A number of gym activities can be translated into a classroom environment. They work well because they require minimal or no equipment and you can do them in confined spaces. These activities not only provide your students with a chance to have fun, but they also help them improve their listening, critical thinking and motor skills while increasing their fitness levels. Whether your school has little gymnasium space or you just want to let your students expend energy in the classroom, try out these games.
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Mum ball is an activity with all of the competitive and athletic aspects of a gym class activity, but it is designed specifically for the classroom. Teachers love this game because students must remain completely silent -- or mum -- throughout the game, and students love it because they get to sit on their desks and throw a ball around the classroom. This game also allows students to practice their focus, aim and accuracy. When the ball is thrown to one student, he must catch it and throw it to another student sitting on top of his desk. If the catcher drops the ball, he is out. If the thrower tosses the ball too high or far for a student to catch it, he is out. Students who are out must sit down in a chair and remain silent. If a student talks at any point during the game, he is out. The winner is the last student sitting on a desk.
Another game that works well in a classroom and gym setting is called four corners. To play, the teacher and students number the corners of the classroom one through four. One person, usually the teacher, counts down from 30, and one student stands in the middle of the classroom with her eyes closed. The Education World website explains that while the teacher counts, all students, except the one in the middle, walk to one of the corners and stands there waiting. When the teacher stops counting and each student is in a corner, the person in the middle calls out a number and opens her eyes. Students standing in that corner must return to their desks and sit down. Continue to playing until one person remains standing.
An active classroom game geared toward younger children is animal charades, also known as "What kind of animal are you?" at the PE Central website. This activity encourages students to use their imaginations as well as their bodies by trying to move like certain animals. This game can be played several different ways. You may enjoy putting on music and moving like different animals as a group or selecting one student to act out an animal while the rest of the students try to guess.
A classic game that works well in gymnasiums and also classrooms, Simon Says can be played without any props or equipment. In this game, one person -- usually the teacher -- is in charge of giving movement commands that the students follow. You are supposed to move only when the teacher says "Simon says" before the instruction. If you move when the teacher does not say it, you are out and must return to your seat. Dick Moss, the editor of PhysicalEducationUpdate.com, recommends making this activity into a fitness game. To do this, give commands such as "Simon says do 10 jumping jacks," or "Simon says give me five pushups."