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Active Schools Workshop


Hopscotch PJ

All squares should be large enough to accommodate a child’s foot (30 – 40 cm) drawn in chalk, paint tape
or whatever. Use a small stone, penny, stick, bean bag or lengths of chain as a marker to toss. One
marker is needed per child. Children begin by learning to hop on one foot through the squares while
keeping their balance and not stepping on any lines.

Variations: Finland Hopscotch, Heaven and Earth, Dragon Hopscotch, Alphabet, Number
From: Awesome Asphalt Activities, CIRA Ontario

Skipping Rhymes (Jump Rope) PJ

Use a variety of chants that are laminated and available for students.
From: Awesome Asphalt Activities, CIRA Ontario

Chinese Skipping PJ

Used with elastic, surgical tubing, elastics or tie skipping ropes together. The length of cord is supported
around two students legs at about mid-calf height. Students take turns to develop patterns of movement
inside, outside or on the ropes.

e.g. Mississippi, British Isles From: Awesome Asphalt Activities, CIRA Ontario

Four Square JI

One person occupies each square numbered one to four. The player in square 1 serves the ball by
bouncing it in their square and playing it underhand to another square. The ball is played by each person
occupying the square that the ball lands in until there is a miss. Misses occur when a player fails to play
the ball that lands in their square or plays it out of bounds. The person responsible for the miss goes to
the end of the line. All other players move up to the next open square.

Variations: two bounces, catch then bounce, two players per square / alternate shot.
From: Awesome Asphalt Activities, CIRA Ontario

Foot Hockey PJI

Equipment : tennis ball, two goals

Two teams attempt to score by kicking a tennis ball in the opponents goal. Players are not permitted to
play the ball with their hands. All balls in the air must be placed on the ground.

Active Schools Workshop

Switch PJI

Equipment: 4 square or other shape on floor or ground

Four square switch is played with one player in the corner and a fifth player – “it” in the middle.
The object of the game is to switch corners without “it” stealing a corner. First foot on the corner is
the owner. Player without a corner is it. If there are subs, the sub takes over the “it” position.




X X Subs

1. Five person switch – leader calls switch
2. Five person switch – “It” calls switch
3. Nine person switch – “it” calls switch
4. Nine person switch – nobody calls switch (Silent switch)
5. Five person switch – nobody calls switch (Silent switch)
Variation: Play 9 person switch.
No command switch – players change corners when they think it is safe.

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Rock (closed fist) beats Scissors (index and middle finger)

Scissors beats Paper (open hand, palm down)
Paper beats Rock


1. Play Rock Paper Scissors with a partner. The defeated opponent stands behind partner and places
hands on shoulders of partner. The lead partner finds another pair and plays Rock Paper Scissors
with that leader. The defeated opponent goes to the end of the “train” and places hands on
shoulders of person at the end. Play continues until there is one leader and all other players are
part of the train.

Active Schools Workshop
Rock Paper Scissors Baseball

Two teams are formed (2 – 6 players each). One team lines up three paces behind “home” prepared to run
the bases clockwise. The other team lines up behind “home” prepared to run counter-clockwise around
the bases. On the command, “Go”, the first player on each team runs the bases until they encounter one
another, face-to-face. They play “Rock Paper Scissors”. The winner continues to run the bases. The
defeated player returns to the end of their line. The next player from the defeated player’s team must run
the bases to meet the winning player before they make it home. Every time players meet face to face,
they play “Rock Paper Scissors”.

Ball Hockey PJI

Equipment: Plastic Hockey sticks, soft ball (Score P30X, or wiffle ball with tennis ball cut ups)

Play with modified goals.

Consider playing without goalies and a “safety crease” in front of goals.
OPHEA Safety Guidelines for Ball Hockey
• Stick must remain below waist at all times.
• No slapshots.
• No body contact, stick on body contact or stick on stick contact.
• Penalties for stick infractions strictly enforced.
• Implement a crease for protection of the goalie,
• E.g. basketball key.
• No other player or player’s stick allowed in crease.
• Skills must be taught in proper progression.
• Games and activities must be based on skills that are taught.
• Only active players on the floor can have a stick.


