Team building activities for physical education

Updated February 21, 2017

Team building activities combine athletic skills and interpersonal development. Team building games can enhance the quality of a physical education course by targeting physical skills while encouraging students to work together to accomplish goals. Physical challenges allow students to strategise and assume leadership roles. Follow-up team building activities with discussions about the value of effective communication and cooperation.

Balance Beam Roll Call

Balance games are best suited for elementary and middle school students, but Balance Beam Roll Call can be fun for older students too. Place groups of 10 students on a balance beam. Ask them to arrange themselves in different orders without falling off the beam. For example, ask students to line up alphabetically by middle name or in the order of their birth months. Not only will students develop their sense of balance, but they will also learn about each other as they arrange themselves in various ways.

I Cross the River...

Place two lines of chairs on opposite sides of the gym. Each line should be one chair less than the total number of students. All students except one begin in the chairs on one side of the gym. The person standing begins the game by finishing the sentence, "I cross the river..." The student might say, "I cross the river by hopping on one foot." All the seated students must then get to the other side of the gym performing the activity that the student has stated. The last student standing begins the next round. After a few rounds, remove another chair from each line so that two students will be left standing together. The activity they call must include two people. The students could say, "We cross the river holding hands." All students must find a partner and perform the action. Continue removing chair to increase the difficulty of the game.

Amoeba Tag

Amoeba tag requires a large playing area like a gym or an outdoor field. Select one player to be the first "amoeba." He chases the other students until he tags one. They now join hands to form a larger amoeba. The game continues and students keep joining the amoeba. As the amoeba grows, students must communicate to determine the best strategy for tagging other players. The amoeba can also vote to split into two amoebas once the group is large enough.

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About the Author

Hannah Wahlig began writing and editing professionally in 2001. Her experience includes copy for newspapers, journals and magazines, as well as book editing. She is also a certified lactation counselor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mount Holyoke College, and Master's degrees in education and community psychology from the University of Massachusetts.