8 great PE warm-up games

These 8 warm-up games are a fantastic way to get your sport classes started – so easy to set up and play, your kids will never want to skip a PE class again! Let us know your favourites.

Click to view each game plan, or download the pack for free here


pe sport games lesson plans elementary

Warmup games pack grades 3-6

Warmup games pack grades 3-6

Warmup games pack grades 3-6

Warmup games pack grades 3-6

Warmup games pack grades 3-6

Warmup games pack grades 3-6

Warmup games pack grades 3-6

These are great to use before the start of any sport lesson – if you need some awesome PE lesson plans, click here to check out our digital resources for grades 3-6, full with loads of activities, skill stations, games and more…

Challenge your PE class with these 6 lesson adaptations

This post covers 6 essential changes you can make for your lesson skills and games you are teaching, to be at the right level for your class. If you haven’t already, make sure you check out our complete K-2 PE skills and games pack, full of over 100 awesome PE lesson activities to use.

No class is the same as others.  I can safely say that after having taught all over the world – from the United States and Canada, to Australia and New Zealand, the sporting ability and gross-motor skills of young kids at school are widely different. Kids always need something that CHALLENGES them – But too hard and they’ll soon give up and lose confidence, too easy and they’ll be left unmotivated and distracted.

pe equipment baseball hoop cones sportIt’s important that kids use the right size of equipment to learn, but also good to practice with a variety to really get a good feel and become adaptable. Change the:

  • Size of the bat, racquet or paddle used – larger is generally easier, smaller is harder
  • Size of the balls – larger (basketball) or smaller (tennis balls)
  • Shape of balls – round, or oval (e.g. American football or rugby ball)
  • Type of balls – spongy, soft, hard, bouncy

basketball ball court lines sport pe lessons teaching spaceChange the playing area allowed with cones or with the sport hall lines:

  • Distance between pairs – nearer (easier) or further away (harder)
  • Size of playing area – smaller (harder) or larger (easier)
  • Distance to targets – closer (easier to hit) or further away (harder)

movement jumping skipping hopping gross motorYou can specify a particular way to move around for some activities:

  • Skipping or galloping
  • Hopping
  • Side-stepping
  • Walking or running

8scorWhen the kids are motivated and like to compete, points can be a great way to get them involved, but keep it interesting:

  • Amount of targetsMore or less targets to hit
  • Size of targets – Bigger (easier) or smaller (harder)
  • More chances to earn points – Give extra points for getting near to the targets, or set challenges like throwing whilst balancing on 1 leg
  • Lose points – e.g. if you hit the red cone

8actSpecify the way the action must be performed, this will really improve their skills across multiple sports:

  • Only allowed to use your left or right hand (throwing, hitting, holding…)
  • Only allowed to use your left or right foot (kicking)
  • Over or under-arm throwing
  • 2 handed or 1 handed throwing and catching

8groupKeep the class engaged by working with different people:

  • Switch up partners for a range of ability and experience
  • Work alone/individually for exploration
  • Put into groups for teamwork – also change up the amount in each group

We’d love to hear other ideas you have that can challenge and extend your students’ skills. Read our ‘PE teaching Fundamentals’ post as well, then have a look at the K-2 PE skills resource, where you can put these ideas into your next PE lesson – to deliver game.changing.sport.

Other awesome sport lesson resources: 60 Skill Station activities, 25 Relay Races

PE Coaching fundamentals. 6 ways to get the most out of your lessons

Now you’ve had a chance to look at some skill activities to try out (if not, have a look here), this short post covers a few fundamental principles to really MAXIMISE what your kids can get out of the lesson.

At elementary level, it is crucial that focus is placed on 🏀 enjoyment 🎾 individual effort 🏈 team co-operation 🏒 skill exploration. Naturally, kids may be drawn to competition, but never place the emphasis on the winners – always give praise and reward to those who put in the most effort no matter what the outcome.

