Fun Outdoor PE Games for Children

Warm-Up Games

Collect the Treasure

Equipment: Beanbags or balls

Split your class into four groups. Then, pile balls or beanbags in the center of the playground; this is the ‘treasure.’ The teams then send one child at a time to run to the middle and bring back some treasure. When all the glory is gone, the team with the most prize wins!

The Bean Game

To play this game, ask your class to walk or jog around the playground. When they hear the name of a different type of bean, they perform the appropriate action as listed below.

  • Runner bean – run on the spot
  • French bean – stop and say, ‘Bonjour!’
  • Jumping bean – jump around the space
  • String bean – stretch up to make a long, thin shape
  • Jelly bean – wobble like jelly
  • Baked bean – curl up into a round shape
  • Chilli bean – shiver and shake

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Catch!

Pupils are split into two equal teams. Then, as a team, they decide if the team will play ‘rock,’ ‘paper,’ or ‘scissors.’ Then, they meet for a “face-off” at the center line of the playground or field, and on the count of three, they play rock, paper, or scissors.

Whoever wins then chases the other team to the end of the line of the playground or field and catches as many people as they can on the way. Those that are seen now join the team. The game continues until all the players from one team are caught.


Players must jog around the playground in any direction. When you say the word ‘Popcorn!’ followed by a number, players must get into groups of that number with the closest people around them at the time.

Clap and Catch

Ask your class to stand in a circle around the playground or field. Then ask them to throw the ball around the circle randomly. Each child must clap before catching the ball if the child drops or doesn’t clap. They are out.


Equipment: 5 soft foam balls and cones

Dodgeball is always a class favorite! To play this game, split your class into two equal teams. Then, mark cones along the middle of the playground, place the foam balls along the middle and ask the two teams to stand at opposite sides of the garden. Once the whistle has blown, the players must sprint forward and try to take possession of one of the balls before the other team.

Players must throw the balls over the main line made with the cones, trying to hit their opponents. If a player is hit by the opposition or catches the ball, they are out of the game. This game aims to get all opposing teams out by hitting them with a foam ball. The first team to have all of the opposition out is the winner.

Throw and Run

Play this game in groups of four. You will need one ball for each group. Tell the players to stand about three meters apart, so each player is in the corner of an imaginary square. The game aims to pass the tennis ball around the ‘square’ as quickly as possible. To add an extra challenge, ask your pupils to run around the square once you have thrown the ball to the next player. The players must get back to their spots before the ball is passed to them.

Piggy in the Middle 

Ask your pupils to get into groups of three. For this warm-up, the players must stand on either side of the playground, with one person in the middle. The game aims to throw the ball to the player on the other end using the underarm throw and the overhead pass without letting the player in the middle catch it.  So the pupils must take turns being the ‘piggy in the middle.’

Hoop Games

Stepping Hoop Relay

Equipment: One hoop per person plus an additional hoop

Each team will need a hoop per person, plus one extra hoop. On the command ‘go,’ the first person puts a hoop on the ground before them and steps into it. The second person must give them another hoop at the front. That person now steps forward into the new hoop, and the second person in line steps into the first hoop.

It continues until all are in hoops, and the spare hoop is passed down through the team to the front of the line and placed on the ground so everyone can jump forward one hoop. You must use these stepping stones to reach your destination.

Up, Down, Under, Over

Three or four children stand inside a large hoop, holding it up at waist level without using their hands. The challenge is to lift the hoop to your neck or down to your ankles – hands-free. Or, see if you can get the whole group from inside the hoop to outside without grabbing it or letting it touch the ground.

Step Back 

Equipment: One hoop between two 

Stand approximately 3m apart and roll the hoop to one another. If you catch it, you take a step back. If you miss, you take a step forward. See how far apart you can get.

Racing Games

No Hands Race

First, split the class into two teams and choose a starting and turning point for the race. Next, two players from each team must race against each other to the turning point. Next, the players must lie down on their backs, fold their arms across their chests and get up without using their hands. They must then run back to the finish line, and the two players from each team must race. The team which finishes the race first wins.

Snake Bounce

Equipment: 4 balls, cones

Split your class into four teams and ask them to stand behind the starting cone. Then, layout cones in a straight line in front. Next, the children must use one or two-handed bounces to weave the ball around the cones. When they reach the end, the children have to incorporate the ball back down to the group and pass it to the next player before joining the end of their line. The first team to have finished wins.

Beanbag Relay

Equipment: Cones, six beanbags

Set out three cones along the playground and divide the class into two equal teams. Give each group three beanbags and ask the players to line up at the end of the garden. When you blow the whistle, the first player from each team must run with a beanbag and drop it at the first cone. Then, they must race back and grab a second beanbag and run to drop it at the double cone before doing the same for the third beanbag.

When the player returns to the starting point, they must tag the second runner to do the same but to collect the bean bags instead. The winning team is the first team in which every member returns to the starting line.

Socially Distanced Games

Land the Plane

Ask your class to spread around the playground – they’re about to go on a flight! But first, the children must listen to the airplane instructions that you call out and perform the following actions.

  • Take off – walk around the playground with their arms stretched to the side.
  • Cruise – jog around the playground.
  • Turbulence – Perform little jumps up and down.
  • Descend – slow down movements to a walk
  • Land – sit on the floor, arms still out.
  • Stop – place arms to the side.


Equipment: A variety of objects, such as beanbags, squeaky toys, balloons, cones, ropes, and hoops

Randomly place the objects around the playground; this is the minefield. Then, ask the children to choose a partner. One child is blindfolded, and the other must guide them through the minefield to the other side without touching any objects. Children are not allowed to touch each other and must conduct their partner with spoken directions.

Making Shapes

Ask your class to spread out in the playground and move slowly around the space while listening out for the names of different shapes. When you call out the name of a shape, they must jog around the space, tracing a path of that shape. For example, for a square, race around an imaginary square-shaped course.

Simon Says

Choose a child to be Simon and say and perform a movement to copy. E.g., Simon says to do arm circles. Children must not copy the action if the leader does not say, ‘Simon says…’; otherwise, they are out.

Tag Games

 Bib Tag

Nominate two players to be ‘it’ and ask the rest of the team to tuck a sports bib into their waistbands. Their job is to keep their bib for as long as possible by dodging the pupils who are ‘it.’ The’ it’ players must try to grab as many bibs as possible by chasing their teammates. If a player’s bib is caught, they become it as well.

Scarecrow Tag 

Choose two pupils to be ‘it’ and ask the rest of the class to run around the playground, trying not to be tagged by the players who are ‘it.’ The organized players must stand still like a scarecrow with their arms out wide. Runners can free a scarecrow by running underneath their arms. After two minutes, nominate two new people to be ‘it.’

Parachute Games

All Change

Parachute games are a favorite activity for lots of children! For this game, the teacher must call our pre-assigned numbers, birthday months, colors, etc. Then, those children must swap places under the chute before it falls.

Ball Roll

Equipment: Parachute, ball

Children must try and keep the balls from going in the middle of the parachute or try to roll the balls into the hole.

Parachute Volleyball

Equipment: Parachute, ball

Split the class into two teams, one on one side of the chute and the other on the other. One team tries to knock a ball off the other side past the other side’s team.

Shoe Shuffle

From a standing position, hold the parachute at chest height. A selected number of children take off one shoe and throw it in the middle of the chute. On the count of three, raise the parachute in the air. The selected children must run under and find their shoes before the line comes down.

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