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  Mike Spiller L.T.D.F (License to Deliver Fun)

 Fitness Games

African Team Warm-up / Posted 5-2-10

For this fun warm-up activity you will need to make small teams of 3 to 5 players each and standing shoulder to shoulder.  The objective of this activity is to have the players connected at all times.  Each group will create their own series of connections for this game.  A series is - five different ways they will connect to each other.  The teacher will blow his/her whistle and the group will move to the next part of the series on each whistle.  To begin with, each group connects any way they decide.  Let’s say that my team wants to start with all of our feet or ankles touching.  On the teacher’s next whistle, we would jump ½ turn to the left and put hands on the shoulders of the player in front of us.  On the next whistle, we may jump ½ turn to the right, stand on our tip-toes with palms of our hands touching our neighbors.  On the next whistle, we might squat down into a push-up position with our legs touching.  On the next whistle, we might lower our tummies to the floor, roll over to the left onto our back and hold hands.  This might be our 5-part action series.  On the next whistle the group would jump up and start the series again.  The action starts slow, but as the groups become comfortable with the series the whistle will be blown faster and faster.  Can your group continue to function as the action becomes quicker?

Antelope / Team Challenge / Posted 5-2-10

Divide the group in half.  Have one group go to the end of the playing area and the other to the opposite end.  The distance between teams should be at least the length of a basketball court and longer if possible.  A football field is perfect for this challenge.  The object of this team activity is to get your team over the opposite team’s line before they can cross yours.  On the signal to go, the players run or power-walk to the opposite goal, but they are also trying to slow-down and/or block their opponents along the way.  No physical contact is allowed during this challenge.

Bag the Hoop / Fitness Game / Spiller Original

You will need a stopwatch for this breath-taking game.  Give student 10 beanbags to hold and place 20 hula-hoops around the area (scattered).  On the signal to begin, the player runs to drop a single bag in a hoop until all his bags are dropped.  How long did it take him to do this?  Remind the players that they can’t toss the bags into the hoops.
Variation:  Have 3 players per team and give each player 5 bags.  Scatter 15 hoops around the area.  On the signal to go, how long will it take the three of them to deposit their bags into the hoops and get back to their original start point?

Bark Ball / Large Group Team Game / Posted 10-11-11

The game takes place in a court area, with half of the class at one end, and the remainder inside the court fielding. You need 1 tennis ball, but can use bat or tennis racket.  The hitting team take it in turns to hit the ball and run up to end of court and return if it is safe to do so without getting caught. The hitting team receives one home run when the child has run up to the end line and back. Children can stay on end line if they like and come back when safe. However, you can only have a maximum of 5 children on the end line; when there's 5 on the end line ALL of them must run back!  Children go out by being caught out or being touched by a fielder who has the ball in the contact hand.  The fielding team can pass the ball in front of the child who is running, on the way to the end line. Once on the end line, the runner can stay or come straight back. When three children are out, everyone is out and the hitting / fielding teams swap over.

B. J.’s Sweat - Frisbee / Physical Challenge Posted 12-15-09

This game came to my attention while leading a games workshop in New Mexico.  B. J. was a very energetic PE teacher in the Roswell Independent School District in New Mexico.  During my workshop we open the floor to any teacher that might want to share a fun game or activity. B.J. cam forth and taught us this beneficial Frisbee game.  Place two Frisbees about 20 feet apart and place two tennis balls in each.  Have a player stand by each Frisbee ready to run.  On the signal to begin, each player runs to the other Frisbee and gets only one ball.  Each player returns to their Frisbee and deposits the ball there.  This process continues until one player has three tennis balls in his/her Frisbee.  This can be an individual challenge or a teacher could place any number of pairs on the gym floor to play this fast and exhausting game.  If you want to make this a team effort, designate one side as Team “A” and the other Team “B.”  This first side to have a player with three balls in their Frisbee wins a point.  After each point, have one line shift over one player to challenge a new person.  Play until each player has challenged each player on the other team.  Team with the most points wins the game.

