Primary school sports activities

Written by jennifer tolbert
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Primary school sports activities
Children develop gross motor skills through physical education activities. (girl holding yellow ball image by Jane September from

In primary school, children practice gross motor skills, develop coordination and learn how to work with others through sports and physical education activities. Children are learning how their bodies move and how they can control them. These skills are prerequisites to being able to play competitive sports as they grow older.

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Skipping is a gross motor activity which combines a step and a hop. Demonstrate this for the students and then have the students practice skipping to the song, "Skip to My Lou." In this activity, each student will have a partner and will skip towards her partner during the chorus of the song that says, "Lou, Lou, Skip to my Lou." During the verses, such as "Flies in the Buttermilk, Shoo fly Shoo," the children should link arms and skip in a circle.


Children in primary school can learn body awareness and control through balancing. In the activity, "Balancing Act," students rotate through stations in which they practice balancing. The stations can contain a low balance beam, pool noodles, bean bags or peacock feathers. Students can have checklists to see what they were able to balance and for how long.

Body and Space Awareness

In the game, "Lose My Shadow," students practice anticipating each other's movements. Students participate in different activities such as dribbling a ball or playing with a hula hoop in pairs. While one student is doing the activity, the other student is trying to shadow him. The student doing the activity tries to "lose" his shadow by jumping out of the way or changing his speed or direction.

Throwing and Catching

In the activity, "Balloon Toss," the children will practice tossing balloons into the air and then attempting to catch them. According to the PE Central website, a punch ball balloon is recommended as it is more durable and made of a thicker rubber material. Students practice throwing the ball into the air and anticipating where it may come down in order to catch it before it hits the ground. The teacher can vary the activity by having the children throw it against the wall, instructing the children to clap their hands until it comes down or by letting the balloon bounce once before catching it.


One way to teach children how to cooperate is a game called "Trolley Walk." To play trolley walk, you will need to purchase or build several sets of trolleys. According to the Mr. Gym website, a trolley can be made by drilling and installing eight ropes each into two 10 foot 4x4 boards. You will need one set of trolleys for each team. Then, students stand and use the trolleys much like giant skiis. Students must work together to move the trolleys from one designated point to another.

Travelling and Locomotor Skills

The travelling and locomotor skills are skipping, hopping, running, walking, and galloping. In the game called "Bean Bag Shuffle," the teacher assigns each colour of bean bag a different mode of travelling. For example, red may represent skipping. Students are each given a bean bag and while the music plays they must move around using that particular skill. When the music stops, the children must trade bean bags with someone who has a different colour and begin doing that skill when the music begins.

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