Read the 6 tips below (or watch the video) – Perhaps try to put into practice 1 principle a lesson, and within 6 lessons your teaching technique and confidence will be greatly developed ›››


Always visually show the children what they need to do – it doesn’t matter if you can can’t do the skill properly yourself! Click to view our “How to teach the core PE skills” videos for a recap on what exactly to say when you are demonstrating skills to your class.

  • Use a child to demonstrate where possible
  • Show the action from the front and side

Ask for feedback with questions to check for understanding…

  • “Look at my legs when I kick the ball, what are they doing?”
  • “What is my non-throwing hand doing”
  • “What can I do to get more power?”

mirror tennis how to teach pe sport skills kids

Once a skill has been shown, get the students to copy you, without a ball, going through the motions of performing the skill so they can get an idea of what it feels like.

  • Do this 3-4 times, then give plenty of opportunities to experience with a ball

soccer skill pass kids sport teach pe games

Use unique phrases the children can relate with, making it fun and easier to grasp

  • “Stand in your warrior pose holding your cannonball behind you, and point to the castle before firing.”
  • ” Swing your golf club leg behind you before shooting the egg into the cave”

throw catch sport pe skill ball fun games activity

The less waiting around the better…whatever you can to maximise  hands-on participation time.

  • Where and when needed, create an additional line, group or extra team to if you have the space and kids are just standing around waiting
  • If you have extra players, put them into 3’s instead of 2’s

basketball skill challenge player sport pe teaching ideas activities

Encourage personal achievement, trying to beat your personal best,  or “one more than before”, for example:

  • “See if you can score more than 4 goals”
  • “See how many catches you can do in a row
  • “How many cones can you collect in 2 minutes

pe class management sport teaching elementary school soccer ball

High energy levels and excitement (from our awesome activities) sometimes needs management out on the field or in the sports hall:

› Get them to hold their balls still when you are talking/explaining

  • Sit on your ball like it’s a horse”
  • “Squash the tomato with your foot”

› Get their attention and keep them quiet, educating them about different muscles

  • “Hands on your biceps (arms)”
  • “Touch your hamstrings (back of legs)”
  • “Sit on your gluteus maximus (bottom)”

Award ‘player of the day’ as positive reinforcement of good behaviour.

Hopefully you will take some of these tips and put them into practice in your next lessons. We’d love for you to let us know in the comments of any other great ways you have managed to develop your kids skills out on the field. These tips are a great support to the complete K-2 PE games pack, which has HEAPS of content – lesson plans, games, skills, challenges and ideas to get your class loving your sport lessons ›››

kindergarten sport pe lessons tennis baseball soccer basketball american football

How to teach the ‘Throwing & Catching’ skills – Key cues for different variations

Throwing & catching skills are a MUST for your PE lessons, kids need as much fundamental gross-motor movement experience as possible in order to develop their abilities. This post covers the basics you need to know as a teacher, to help your class with their:

  • Underarm throwing
  • Overarm throwing
  • Chest passing
  • Individual throwing & catching skills

First, watch the ‘How to teach Throwing & Catching ‘ PE instructional video below ›

Now you’ve watched the videos to see the simple demonstrations on the variations, recap with the printable skill cards (click to view) ›

Take a look at the “See if you can…” poster below (click it to view and/or save), which gives you some quick ideas for individual challenges your students can try out, exploring their throwing and catching ability (you can print it out a put it in your sport hall) ›

throwing catching games kids ball skills cha ideas

Now most importantly, check out the Complete K-2 PE and Sport skill & games pack – a perfect resource for elementary teachers who need everything prepared for them when it comes to PE! It’s packed with all the fundamental skill elements, and the throwing & catching section includes the following games/drills:

• chest pass the chestnuts • launch the lemons • swing the strawberries • bounce the berries • catch the apples • toss the garbage • castle knockdown • bop the beavers • tidy the bedroom • rotten tomatoes • tricky switches • serve up the ice-cream • skittle ball • protect the castle • throwball • captain ball • fire the cannons • cakes, cookies & pies • handball