Blaster Tag Posted 2-3-2010

 The kids in my mother’s neighborhood have been a great blessing to me in the past several years.  I go to visit my Mom when I need to try-out a new game.  I drive up in my old, white van (Vanna White) and they stream out of their houses to see what the Game Guru has to offer.  One of their favorites is Blaster Tag.  It does take special equipment, but it is worth it.  I buy my “Ram Rockets” from the local Dollar Tree. They also carry extra tips for the toy.  I have found this toy to be very durable and have used mine for almost two years at camps and other game workshops.  The “Ram Rocket” is a hand-held Nerf blaster.  When pumped one time, it can send the Nerf tip flying some distance.  We have even played “Blaster Archery” with it.   Select several players to start the game.  Each has a Blaster and no foam tips.  They scatter away from each other, but stay in the boundaries marked.  Several other Nerf tips are placed in and around the central area.  The object of this activity is to be the last one in the game.  On the whistle to begin, all the players move about and find one of the tips.  They load the tip and try to tag the other players with an “in-flight” Nerf tip tag.  After shooting the tip, they must try to get another tip and avoid being hit at the same time.  No player can have 2 Nerf tips in their possession at one time (you could vary this rule).  I usually play with each player having 3 lives.  If a player is hit 3 times, they are out of the game.  Play until there is only one player left - The Champ!  If you have various ages playing, give only one life to the older more aggressive players and 2 or 3 lives to lesser aggressive players.  This really does equal it out and gives every child a chance to win.  They do love this heart-pumping game. 

British Ship Game or Captain's Deck
British Ship Game or Captain's Deck / Large Group Fun /
Posted 10-11-11

Orders to be called-out by the teacher:
To the ship: run to the captain's right / To the island: run to the captain's left / Hit the deck: lay down on your stomach (or if players don't want to get dirty, they can crouch down)
Attention on deck: salute and yell, "Aye, aye captain!" -- players may not move now until the captain gives the order of, "At ease!" (i.e. even if the captain gives a different order such as "to the ship" the crew must continue to remain at attention until told "at ease")
Three men in a boat: the crew must form groups of three and sing "Row, row, row your boat" Anybody who is not in a group of three is out.
The love boat: Crewmembers grab a partner and dance. Anybody without a partner is out.
Clear the deck: everyone must have their feet up off the floor
Scrub the deck: everyone on their knees scrubbing
Captain's Quarters: everyone ran towards the captain.
Man-over-board: Players must find a partner as quickly as possible. One partner must lie on their stomach while the other places their foot on their partner's back. Children without a partner or pairs that are too slow are eliminated.
A Periscope: Every player falls on their back and sticks one leg in the air. The last ones are eliminated.
SHARK!!!!: Everyone must run to a designated base (multiple bases can be used). The last player to the base is eliminated.
Crow's Nest: All players must find a partner. The lightest player rides on their partner's back. Those without partners or who assemble the crow's nest too slowly are eliminated.
Three maids in a row: Children form groups of three and sit in a vertical row.
The players who are the odd-man-out are eliminated.
Sick turtle: Everyone falls onto their backs and waves hands and feet in the air.
Bow: Run to the front of the boat
Stern: Run to the back
Port: Run to the left side of the boat
Starboard: Run to the right side of the boat.
Row the Boat: Each player finds a partner, sits face-to-face, holds hands, and pretends to row a boat. Players who can't find partners or who are too slow are eliminated.

British Warm-Up / Posted 12-15-09

This activity was observed at Hall Grove School in Bagshot, England.  Hall Grove is an all boys’ school and I had a great week observing and teaching a rather remarkable group of boys.  Divide your group into teams of 5 to 8 per group.  One group will be the “Ball Throwers” and the opposing group will be the “Stay Alive” group.  Mark off the boundaries of play (usually 1/2 the basketball court will do).  The Ball Throwers start on one end and the Stay Alive group on the other.  The object of the game for the Ball Throwers is to get the other group out as quickly as possible.  So, this is a timed event.  One ball (safe and soft) is given to the Ball Throwers group.  In this activity, no player can run with the ball.  On the signal to begin, everyone scatters and the ball is tossed from one player of the Ball Throwers to the other.  If a Ball Thrower is close enough to hit a Stay Alive player, they try to do so (All hits must be below the belt).  If a player is hit, that player is out of action and goes to do 25 Jumping Jacks and then sit by the teacher.  This type of play continues until the last Stay Alive player is hit.  The stopwatch is stopped and the time recorded by the teacher, but not given out as yet.  Now, the Stay Alive group becomes the Ball Throwers and the Ball Throwers become the Stay Alive group.  Play as before and note the time when the last hit is made.  Have both of the groups gather as you read off the final times for each.    This is a very active game with the student s always asking to play it again.

