As a dedicated PE teacher, you understand the importance of keeping your lessons fresh and engaging. While sports like soccer and basketball certainly have their place in P.E. class, it's essential to introduce students to a variety of activities that challenge both their physical and mental skills. One fantastic way to achieve this is by incorporating target games into your curriculum. These games not only help students develop their hand-eye coordination, precision, and strategic thinking, but they also add a layer of excitement and competition to your lessons. In this blog, we'll explore the world of target games, from the classics like archery and darts to the more innovative and quirky activities that can breathe new life into your P.E. classes. Made with the youngest child in mind, all the way up to high school, we've got 6 great ideas for any pe class. Get ready to hit the bullseye in your teaching approach and offer your students an exciting and skill-building experience with the best indoor & outdoor target games for physical education!
1. Bean Bag Tic Tac Toe:
Bean Bag Tic Tac Toe with Hula Hoops is a fun and interactive outdoor game that combines the classic strategy of Tic Tac Toe with the physical challenge of tossing bean bags through hula hoops. This game is the perfect physical activity for any lesson plan, especially with younger students!
- Nine hula hoops
- 10 bean bags (five of one color, five of another)
- Open outdoor/indoor space
Setting Up the Game:
Lay Out the Grid: Place the nine hula hoops on the ground in the shape of a Tic Tac Toe board, with three rows and three columns. Make sure they're evenly spaced and aligned to form the playing grid.
Assign Players: Determine who will be X and who will be O. You can use colored bean bags to represent each player's symbol. For example, one player can have five red bean bags (X) and the other four blue bean bags (O).
How to Play:
Objective: The goal is to get three of your bean bags in a row, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, inside the hula hoop grid.
Taking Turns: Players take turns tossing their bean bags onto the grid from a designated starting line, typically a few feet away from the hula hoops. The toss must be underhand, and the players must stand behind the starting line when throwing.
Game Strategy: Players should aim to form a winning pattern while blocking their opponent's attempts. Just like in traditional Tic Tac Toe, you need to plan your moves strategically to win.
Scoring: If a beanbag lands inside a hula hoop, it stays in place until the end of the game. If it lands outside, it's out of play for the round.
Winning the Game: The first player to get three of their bean bags in a row (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally) inside the hula hoop grid wins the round. Declare the winner and reset the game for the next round.
You can adjust the distance between the starting line and the hula hoops to make the game more challenging for older players.
For young children, you can use larger hula hoops to make it easier to score.
If playing in teams, have one teams players split between 2 sides, while the opposite team is on the other 2 sides, to allow for an entire team to easily reach all areas of the grid.
2. Bocce Ball:
Bocce ball, often simply referred to as "bocce," is a classic Italian lawn game that has gained popularity worldwide. It is a leisurely, yet highly strategic game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. Bocce ball is typically played in a relaxed outdoor setting, such as a backyard, park, or a dedicated bocce court.
To play bocce, you'll need the following equipment:
Bocce Balls: These are typically eight heavy, solid balls, four of one color and four of another. The goal is to throw your bocce balls closer to the target ball, called the "pallino," than your opponents. Anything the size of a tennis ball works great.
Pallino: The pallino is a smaller, usually white, ball that serves as the target. It's thrown at the beginning of the game and becomes the focal point for scoring. For younger groups, a larger ball such as a soccer ball may be used.
Bocce Court: While bocce can be played on any flat surface, there are official bocce courts available for more competitive play. These courts are typically 76 feet long and 10 feet wide, with specific boundary markers and foul lines.
How to Play:
Setting Up: Begin by choosing a flat playing area, either a designated bocce court or any level ground. One player or team starts by tossing the pallino to a distance of their choice within the court's boundaries.
Throwing Bocce Balls: Players or teams then take turns throwing their bocce balls, attempting to get them as close to the pallino as possible. The team that is farthest from the pallino continues to throw until they have a ball closer to the target than their opponents.
Scoring: Once all the balls have been thrown, points are awarded. One point is given for each bocce ball that is closer to the pallino than the closest ball of the opposing team. If a team has multiple balls closer to the pallino than the opponent's closest ball, they score additional points for each one. The team with the most points in a round wins.
Reset and Repeat: After scoring, a new round begins, with the winning team from the previous round throwing the pallino to start. The game typically continues until a set number of points or rounds is reached.
