ASAP’S.
I firmly believe in giving back to my profession of Physical Education. Many fellow Physical Education colleagues have helped me throughout the years, and I would like to help future Physical Education Specialists coming into this great profession. There needs to be more sharing of ideas whenever possible to ensure that best practices continue into the future. This will improve our profession and subject matter.
Below I have shared 10 academic instant activities for you. You can either make them yourself, buy the book they are located in, or look up the website that they are featured on. I will admit they’re not all my original ideas. I have found these ideas through professional Physical Education conventions, PE books, social media, Internet websites, and a few I have created myself. These 10 activities are student-led Fitness/Academic infused instant activities that will require very little time to reproduce. I hope they are useful. Thank you for reading!
1. Fitness Puzzles – Created by Me!
This activity is great for teaching Cooperation and Teamwork, as well as, any exercises you would like your students to learn. I use this activity at the beginning of the year to teach core exercises to my students that will be used throughout the year. This game also allows students to work together!! Put your students into predetermined groups around a packet of puzzle pieces. On the music, the groups put the puzzle pieces together. When they finish putting them together in a column, they perform the exercises. They can not start a new exercise until everyone in their group is finished with the previous one.
2. Loco-motor Match – Created by Me!
An excellent activity to teach locomotor skills, as well, as basic math skills like odd/even, higher than/lower than, like numbers, etc. I have my students pair up down the midline of the gym. I spread out one set of number cards on one side and the other set numbered cards on the other. On the music, Each pair of students use a predetermined locomotor skill and head out to find matching numbers. When successful, they bring them back and continue until the time is up or the cards are gone.
3. Dice Fun – Created by Me!
This activity can be done individually or in groups. It can also can be played with one die or two. Have the student or students roll the dice and have them either add, subtract, or multiply (if they multiply have them use the second digit of the answer).
4. Fitness Grid – Created by Dr. Hinson
This is a great Dr. Curt Hinson activity. It can be bought on his website or you can create it yourself. Have the Fitness Grid sheets lying on the gym floor with two different colored dice before your students arrive. In what ever predetermined groups you put your students in, have each student take turns rolling the two different dice. For my grids, the dice are black and red. Just roll the dice and match the color and number of the die. Slide them together and perform the exercise. You decide how long they participate.
5. Fitnopoly – Created by Dr. Hinson
This activity is play just like a typical board game. Separate your class into groups and have them see who can get further and/or finish the game first. Each shape has a choice of two exercises in them. Make sure to have a pair of dice and some game pieces. These items can be easily found at the dollar store.
6. Pass It Down – Great Activity Company
This activity is excellent if your students have assigned seats with rows. Just give the first person in each row a 5 Components of Fitness Pass It Down card and start the music. The leader reads the first activity on the list and performs that level of fitness for their row. The students in the row then copy the leader until the teacher says “Pass It Down”. That’s when the second person in the row performs the second exercise and everyone in the row copies. This activity is great for assessing and checking for understanding of the 5 Components of Fitness.
7. Pathway Cards – Great Activity Company
These cards are great for teaching pathways. Just hand each student a card as they enter and have them copy the pathway on the card. When they are finished just have them get a new one. I often combine this by reinforcing their locomotor skills and tempo skills.
8. Line Graph and Bar Graph Workouts – Great Activity Company
These are great activities for incorporating math into your class. I give each student a card as they come into my class and they start exercising. I usually have them do one graph one week and the other graph next week. When they finish, they put the card in a bucket and get a new one from me. Sometimes I have them do the exercises with a partner, but it has to be a boy and girl group.
9. It's In the Cards – I originally got from Dr. Curt Hinson
This is another great activity to get your students moving right as they enter the gymnasium. Just hand a playing card to each student as they enter the gym and they match their card to the It’s In The Cards key card. I usually just place several Key cards in cones throughout the gym. When they finish their exercise they just get a new card from me or from a predetermined location.
10. Clock Warm-Up
This activity can be done many different ways, individually, with partners, pick a student one at a time, play music and go. Go to pecentral.org and print as many as you need, laminate them and your done. The students spin the hand and where it stops they perform the exercise. Great for teaching how to tell time. Also an awesome in the classroom activity!!!