The job of a school is to ensure the overall development of the kids – from academics to personality development to physical fitness. As such, physical education has become an indispensable part of school curriculums everywhere. So much so that gym classes have become mandatory in several schools across the United States and if you choose it as one of your electives, passing it is a must.
Usually, schools opt for outdoor games as they are a fantastic way for the students to stay active but some days, due to inclement weather, students will have to migrate indoors. This does not mean that they cannot find a way to enjoy themselves or stay active.
Fun games, whether indoor or outdoor, energize and rejuvenate students, particularly senior ones, who are at a crucial stage of their lives and under a lot of stress.
In this guide, we have compiled a range of engaging indoor physical education games that high school students can enjoy. If it’s raining outside or the weather is too precarious, this is the best way to stay entertained and engaged.
Indoor physical education game ideas
1. Ultimate Dodgeball Showdown
A classic game, dodgeball is fun and interactive. The objective of the game is to eliminate all players of the opposing team by hitting them with a ball. To reduce any risk, you can use soft foam balls.
The students should be divided into two teams and placed on opposite sides of the room. Keep a few balls in the middle of the area.
Here are the rules:
- Students must throw the ball at the other team members who have to dodge it.
- If someone from the other team catches the ball, the thrower is out of the game.
- Students must not cross the designated area.
- If someone is hit by the ball and fails to catch it, they are out of the team.
- Continue the game until one team is entirely eliminated.
2. Obstacle Course Relay
If the indoor game is taking place in the gym or a large room, then an obstacle course relay would be an excellent game.
Here’s what to do:
- Set up an obstacle course in the gym using mats, cones, and other stationary objects that are not very high.
- Divide students into teams and have them race through the obstacle course
- Make use of a stopwatch to time each team, and the team with the fastest completion time wins.
3. Yoga Challenge
The perfect way to introduce some exercise and keep the students entertained is through yoga games and challenges. But first, you will have to introduce the students to some yoga poses and stretches.
Then organize a yoga challenge where each student will have to hold different poses. As you switch between different poses, make sure that the students are holding the poses correctly. The students who fail to do so will be eliminated from the game.
4. Musical Mats
We’ve all played musical chairs at some point in our lives. But, what are musical mats? Well, it is a similar game but with a twist. Here’s what to do:
- Lay out a grid of gym mats on the floor.
- Play music during which the students have to keep moving from one mat to another.
- Stop the music and call out a fitness exercise, a yoga pose, etc.
- Students have to find the nearest mat and perform the exercise until the music resumes
- Students who fail to find a mat or perform the exercise are eliminated from the game.
5. Indoor Bowling
Bowling is a popular indoor sport and usually requires a proper set-up. However, you can organize an indoor bowling match at the gym or hall as well. Usually, bowling is an individual game but to promote team spirit and good sportsmanship, divide the students into teams. Here’s how to go about the game:
- Make the use of plastic pins and soft balls.
- Set up a bowling alley by keeping the plastic pins on the other end of the room.
- Students should be divided into two teams (team A and team B) with the members taking turns rolling the ball to knock down the pins.
- Keep the scores separate for both team A and team B.
- Let the teams compete for strikes and spares.
5. Fitness Bingo
This is quite a popular indoor game. It is the perfect way to include fitness exercises into the high school students’ curriculum. Here’s what to do:
- Create a bingo card with different physical activities such as jumping jacks, burpees, lunges, push-ups, etc.
- Give one card to each student
- The instructor has to call out one activity and students are to perform this exercise if they have it on the card.
- They can then mark it off their card and the first student to complete a row or column shouts “Bingo”
- Give the one who first completes a row or column a small reward as a mark of appreciation
6. Tug of War
A classic game that can be played indoors, tug of war teaches students a lot about team spirit, strength, and reliability. This is how you go about it:
- Remove any obstacles indoors and clear the area for the game
- Divide students into four teams or more, depending on the number of students
- Only two teams can play the game at one time
- Give them the rope and keep the game going until one team loses
- Then allow the next two teams to play
- The final match is between the last two teams standing
7. Indoor Soccer Relay
Football or Soccer is a favorite American sport and most students grow up playing it. It is an excellent game that combines speed and agility. Here’s how you can take the game indoors:
- Divide the students into two or more teams, with each team having an equal number of participants
- Set up a relay course and mark it with obstacles using cones, hoops, etc.
- The student will have to dribble the ball through the course, carefully navigating the obstacles that come their way
- Once done, they make their way back to the starting line and pass the ball onto their teammate, who repeats the course
- The team that completes the race first wins.
8. Table Tennis
Another popular high school game, table tennis or ping pong teaches students a lot about agility, coordination, precision, and reflexes.
- Use a small rectangular table and divide it with the help of a net
- Players can either play solo or in pairs of two, with one pair on each side
- The players take turns hitting a small ball back and forth over the net using paddles
- The objective is to score points by making the ball bounce twice on the opponent’s side
- Besides, the opponent fails to score a point if they cannot hit the ball
- Keep scores and time the game
9. Indoor Parkour
Indoor parkour is a fun and exciting physical education activity for high school students. Traditionally, parkour is a discipline that focuses on efficient movement through obstacles using techniques like jumps, vaults, and rolls. Here’s how to create an indoor parkour course:
- With the help of safety mats, cones, small benches, and foam blocks, create a series of obstacles. For instance, the benches will serve as hurdles to jump over
- Teach students some basic parkour moves such as precision jump, cat leap, etc. keeping safety precautions in mind.
- Let the students start with simple obstacles but increase the complexity as they gain confidence
- Have a qualified instructor oversee this game and provide proper guidance
Indoor physical education games provide high school students with opportunities to stay active, even when the weather outside limits movement. Besides, it promotes teamwork, teaches them agility, and how to adapt to different situations. The physical well-being of students is of great importance, especially since high school is such a trying time when they are burdened with academic pressure. Incorporating these games into their schedule will help students stay engaged, focused, motivated, and physically fit.
Sananda Bhattacharya, Chief Editor of TheHighSchooler, is dedicated to enhancing operations and growth. With degrees in Literature and Asian Studies from Presidency University, Kolkata, she leverages her educational and innovative background to shape TheHighSchooler into a pivotal resource hub. Providing valuable insights, practical activities, and guidance on school life, graduation, scholarships, and more, Sananda’s leadership enriches the journey of high school students.
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