Physical Education Games for Children

A successful physical education class for kids will strike a balance between teaching about sports and fitness, and playing fun games to keep kids interested. If you have to keep a group of kids entertained, try these games to keep the kids burning energy.

Ships across the Ocean

Ships across the Ocean is a classic gym or field game for that many kids likely already know how to play. Line the kids up at one end of the gym or field, and pick two or three kids to come to the middle as “taggers.” The taggers begin the game by saying “ships across the ocean,” and then all the other kids have to run to the other end of the playing area while the taggers try to run after them an tag them. Kids that are tagged can either become new taggers or sit down as immobile taggers. The game continues with rounds or “waves,” until all the kids have been tagged. Another variation is allowing the taggers to call only certain people across to run, such as those wearing a certain color.

Three Step

Three Step is a dodge ball variant that can be played with a gym with a group of any number. Several dodge balls are placed within the gym, and kids are able to move freely about the gym. Anyone can pick up a ball and throw it at someone else. If the ball hits, the person hit is “out” and must sit down. After picking up a ball, the thrower can take three steps before he must throw. If another player catches a ball, the thrower is out. If a ball happens to roll to a sitting player, she may stand and throw the ball at anyone still in, and may come back in the game if she tags that person out. The game proceeds until there is one person left. To quicken the game, add more balls to the playing area.

Capture the Flag

Capture the Flag can be played in a large area, such as a field or even a park or forest. Two teams each has its own “side,” separated by a definite dividing line. Whenever a player ventures into the other team’s side, he can be tagged by opposing players and sent to a “jail” area. The goal of the game is to infiltrate the other team’s side, grab a “flag” (which can be an actual flag, a football, or any other marker) and return it to their own territory. Players entering the jail area may rescue two of their captured teammates and return with them to their own territory.