Getting Class Active Immediately:

Do a pre-period in class before arriving in gymnasium / outside. Give students a warm up task to perform
while you are getting equipment / class materials organized.

e.g. Run around gym 4 times. Follow the leader. Partner Mirror. Fitness circuit on wall. Tribal stretch.
Play music of a familiar dance. Scatter run.
Here, There, Everywhere Primary

Equipment: None

• When the teacher calls out "here," students stand as close to him/her as possible. When the teacher
calls out "There," students run in the direction where he/she points. When the teacher calls out
"Everywhere", the students spread out and find their own space within the designated area. Challenge
students to move as quickly as possible from one command to another.
Students should be challenged to move without touching any other students.

Active Schools Workshop

Achilles Tag P

Choose one or more players to be “its”. All other players must bend one leg back and grasp their heel
with their hand. If younger children find this too difficult, allow them to hop around holding one leg up.
The “its” chase the players and try to tag them on the heel that is raised. Any player that is tagged
becomes “it” and the “it” becomes free.
(From: “You’re it – Tag, Tag, Tag and More Tag” CIRA Ontario

Racecar Tag P

Players who are identified as “racecars” scatter and are pursued by one or more “its”. When an “it” tags a
racecar, the racecar gets a flat tire and must go down on all fours with one elbow collapsed on the floor. A
free player can release the broken down car by touching its head and saying “beep beep” The disabled car
slowly rises up as the flat tire inflates while saying “varoom varoom” and drives away.
(From: “You’re it – Tag, Tag, Tag and More Tag” CIRA Ontario

Ice Cube Tag Primary

Equipment: 5 or 6 tag markers -- taggers and melters

• Choose three or four students to be "Ice Cubes" and two or three students to be "Melters". When an Ice
Cube tags a runner, the runner is frozen until a Melter saves them. The student who was caught "melts"
to the ground then may re-join the game. Ice Cubes cannot catch Melters. Stop the game frequently to
give many students an opportunity to be an Ice Cube or a Melter.

Team Tag Primary Junior

Equipment: IT Tag Markers

• Divide the class into three or four groups. Give each group a different colour of marker. Students
spread out in the playing area. On a signal, call out one colour. That colour is "It" and tries to tag all
other players. When tagged, students move out of the playing area and do another activity (Students
choose a fitness task that they wish to improve, e.g., jog on the spot to keep heart rate up or sit-ups or
push-ups to work on muscular strength). The "It" colour catches as many people as possible in 30
seconds. After 30 seconds, all players move into the playing area again and spread out, waiting for a
new colour to be called as "It."

Active Schools Workshop
Triangle Tag Junior Intermediate

Equipment: None

• Working in groups of four, three students join hands and one person is outside of the circle. The person
outside is "It". They designate one person in the "triangle" to be chased. As they try to tag that person,
the other two people in the "triangle" try to protect him/her. The group can move in any way to
protect/tag the player.

Variation: The “it “is given a soft object (pool noodle). Ask how game changed. (requires faster reflexes)

Speedway Primary
Equipment: None
• Students stand in a circle. They choose the names of three different "fast cars" (e.g., Camaro, Corvette
and Porcshe). Each student is given the name of one car. When their name is called, the students step
out of the circle and run laps around the circle. If another student passes them, they need to duck into
the centre of the circle to "get some gas". To get gas, students must do a designated fitness task (e.g.,
five tuck jumps). After they have "gassed up", students should look at the traffic running around the
circle and carefully re-enter the traffic and continue running laps. When the teacher calls out "Parking
Lot," all students return to their home spot. The teacher then calls the next car. More than one car can
be called at one time if students are good at watching carefully and moving safely.

Fitness Circuit Junior Int.

Equipment: Circuit cards and equipment if required

• Create six fitness task stations around the room or in the hallway. Divide students into groups and
assign them to a station. Students should work at their station for one to two minutes until a signal is
given to move to the next station. Music can be used as a signal. When the music stops, students
freeze, point to the next station then walk to the next station. The students can track their progress by
completing a fitness log or journal after this activity. Fitness stations can be changed and adapted and
given catchy names to fit with themes and units in the class.
Station 1: Tuck jumps
Station 2: Alternate heel touches
Station 3: Jump up, touch the ground
Station 4: Chair step-ups
Station 5: Jogging on the spot with arm crosses
Station 6: Knee lifts - 8 one side, 8 the other, repeat.