Buffalo’s Tail / Team Tag Game / Posted 5-2-10

A single player of one team will tuck a bandanna into the rear waistband of his/her shorts and stand on his/her side of the play area.  The team on the other side of the area will send 2 or 3 players into the game first.  This is a timed event.  On “go,” how long can the player with the Buffalo’s Tail keep away from the other players.  The time will stop when the tail is pulled out/off.  Record the time and let the other team put the Tail on.  Make sure to alternate players during the game so each has a time to be the Buffalo.

Call Soccer / Sport Game / Line Challenge / Posted 5-2-10

Divide the players into two teams and line them up facing each other about 30 feet apart. Number the players on each team from opposite ends of the line.  Place a soccer ball or volleyball mid-way between the two lines. The leader calls a number and the two players having that number run up to the ball, each trying to kick it over the opposing team’s line.  The ball must not cross the line over the opponent’s heads.   Each round is only 15 seconds long.  If no score is made by either team award 1 point for good effort to each team.  The player who kicks it through the opposing line will score two points for his team. Then the leader calls another number and two more players begin. The first team with 10 points wins.  Try calling out 2 or 3 numbers at a time to make it more of a cooperative effort.

Circle the Dribbler Relay / Posted 7-30-2010

Equipment:  1 basketball per group

Select teams of seven and have them make a circle (holding hands) with one of the players in the center.  Have each of these groups line-up on one end of the gym, relay fashion.  Give the center player on each team a basketball.  On the signal to begin, each team, while holding hands, must move to the far line as quickly as possible.  The player in the center must be dribbling the ball at all times.  If the dribbler loses control, the groups stops, he regains control, and they continue.  When a team gets to the line, a new dribbler is put in the circle and they move back to the start line.  This process continues until each of the players has had a chance to dribble. 

Cloche Pied Collectif / Small Team / Cooperative / Posted 12-15-09

Here is an interesting activity from Belgium.  Have your students get into groups of three, four or five.  Move the players to a basketball sideline.  The group members  will be standing one in front of the other facing the opposite sideline.  All players place their left hand on the shoulder in front of them and raise/bend their right leg behind them.  The player behind them will hold their ankle.  Last player in line will raise their ankle as well.  Now that the teams are balanced and connected, they try to hop in unison across the gym floor.  This is not a race!  Try it with larger groups, too.

Coconut Shy / Small Team Cooperative / Posted 10-11-11

Three cones are placed opposite each pair of players with a ball balanced on the top of each one (the coconut shy).  To win the game the players must knock all three balls off the cones within two minutes.  To do this the first player passes the ball towards the balls balanced on the cones.  Hit or miss the player must then run out to get the ball back to their partner as quickly as possible (running with the ball or passing).  Players have two minutes to try and knock all three balls off the cones.  Possible changes: Could have teams of three with a larger group.  Play again but if a pair/group was successful then move the cones a bit further away to make it harder.

Four-Jump Rock, Scissors and Paper Game / Small Group Fun / Large Group Game and Activities / Posted 5-13-2010

Have the group stand around the playing about arms length away from each other.  The leader will give the command, “Ready Jump!”  The leader and the players jump four times and finish by making one of these signs quickly: Rock = hands on knees, Paper = hands extended in front of the body and Scissors = arms crossed over chest.  If a player is beat by the leader, he/she does 10 Jumping Jacks or whatever exercise the leader has given.  If a player ties (makes the same sign as the leader), he/she will do ½ the number of exercises and if a player’s sign beats the leader, they move around and High-5 other players with their hands up showing the won!  Play for a few minutes and change the exercise from time to time.

