Students love gymnastic 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
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 Game
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 a fun gymnastic game by having students give their friends high fives!
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 Gymnastic Game
Challenge your class with Stick-It! Each student stands on a mat, facing one another in a circle. The instructor calls 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.
Gymnastics mats and equipment for your program:
– Tumbling Mats: Gopher has a wide assortment of adult and kids’ tumbling mats. Find the options your PE class or team needs to practice gymnastics moves!
– VariVault™ Vault Box: Develop balance and practice flips on a safe, adjustable foam vault box.
– Wedges: Extra-large gymnastics wedge mat inclines for teaching rolls, walkovers, landing, stretching, and spotting.
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!