Stones Junior Intermediate

Active Schools Workshop
Equipment: 20-30 "stones", boundary markers, 2 pylons, 2 hoops

• Divide the class into two teams. Divide the playing area in half and mark two "safe areas", one at each end
of the playing field. Place half of the "stones" in the safe area at one end and half of the "stones" in the safe
area at the other end. Place a cone about two metres in front of each safe area.
• The object of the game is for students to run across the opposite side of the field to the safe area, pick up
ONE stone, and return safely to their own side. Students try to get all of the stones to their home side. They
must take only one at a time. They must carry the stones, not pass them.
• Students tagged when on the opposite side are escorted to a "Holding tank" (the pylon). They must touch the
pylon. As more students are caught and put in the holding tank, they can make a chain, extending towards
their home side. If the line gets long enough to reach their home side, they get a free walk back to their
• Players on the holding tank can also be freed if a player from their own team runs across and kicks over the
pylon. All get a free walk back. Players cannot jump out of the "safe zone" to save students in the holding
tank. They must run from their own side. If students are in the holding tank for a long time, the teacher may
also designate a "freebie" and grant all players a free walk back.

Capture the Blank (flags, bean bags, balls) JI

Equipment: two hula hoops, two equal numbers of small stable objects (bean bags)

Divide class into two teams. Each team defends on end of the playing area (gymnasium, soccer field).
Within each playing area, equal numbers of objects are contained in the hula hoop. A “safe zone” is
defined by cones around the hula hoops. No defensive players are permitted in the safe zone, except to
return objects captured from the opponent. The object of the game is to get all of the objects within your
hula hoop. When entering opposition territory, players may be tagged. If tagged, players must perform a
fitness activity and return to their zone before attempting to capture an object. Attacking players must not
throw the objects. Once inside the safe zone, attacking players must leave within 5 seconds.

Acorn Football Junior

Equipment: Team markers, small objects
• Divide the class into two teams. Designate a "safety zone" on both ends of the field/gym. Both teams
begin in their safety zone. One team has the "acorn" (any small object). The team decides on a
strategy to get the acorn across the field. One person must carry it. The whole team must run from
their safety area to the safety area at the other end of the field. Everyone pretends they are holding the
acorn. When the team with the acorn leaves their safety area, the other team can leave their safety area.
They try to tag as many people as possible on the opposing team. When tagged, the runner must show
whether he/she is holding the acorn or not. The object is to get the acorn safely across to the other side
without being tagged and exposed.

Build a Dance Junior

Active Schools Workshop
Equipment: Variety of Music
• Students work with a partner and choose 3 items off the list to put together a sequence.
• Partners join with another pair to put together their sequences.
• Cross-Pollination -- One person leaves the group and joins another group.
• New person watches existing routine and suggests one addition, taken from his/her previous routine.
• Cross-pollinate one more time, sending a new person on to the next group.

Create a Dance Intermediate

Equipment: Instruction cards, music
• In small groups of three or four, give students a "generic dance" with steps to interpret and follow.
Students read the steps and put them together into a series of movements or dance to teach the rest of
the class. Encourage students to experiment with different formations (circle, line, scatter), tempos,
levels and sequences. Students can experiment with the number of counts for each instruction.
Encourage students to "jazz it up." Each group of students can work from the same or different set of

Continuous Dodgeball PJI

Equipment: Many small sponge balls.

Players try to throw balls at each other to hit them below shoulders (or waist). If hit by a ball, players sit
on floor. When a ball comes to them, they are back in game. Game continues until boredom sets in. (5 –
10 minutes)

4 Corner Dodgeball PJI

Equipment: 4 mats, 4 different colour markers for teams, 8 sponge balls

Place mats near the corner of the gym. Divide class equally into four teams. (“1,2,3,4 – 1,2,3,4”, Get into
groups of four. Decide who is heart, club, diamond, spade). Put coloured marker s on each team. Each
team starts on their mat with two balls. Players may go anywhere in the gym. Players try to throw the
ball to hit other team. If hit by a ball below the shoulders (or waist), players must retire to their home
base. When players come in contact with a ball while on home base, they are free. Object of game is to
get all players on the other teams out.

Add more balls to game for more action.

