Instant Activities

The purpose of an instant activity is to keep the students moving. You want to involve students in an activity as quickly as possible. The criteria for an instant activity is that it involves every student, there is little teacher involvement, it is safe, there is no elimination and it maintains a high level of activity for all students. After a few minutes of vigorous activity, students are ready to listen for instructions about the day's lesson. Here are some instant activities you might like to try in your class.
Title and
Keep it Clean 

Many different 
types of balls.

Try to pass the ball between partners without letting the ball touch the ground. If the task is too difficult, then choose another ball that is easier to pass. If the task is too simple, then choose another ball that is harder to pass.  Form students into groups of three or four.  The group chooses a ball they would like to pass to one another. One of the group members will start the activity by tossing the ball to a partner, who will then pass the ball to another player using any style of pass within their repertoire. 
Frisbee Throw and Catch

Regular Frisbees

The objective of this activity is to keep the frisbee under control on the throws. The point of this activity is to get students use to throwing and catching objects to and from each other.  Upon entering the playing area, have students pair up. Have one of the students get a frisbee for then to throw. The students may choose the distance apart from each other, as long as it is reasonable and safe from other groups. Then, simply throw and catch the frisbee. 
Mirror Mirror 

Cones for boundaries

The objective of this activity is to keep the leader within reach when the teacher gives the stop signal. Also, students should be trying to mirror the actions of the leader by doing whatever the leader is doing. The purpose of this activity is to get students use to changing directions quickly and under control.  Have students find a partner and spread out. Have one student be the leader and the other the follower. The follower should be one arm length away from the leader at all times. On the teachers signal the leader is allowed to walk anywhere within the boundaries. The follower is to follow the leader as best they can to try and stay one arm length away. Also, the follower should mirror the leaders actions. The teacher should periodically stop the activity to check if the follower is still one arm length away from the leader. When the teacher gives a signal the leader becomes the follower and vice versa. 
Equipment Fun 

Pairs of matching equipment
(each student has his/her 
own piece of equipment and another student also has that same piece of equipment)

To see how creative they can become while working with the piece of equipment they have chosen.  Spread the pairs of equipment throughout the playing area. Have students enter the gym and pick up any piece of equipment. They are to start playing with the piece of equipment in a creative and safe manner and they should stay close to their personal space area. After about 3-4 minutes, form teams/partners by instructing the students to find the student with the matching piece of equipment. After they pair up they can make up an activity with that equipment between them. 
Scarf Tag

2 scarves for each student
Cones for boundaries
Hula hoops for each team

To get as many scarves as a team as possible. Have each student place the scarf in a back pocket or tucked into the back of their sweats or shorts.  Make sure they are not tucked in too far
as then it will be too hard to "steal."  The students then begin to run around the gym and try to take the scarf of another student.  When a student takes a scarf they are to place it in their teams hula hoop.  Students are not allowed to steal other scarves from the hula hoops.
Foot Tag 

Cones for general space boundaries
1 yarn/foam ball for each student 

To hit as many feet as possible during the time limit. After throwing the ball the students retrieve the ball, return to the playing area, and continue playing trying to hit as many different classmates’ feet as possible. Give each student a yarn of fleece ball. Have students spread out in the playing area in their own self space. On the signal students must move around the general space trying to throw their ball at their classmates feet.  Students can avoid someone else's ball from hitting their feet by jumping, sliding, etc.  Give positive feedback to students who are practicing good ‘foot dodges." 
Paper or Plastic? 

Cones for general space
Plastic grocery bags

To see how far apart the students can get and still be able to catch each others bags before they touch the ground. Also, to see how many different forms of movement the students can use while attempting the task.  Have each student get a plastic grocery bag as they enter class. Then have them find a partner and a safe space in the playing area. They are to stand facing their partner approximately 5 feet form each other. On the teachers signal, both partners toss their bag into the air by throwing the bags into the air using both handles. Their job is to move in a predetermined way by their teacher and catch each others bag before it hits the ground. If they are successful then they start again, but this time they must each take a step back from where they originally started. 
Jewels in the Crown

4 Hula hoops
Bean Bags

Students are trying to get as many bean bags as they can. Four hoops are set up in the four corners of the activity area. At each hoop there are 3-4 students, and inside each hoop there are the same number of bean bags as there are students at that hoop. On a signal from the teacher, all the students begin to travel to other hoops and pick up bean bags (one at a time) and place it in their "home" hoop. No guarding of hoops is allowed. On a stop signal from the teacher, all students return to their "home" hoop and a count may be taken of bean bags at each hoop (scoring is optional). The game resumes on the signal from the teacher.  Have two or more games going on at once. 
Pacman Tag

Cones for boundaries.

Students are to stay on the lines and try to tag as many students as they can. This is a game where the students have to stay on the lines of the gym floor. Designate which color lines are considered in bounds or that they must stay on. You can use all or some of the lines. The "it" person must stay on the lines also. Everyone moves around the gym on the designated lines trying to not get tagged. You can play it where the person who gets tagged becomes "it" or each additional person that it tagged joins the original "it" person and teams up to get the rest of the class. Remember all this is done on the lines only. You can start out and only let the students walk and then work up to running. 
Moon Ball 

Four beach balls

To see which team can keep the ball in play the longest. Four teams with six players on each team.  The games are usually played on volleyball courts, two teams per court.  Players number off 1-6.  The first player is holding the ball. 

The first player on each court starts the game by hitting the ball into the air and calling "one."  The other players in numbered order, attempt to keep the ball from touching the ground.  e the player hits the ball they may not hit it again until their next turn.  Anytime the ball hits the ground, is hit out of turn, or is caught, play stops and the score is given.  This is the total to try to beat next time.

Roll with It 

Playground ball for each team 
Music (Roll with it, Stevie Winwood)

Teamwork and Passing Skills. Divide the class into small (4-7) teams.  Each team forms a straight line.  A ball is given to the leader of each line.  When the song begins, the leader starts the game by passing the ball to the person behind him/her.  The passing continues until the ball reaches the last person.  He/She dribbles the ball to the front of the line and begins passing again.  The teacher determines which type of pass the students are to perform.  While the students are passing the ball they must listen to the music.  Whenever the chorus of the song (Roll with it baby) comes on, the students must spread their legs shoulder width apart and begin rolling the ball on the floor.  The ball should travel to the last person who in turn dribbles the ball back to the front.  When the chorus stops, the students begin passing again.
Throw & Send It 

Different types of balls 

Practicing the fundamentals of throwing and sending 

Develop hand-eye coordination

Set up targets of various sizes and heights around the gym in stations.  Divide the class into groups and have the children go to the station which has a different a ball.  The targets are spaced at different angles and distances from the tossing line.  Students have an order (number) and take turns at the station.  At a time limit they move to the next station.  This can also be done exploratory by going to any station and on the whistle or you can make it a tourney by keeping score.
Balance Tag 

8-10 hula hoops 
2 pennies

To avoid getting tagged. 
Place about 8-10 hula hoops in a scattered position about 10 feet apart.  Assign two taggers to chase the class.  The hoops are safety places, but the students must maintain a balance position with one hand inside the hoop and one foot outside the hoop.  Any loss of balance will mean that they must leave and run away from the chasers.  Anybody that is tagged must go to a sideline and do a set of exercises 10 times before re-entering the game.  Change taggers and different balance positions often.

For more ideas on instant activities visit PE Central.
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