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Warm-Up Activities in PE

author image Shelley Frost
Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience come from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.
Warm-Up Activities in PE
Kids doing pushups in a school gym Photo Credit Szabolcs Takacs/iStock/Getty Images


Warm-up activities prepare the students for more intense gym class exercise. Creative warm-up activities help grab the attention of the students, making them interested in PE class. Warm-up activities also give you a chance to practice specific skills with the kids as a way to review and improve basic physical movements.


Walking or running laps around the outside of the gym is a common option for warming up. Add other elements to the laps for extra skill practice and a more entertaining option for the kids. Calling out a particular way to move is an option that doesn't require any extra equipment. Examples include skipping, hopping, walking backward or moving like a particular animal. Another option is to add in equipment for additional skill work, such as bouncing a basketball or maneuvering on a scooter as they complete laps around the gym.


Gym scooters can be used in an obstacle course using cones to guide the students. Another idea is to play a quick game of scooter tag. One student holds a foam ball to identify himself as the tagger. A child tagged goes to a particular area of the gym or becomes a tagger himself.

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Drawing Cards

Write different warm-up exercises on note cards. Place the cards inside a box. Divide the kids into small groups. Let each group draw out a card with an exercise written on it. Instruct each group to complete the specified exercise before drawing another card. Let the kids know how many cards they need to draw for the warm-up.

Train Tag

This version of tag requires no extra equipment. Students are divided into groups of three or four to make up trains. Each kid in the train holds onto the waist of the kid in front of him and the group moves together like a train. Leave two or three students unattached to a train. As the trains of kids run around the gym, they try to avoid the solo players. Solo players try to catch up with a train and grab onto the last student in the train, creating a new caboose. If a player catches up to a train and links on as the caboose, the first student breaks off from the train and becomes a solo player.

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