Ten Passes PJI

Active Schools Workshop
Equipment: Many small sponge balls.

Players play a game with a partner against another pair. Players with the ball try to make ten successful
passes and catches in a row. If the ball is dropped the other pair starts with the ball and tries to make ten
consecutive passes. The player with the ball cannot take more than three steps or hold the ball for more
than three seconds. Defenders must give the player with the ball at least a three foot space (one big step).

Variations: Change the size or type of ball (use rubber chickens or beach balls)ball. Have defenders link

Ball Tag – 3 steps JI

Equipment: Soft ball (nerf, Gator skin), pylons to mark areas

In a 3 metre X 3 metre area. Two teams (4v4) – one team is “it”. The “its” pass the ball to each other
trying to tag the other team with the ball. The player with the ball is permitted to move only three steps.
When tagged, players move outside the playing area. If all players are tagged the “its” win. If the ball is
dropped, all ‘out” players are back in. Switch the “its” frequently.

Variation: Pass and Go Tag: No steps. Passing only.

3 Cone Ball JI

Equipment: Many sponge balls, 6 pylons.

Divide class into two teams. Set up cones near the end line of each end of boundary. Players attempt to
throw balls at cones to knock them over. If players are hit by ball, they must go to the sidelines to do
prescribed fitness activity (10 curl ups, 10 squat jumps) and they are back in. First team to knock over all
cones wins.

“Ultimate” Games JI

“Ultimate” is a game that is played with a flying disc (Frisbee). The object of the game is to pass the disc
to a teammate who catches the disc in the opposition team’s goal area. The player with the disc can only
take three steps and hold the disc for three seconds. The defending team must stay a minimum of three
feet (one metre) from the player with the disc.

Variation: Use a ball (throw and catch; kick and catch) or other object (rubber chicken); change the
scoring area (hula hoop with teammate standing); pylon ball (ball balanced on top of pylon)

Pylon Ball JI

Active Schools Workshop
Equipment: two pylons, two balls to balance on top of pylons, one sponge game ball

Divide class into two teams. Each team sets up pylon in basketball key with ball balancing on top.
Players are not permitted in key. (Violation: attacking team gives up ball. Defending team gives up
penalty shot.) Players pass the game ball around taking no more than 3 seconds or 3 steps and try to
knock opponents ball off cone to score a goal.

Variation: Add a goalie to protect the cone.

Team Handball: Played with the same basic rules with a larger crease area and goal against the wall.


Action Spelling Grades 1-3
Equipment: List of actions for vowels
• Students spell vocabulary words out loud as a class. Each time they say a vowel, all students do an
A - lunge jump - each side
E - 2 stride jumps
I - reach up then touch the floor
O - knee lift - each leg
U - jump on spot - 5 times

Hokey Pokey Primary

Equipment: Music “The Hokey Pokey”

Have children in a circle. Follow the directions in the song. Encourage children to sing the song.
From: Dances Even I Would Do. CIRA Ontario

Waddly Atcha Primary

Equipment: Music “Waddly Atcha” – Sharon, Lois and Bram
Children are in scatter formation. Follow the hand actions.
‘Waddly atcha’ – clap hands twice
‘Waddly atcha’ – right fist taps the top of the left fist two times
‘Doodly do’ – right hand wave across the front of your body
‘Doodly do’ – left hand wave across the front of your body
Repeat the above 4 times
‘It’s the simplest thing’ – slap thighs twice

‘Nothing much to it’ - touch your right elbow with your left hand, while touching your nose with your
right hand.

Active Schools Workshop
‘All you got to do’ - touch your left elbow with your right hand, while touching your nose with your left

‘Is doodly do it’ – do a right hand wave across the front of your body

‘I like the rest’ … - repeat the last four steps

Begin again at the top.

From: Dances Even I Would Do. CIRA Ontario

Math Match Junior

Equipment: Number Cards

• Students move around the room (jogging, hopping, skipping). On a signal, they each take a card and
try to find the person who is their match. (e.g., question card 5 X 7 = ___, answer card: 35). Each
question card should have one answer card. When they find their match, partners complete a fitness
task together (e.g., five chair step-ups), return their cards, then continue moving around the room.
While the students are moving, the teacher can mix up the cards, or distribute them at random. (Can
also be used for other subjects)

Appa PJI

Two players face each other 0.5 metres apart; one is the leader, the other the opponent. The leader and the
opponent jump in the air at the same time, high five each other and land with their gfeet shoulder width
apart. Immediately, the leader shifts his feet so either the right or left foot is forward. The opponent must
do the same. If the opponent does not have the same foot forward as the leader, the leader scores a point.
If the opponent has the same foot forward, he takes the leaders role. The game is played to five points.
From: Awesome Asphalt Activities, CIRA Ontario

Chair Aerobics Junior Int.

