The use of outdoor games for students is a great way to improve a number of mental and physical skills, and often bring with them a lot of significant benefits. Games also contribute a great deal to social development. Many students, because of problems at home, shyness or physical disability find it hard to react with others. Some adults can’t either, and nothing places one at a greater disadvantage in a business or social setting. Many developmental studies show that students that are normally withdrawn for whatever reasons have shown a lot of improvement in their ability to cooperate with playmates, and have even increased their popularity among their playmates because of skills brought about by playing games. Tests done with shy adults have had similar results.

Games teach students to follow certain limits and levels of self-control. A student who has to take his turn will think more carefully about his turn. A game that requires taking turns is a great way to focus attention, since a player constantly has to readjust plans based on others’ actions. Through these games students will develop social skills, improved self-esteem and confidence which will help them in other areas of their schooling life.

What better way to teach a student self-control and moral reasoning? When engaged in a game, the student has to learn that even in the emotional excitement of an intense game or close race, they have to observe rules and regulations, to choose between fair or unfair, and to act on those choices appropriately.


Student to Student

Equipment: None

Description: This game starts with students pairing up with a partner. Teacher calls a body part and the students respond by touching their partner in the said body part (side to side, back to back, elbow to knee, etc.). On the signal, “Student to student”, new partners must be formed. Make sure the students solve the problems of getting a partner. Group discussion on this type of problem solving usually follows the lesson.

Group Buddies

Equipment: Music

Description: Students start the game in scattered formation. When the music starts, students begin walking around in the playing area. When the music stops, the students freeze and listen to the teacher, who tells how the groups will be formed: “Show us how quickly you can form groups by the colour of your eyes.” After the group is formed, students greet each other. The students repeat the activity, performing other locomotor movements (running, jumping, hopping) and using other criterion for group formation. Some examples are month of birth, classroom row, first vowel in last name, etc.

Jacob’s Ladder

Equipment: None

Description: Pair students up and have them sit down facing each other, legs straight and feet just touching. This line will form a ‘ladder’. Number the pairs in order and when their number is called, the two students must jump up, run over the legs of the other pairs in one direction, then run outside the ladder to the opposite end and then continue to run over the legs of the other pairs until they get back to their starting position. The first student back in the pair is awarded one point for their team. At the end the team with the most points are the winners.

Rabbits and Foxes

Equipment: Two sets of colour bands and 30 beanbags

Description: Split the class into two even teams; one team are the Rabbits the other are the Foxes. The Rabbits cross the gym to bring back the food, which are the beanbags. If a Rabbit stays still before a Fox grabs their tail, the Rabbit becomes frozen and needs to be set free by another Rabbit. If a Fox tags a moving Rabbit then they are out and need to sit down. Play for two minutes and then change Rabbits to Foxes, and Foxes to Rabbits. The winning team is the team who collected the most food as the Rabbits.