Grab - Reaction Ball / Small Group Reaction Activity / Posted 10-11-11

Children get into groups of 2 or 3 with a ball. Place the ball in the middle of the group. 
The teacher shouts commands to the children which they follow e.g. touch your head, touch your toes, jump on one foot etc.  
 As soon as the teacher shouts "ball", the children need to grab the ball as quick as they can. The person who gets the ball first wins a point.  Continue to play until one player has 3 to 5 points.  Take the winners of each group and put them into groups of 3 or 4 for the next round.  Make new groups with the other players and play again.    

Hoop Race / Small Group Cooperative Activity / Posted 10-11-11

For this activity, students should work in groups of four. They should then split into pairs, and each pair of children should stand about 30 feet apart. Each group of four children should have one large hoop (big enough for two children to fit inside).  One pair stands in a hoop, and, without using their hands, lift up the hoop. Then, staying inside the hoop, they should run to the other pair.  When they reach the second pair, the first pair should drop the hoop. The second pair should then pick it up (no hands!), and run to the original marker and back again (with both students in the hoop).  The first pair then stand in the hoop, pick it up without using their hands and, with both students in the hoop, run back to the starting point.

Rowing Race / UK / Posted 12-10-09

Assemble 10 to 30 players per team in a line, sitting on the floor with their feet wide apart, their hands on the shoulders of the person ahead.  the front person turns about and becomes the coxswain by joining hands with the first one in the line.  The team rows and the coxswain counts.  Rowers must lay back each stroke.  A team is disqualified if anyone lets loose of the shoulder grasp  Row for one minute.  The team with the most completed strokes wins the rowing race.  What is a "Coxswain?"  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coxswain

Ski Jump the Line / Summer Fitness Activity / Posted 5-13-2010

I find this activity a great challenge for campers and students alike.  Each player will stand at the end of a line some 30 to 50 feet long.  I use the lines on the gym floor for this.  The objective is to ski jump the line in as few jumps as possible.  This is an individual challenge and it is amazing how they will challenge themselves when given the chance.  Each player will jump from one side of the line to the other – all the way to the finish of the line.  Each player counts how many jumps it took them to accomplish this.  They go back and do it again trying to do it in less jumps.  Variation:  Have each player ski jump the line for time.  How long will it take to ski jump the long side-line of the gym floor.  You might want to have an age-group challenge for this or maybe a counselor challenge to see which counselor is the quickest.

SPIDERS & SCORPIONS / Tag Game / Posted 10-11-11

CHOOSE 4 CHILDREN TO BE THE SCORPIONS. THERE JOB IS TO MOVE AROUND ON ALL FOURS (BELLY FACING DOWN) TRYING TO STING AS MANY OF THE OTHER
CHILDREN AS POSSIBLE. THE OTHER CHILDREN ARE SPIDERS, THEY HAVE TO MOVE AROUND ON ALL FOURS (BELLY FACING UP.) IF A ‘SPIDER’ IS STUNG IT MUST HOLD
EITHER ONE ARM OR ONE FOOT UP IN THE AIR (3 POINT BALANCE) UNTIL ALL OF THE SPIDERS ARE STUNG OR TIMES RUNS OUT. 
A VARIATION TO THE GAME CAN INCLUDE SPECIAL SPIDERS WHO CAN DELIVER AN ANTIDOTE AND RELEASE THE STUNG SPIDERS.

Walk Tag
 

For this activity, you need to have participants grouped in pairs. Once in pairs, one person becomes the "counter" and the other person the "walker." On the leaders signal, the "counter" stays in his/her place and counts to 10 while the "walker" moves as far away from the "counter" as possible. When the "counter" reaches 10, s/he chases the "walker" trying to touch him/her. Once the "walker" has been touched, the two people switch roles; the "walker" becomes the "counter" (who immediately starts counting to 10) and the "counter" becomes the "walker" (getting quickly as far away from the "counter" as possible). The game continues for about a minute with roles being reversed each time a "walker" is touched. Let the participants rest as the next section of the game is explained. Have the

pair that has been playing their own game of walk tag now form a team and link arms. Have these linked pairs find another linked pair and play another round of walk tag with one of the pairs starting the game as the "counters" and the other pair being the "walkers." A third round of the game can be played with these 2 pairs combining to form a linked group of four chasing another linked pair of four.