Create 16 beat patterns of movement using just arms, just legs, whole body, and travelling away from (8
beats) the chair. Work with a partner. Record your sequence on paper using pictures, numbers, symbols,
and words. Share sequences with other groups. Combine sequences to make one twice as long. Trade
sequences and try to do each others sequence. Choose one sequence for the whole class to do together.
Change the music and repeat to slower or faster beats.

Bicycle Race Relay – “ Le Tour de Your School” PJ

Active Schools Workshop
Push desks close together so that a person can support themselves with their hands with one hand on one
row of desks and the row beside them. The first person in each ‘crew’ picks his/her feet up and pedal in
the air for as long as possible. Before he/she puts their feet down they must yell “Go” so the next person
in line can begin. The process continues for a pre-determined time limit as participants try to pedal their
way to a “Tour de Your School” title.

Note: This is tiring for many students. Students in wheelchairs can be put “on blocks” for their turn.

*Keep It Clean Primary Junior

Equipment: Variety of small balls and bean bags

• Divide the class into two groups. Place all objects in the centre of the room. On group stands at the
back of the room; one group stands at the front of the room. On a signal, students walk quickly to the
centre, pick up ONE object and return it to their end of the room. When all objects are gone from the
centre, students can walk to the other side and take an object from the other side. Students work as
quickly as they can to get many objects on their side of the room. Teacher may challenge the class to
move in different ways or to carry the objects in unique or creative ways. Students may also work at
grouping or counting their objects as they gather them. OPHEA


Get Down Junior

Equipment: None (music optional)

• Students walk quickly around the space. When the teacher calls out "get down", the students work to
put their stomach on the ground, and then get back up and continue walking as quickly as they can.
Challenge the students to get up very quickly. For variety, choose students to identify different ways of
moving (hopping, skipping, backwards).

Bear Tag Grade 3

Equipment: "It" markers

• Choose two or three students to be "It".

• Students speed walk around the area.
• When caught, students do a "Bear Walk" on all fours, find another bear, shake paws then re-join the

Couch Potato Primary

Equipment: "It" markers

Active Schools Workshop
• Students walk quickly around the classroom. Three or four students are "It." If tagged by "It," students
must "sit" in a crouch position and pretend to be sitting on the couch, watching TV or playing an
electronic game. Designate two or three "Active Angels" who visit each couch potato. The couch
potato must tell the Active Angel an activity that they could do to be active in their free time. They are
then free to rejoin the game.

Asteroids Junior

Equipment: Variety of soft objects, IT tag markers

• Each student has a ball in each hand. The balls are "asteroids". Designate two or three students as "It."
When tagged by "It", the students "explode", jumping up and throwing their two asteroids in the air.
They must freeze in place until they can get another asteroid. A player still moving may give them one
asteroid; they may catch an asteroid that is thrown when someone else "explodes" or they may reach an
asteroid that has been thrown previously. When they get an asteroid, they may move in the game again.
Change ‘Its’ frequently.

Fitness Eggs Primary

Equipment: Plastic eggs, paper strips with pictures or words

• Give each student three or four eggs to take within designated boundaries and "hide" in the school yard.
When all the eggs are distributed, students return to the teacher. The class' task is to collect the eggs as
quickly as possible. Students may retrieve only one egg at a time. They bring each egg they retrieve
back to the basket at the starting point. When the class is finished, send students out to check their
original hiding place to see if all eggs have been collected. This activity can be repeated and the class
can try to beat their record -- collecting all eggs as quickly as possible. For an added variation, if using
plastic eggs, available from dollar stores, fitness tasks can be written on small pieces of paper and put
inside the eggs. Students can choose an egg and do a task when all eggs have been collected.