Keeping team building activities in mind: To make bocce ball a team activity, simply make teams of 4, and give each player a ball to roll. Have students coordinate with each other to get the bocce balls as close to the target ball as possible!
3. Frisbee Golf:
Frisbee golf, also known as disc golf, is one of the best outdoor games (don't worry, you can play indoors too) that combines elements of traditional golf with the fun and excitement of throwing frisbees. It's a fun game that will keep your whole PE class active for the duration of your lesson and a great way to segway from catching games but maintain a familiar element.
Discs: Professional players use different types of frisbees or discs for various shots. For our purposes, any frisbees or discs will work. If you're short on frisbees, pair players up for teams of two.
Course: Frisbee golf courses typically consist of 9 or 18 holes. Each hole is a designated target, which could be a metal basket with hanging chains or a DIY Disc Golf hole.
- DIY Disc Golf holes: Place a hula hoop on the ground, with a cone or box next to the hoop. Tape the hole number onto the cone/box, and for older ages, the par number. Or, simply use the cone/box - players must simply hit the cone to score.
Scorecard: Players use a scorecard to keep track of their throws and overall score for each hole.
How to Play:
Tee-Off: All players start at a designated tee-off area, similar to the tee box in traditional golf. Make the distance to the first hole as long or short as you wish, depending on the age group you are playing with.
Throws: Players take turns throwing their frisbees towards the target. The player who is farthest from the target goes first on each throw, just like in traditional golf. The number of throws it takes to complete the hole is recorded on the scorecard.
Fairways: Choose any indoor or outdoor area as your "fairway". Feel free to include obstacles players must navigate around to make the game more complicated.
Scoring: Each hole has a par score, indicating the expected number of throws needed to complete it. Players aim to finish the hole under par, just as in traditional golf. The player with the fewest total throws at the end of the game wins.
Are you more exercise-oriented? Make frisbee golf a fitness activity by having students run to pick up their frisbee instead of walking! Or, after they land their frisbee in a hole, they must do jumping jacks or pushups before picking it up!
Archery, while often practiced as a sport or recreational activity, can also be considered a game when organized into competitive formats or used for leisure and social enjoyment. Here, we'll explain archery as a game, particularly in competitive and recreational contexts:
Objective: The idea of archery as a game is to accurately shoot arrows at a target to score points or achieve specific goals. The archer aims to hit the center or designated scoring areas of the target to accumulate points and outscore their opponents.
- Bow: Archers use a bow, which can be traditional (longbow or recurve bow) or compound, each with its own characteristics and levels of difficulty.
- Arrows: Special arrows designed for archery are used, typically made of lightweight materials like aluminum or carbon.
- Target: A round target with concentric circles is used. The center of the target, often referred to as the "bullseye," carries the highest point value, while the outer rings are worth fewer points.
- Quiver: Archers carry their arrows in a quiver for quick access.
- Coordination: Although not required it will help.
Game Formats: There are various game formats within archery, including:
- Target Archery: The most common form, where archers shoot arrows at a fixed target from a specified distance. The objective is to score the highest total points over a predetermined number of arrows.
- Field Archery: Archers navigate a course in a natural setting, shooting at targets of various sizes and distances, simulating real-world hunting conditions.
- 3D Archery: Similar to field archery, but the targets are life-sized three-dimensional animal replicas. Archers aim to hit specific scoring areas on the 3D targets.
- Archery Golf: Combines archery and golf, where archers attempt to reach a series of target "holes" in as few shots as possible.
Scoring: Scoring in archery is typically based on where the arrow lands on the target. The center of the target (bullseye) carries the highest score, while points decrease as you move outward. The exact scoring system may vary depending on the type of game or competition.
5. Mini Golf:
Mini golf, also known as miniature golf or putt-putt, is a delightful and popular recreational game that combines the challenge of traditional golf with tons of whimsy and often themed settings. It's a great PE game that teaches fine motor skills and perseverance. It's often geared toward older kids, however, a student of any age can learn to play.
Golf Clubs: Choose lightweight putters or make your own using PVC pipes or wooden dowels.
Golf Balls: Colorful, plastic golf balls (or any other small, soft ball) work well and are safe for indoor and outdoor play.
Obstacles: Get creative with materials like PVC pipes, a pool noodle, cardboard, cones, buckets, and even household items to make the obstacle course. If playing outdoors, instruct students to go around a tree or to a wall and back to add distance to the game.
