It is possible to hold PE lessons even in a small space like a classroom or cafeteria. Classrooms can be turned into mini-gyms by moving furniture against the walls and placing a few mats in the middle of the room. Even simpler, children can exercise by getting creative with whatever space you have. Limited space PE activities are particularly good for a mini-break from studying--a chance for children to work off some steam so they can settle down.
Write down a series of sports moves or actions on note cards, such as hitting a tennis ball, sliding into base, ice skating or kicking a goal in soccer. Divide children into groups and have one child come to the front of the room. Hand her the first card and have her act out the action on the card. The other children need to guess what sport is being acted out. You can vary this by having different children act out a series of movements from a particular sport, such as dribbling a basketball, passing a basketball and shooting a hoop.
Twister is fun, and also helps children to become more limber and can build stamina. You can make your own giant twister game by painting or drawing spots on a large sheet. Write the actions on note cards and chose them from a hat, one at a time. In addition to placing parts of the body on a particular color, you can add other actions, such as clap your hands, or hop on one foot. Have the children come up in groups to play.
Follow the Leader
Students form a circle, facing in. One person is picked to start. This person makes a movement of some kind, such as hopping on one foot two times. Everyone in the circle must repeat this movement. The second person in line then makes the first movement, and adds a movement of their own. Everyone in the circle must then repeat both movements. This continues until someone makes a mistake or forgets a movement. That person is then out. The game continues until there is a winner.
Juggling is very good for promoting eye-hand coordination. Students could even make their own juggling materials by cutting the toes off old socks, filling them with rice, and sewing them up. Start the children off by first tossing one sock into the air and catching it, then two, then three. Have a juggler come in to teach a lesson on getting started, or show an instructional video on juggling. Another variation is hacky sack--where students use one sock and bounce it off their knees, elbows, head, feet or hands--keeping it in the air at all times.
Since graduating with a degree in biology, Lisa Magloff has worked in many countries. Accordingly, she specializes in writing about science and travel and has written for publications as diverse as the "Snowmass Sun" and "Caterer Middle East." With numerous published books and newspaper and magazine articles to her credit, Magloff has an eclectic knowledge of everything from cooking to nuclear reactor maintenance.