Monte Carlo Intermediate

Equipment: Playing Cards

• Students move around the room to music. The teacher or students choose a fitness activity (e.g.,
jumping jacks, tuck jumps, star jumps, knee lifts). Stop the music every 30 seconds to one minute.
One student selects a card and the class does that number of the fitness activity. Do 11, 12, or 13 of the
activity for jacks, queen and kings.

Fitness Shake Up Junior

Equipment: Wall signs (3 colours)

Active Schools Workshop
• On flip chart paper, write six fitness tasks. Use three different colours of marker and use three different
numbers for counts required of the task, e.g.,
Red: stand up sit down - 10
Red: stride jumps - 8
Blue: alternate knee lifts - 8
Blue: tuck jumps - 5
Green: jump out and cross legs - 10
Green: high knees - 5
• Students move around the room. You may designate the type of movement (different directions, curved
lines, knees high, hopping). At regular intervals, call out a colour or a number. Students choose a task
that matches, do the task then continue moving. E.g., if Red is called out, the students do either red
task (stand up/sit down or stride jumps). If "Five" is called out, the students do either task that must be
done five times (tuck jumps or high knees). Students keep moving between tasks.

Poker Run Grade 6-8

Equipment: Wall signs, cards

• Use a track or any circuit around a park, fitness trail, yard or a gymnasium. Challenge groups to
complete six laps of the circuit and the exercises in between each lap. After completing each lap,
participants receive a playing card from a shuffled deck and complete an exercise before continuing to
run their laps. Different exercises are assigned to each card (e.g., Ace = 25 jumping jacks, King = 10
jump and lunges). Post exercises and card codes on the wall or on several cue cards. When everyone
is finished the circuit, groups add up the numbers on their cards. A "secret code" reveals different tasks
for different numbers of points. Students take exercise and recovery pulse rates and record them on
their Pulse Rate Charts.

Fitness Formula Intermediate

Equipment: Flip chart paper, markers or worksheets

• Students work together to brainstorm possible warm-up activities, muscular strength activities,
cardiovascular activities, flexibility activities and cool-down activities. As a class, make a list in each
of these categories. Choose activities that can be done in a limited space with minimal equipment and
a short amount of time. Students in small groups of three or four then choose one activity from each
category on the list to put together a fitness break. They should write their choices on a piece of flip
chart paper. Each group takes a turn posting their fitness break on the board and leading the class in
completing the activities. Encourage students to bring their own choice of "appropriate" music to
accompany their fitness break. Consider asking teachers from other classes to invite your students to
visit and share their fitness break.

Freeze It Quiz Primary

Equipment: None

Active Schools Workshop
• The class moves around a designated area in a variety of ways (hopping, skipping, galloping). One pair of
students is selected to be the "Quiz Master". As other students are moving, that pair works with the teacher
to come up with a question for the class. The question should relate to a topic being studied in the class (e.g.,
name three provinces in Canada, what is 7 X 4?; touch a primary colour with your right toe). A student who
answers the question gets to choose a partner and be the next quiz master. The rest of the class continues to
move while the new quiz masters decide on the question. Choose different students to be quiz masters each

Robin's Nest Intermediate

Equipment: 9 Balls, 7 Hoops

• This activity is an excellent quick sprinting activity. Place one hoop in the centre and six hoops an equal
distance away from the centre (about five metres). Place all balls in the centre hoop. Divide the students
equally and ask each group to sit behind a different group. Within each group, the students should number
off - 1 to 5. The teacher will call out a number between one and five. When the number is called, the
students with that number sprint to the centre, pick up one ball and return it to their hoop. They return to the
centre or to any other hoop to get another ball and bring it back to their hoop. The object is for them to
collect three balls for their hoop. Their team cannot stop anyone else from taking balls from their hoop.
Balls must be placed, not thrown, in the hoop. (If it bounces out, the runner must get it.) The team members
can watch and direct the runner to the best hoop to go to get the next ball (e.g., the hoop that is closest to
getting three balls). When one team gets three balls, all balls are quickly returned to the centre and the game
is repeated with another number called. After the students understand the activity, more than one number can
be called at the same time. Caution students against bumping heads as they pick up the balls. Although only
six out of thirty students are active at any one time, this is a fast moving game where the person working
workss very had for a short period, has a short rest, then has another opportunity to be active.


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