Putting Greens: You can use artificial turf, carpet squares, or create simple greens with plywood or cardboard.
Scoring Cards: Design scorecards for each player to keep track of their scores.
Markers: Use cones or flags to mark the starting points and holes on your course.
Setting Up the Course:
Select a Location: Find an appropriate space for your mini golf course. It can be indoors or outdoors, depending on the available area and weather conditions.
Design the Holes: Plan and design the layout of your course. Be imaginative, and use the available materials to create obstacles, tunnels, slopes, and twists to challenge your students.
Mark the Holes: Use markers to indicate the starting point (tee) and the finishing point (hole) for each mini golf hole.
How to Play:
Teaching the Basics: Before the game begins, explain the rules and the concept of mini-golf to your students. Discuss the importance of precision and accuracy when putting the ball into the hole.
Taking Turns: Divide the class into small groups or pairs. Each player takes turns to complete a hole in as few strokes as possible.
Scoring: Use the scorecards to record the number of strokes it takes each player to complete each hole. At the end of the game, tally the scores to determine the winner.
DIY mini golf offers numerous benefits for students. It encourages physical activity, hones hand-eye coordination, and fosters teamwork and problem-solving skills. It's an exciting way to teach students the principles of focus, patience, and adaptability. Plus, it allows for creativity in designing and building the course, giving students a sense of ownership and pride in their physical education experience.
Incorporating DIY mini golf into your P.E. class provides an exciting and educational approach to physical fitness that your students will cherish. It's a game that can be customized to suit different skill levels, and it offers a refreshing change of pace from the typical P.E. activities. So, swing into action and tee up some mini golf fun in your next physical education class!
Darts is a classic sport often professional tournaments, but mainly enjoyed in a casual setting. The game's objective is simple: players throw small, pointed missiles called darts at a circular target, aiming to score points by hitting specific areas. Here's a detailed explanation of how the game of darts is played:
Objective: The primary idea of darts is to score points by accurately throwing darts at a circular board, targeting specific numbered sections. Players strive to accumulate the highest score while adhering to specific rules and techniques.
Darts: Darts are small, pointed missiles with a sharp tip at one end and flights (feathers or plastic wings) at the other. Each player typically throws three darts per turn.
Dartboard: The dartboard is a circular target marked with various sections, including numbered wedges and concentric circles. The standard dartboard has 20 numbered wedges, a "bullseye" in the center and additional scoring areas around the outer edge.
Dartboard Setup: Hang the dartboard securely on a wall or dartboard stand, ensuring that it is positioned at the standard height and distance from the throwing line.
Throwing Line (Oche): A throwing line, often called the "oche," is marked on the floor, indicating the distance from which players must throw their darts. The standard distance is 7 feet, 9 1/4 inches (2.37 meters) from the face of the dartboard.
Rules and Gameplay:
Scoring Zones: The dartboard is divided into various scoring zones, with each numbered wedge worth the points indicated. The inner bullseye is known as the "double" and is worth double the number indicated, while the outer bullseye is the "single" bullseye and is worth 25 points.
Throwing Sequence: Players take turns throwing three darts each, aiming to score as many points as possible.
Scoring: The score for each dart is determined by the section of the dartboard it lands in. For example, if a dart lands in the triple 20 wedge (the smaller inner ring of the 20 wedge), the player scores 60 points (20 multiplied by 3). Hitting the outer bullseye scores 25 points, while the inner bullseye scores 50 points.
Scoring Variations: Some variations of darts include "301" or "501," where players start with a specific score (301 or 501) and aim to reduce it to exactly zero within a set number of turns. This requires players to calculate their remaining score and aim for specific targets strategically.
Winning: The player or team that reaches or reduces their score to exactly zero, finishing with a double or the bullseye, wins the game. There may also be specific winning conditions for variations of darts.
As a PE teacher, you play a pivotal role in shaping the health and fitness habits of our students. By embracing a variety of innovative and engaging P.E. games, we can make the journey towards an active and healthy lifestyle an exciting adventure. These games not only promote physical well-being and exercise, but also cultivate teamwork, sportsmanship, and a lifelong appreciation for physical activity. As educators, we have the power to inspire the next generation to love movement and fitness. So, whether it's introducing a new and creative PE game or putting a fresh spin on a traditional classic, let's keep the spirit of fun and fitness alive in our P.E. classes. Together, we're helping our students become the champions of their health and well-being.