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 Many developmental studies show that students that are normally withdrawn for whatever reasons have shown a lot of improvement in their ability to cooperate with playmates, and have even increased their popularity among their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.


Ice and Sun

Equipment: Two blue colour bands and two yellow colour bands

Description: The teacher selects two students as the ‘Ice’ and gives them both blue colour bands,  then selects two students as the ‘Sun’ and gives them both yellow colour bands. The ‘Ice’ students must chase the rest of the class and tag them so they freeze. Once tagged students can only become defrosted when they are touched by the ‘Sun’. Play the game for a designated amount of time.

Contaminated Molecules

Equipment: Soft balls for each tagger

Description: The teacher selects two or more chasers who are given a soft ball each. As soon as the whistle has been blown the chasers must touch as many of the students in the class as possible. When a student is tagged they must stand still and wait to be released. Students can be released by any two members of the class who are still free. These two members must co-operate by holding hands and encircling the captured student, who is then freed. The game may end after a designated period of time or when all students have been captured.


Equipment: None

Description: Ask the students to run, hop or skip around the room. On the teacher’s command a number is called, for example five, and the students have to get into groups of that number. This is also a good way to make teams or get groups for your next activity.

Toot Toot

Equipment: 40 cones

Description: The first thing you need to do is set out the cones in the shape of an athletics track modified to the space available. Then place the students into groups of four or more, depending on the class size. The students must run anticlockwise around the track in their groups one behind the other. At intervals the teacher blows the whistle. On one blast, the student at the back of the group sprints to the front; two sharp blasts of the whistle means all the groups change the direction in which they are running.


Equipment: Four cones to make a 10m x 10m square and two soft balls

Description: Select two students to be the ‘Tiggers’. The ‘Tiggers’ have a soft ball each. The ‘Tiggers’ have to hit the other students below the knees with the soft balls. The students who are hit then join the ‘Tiggers’ team. ‘Tiggers’ cannot move with the soft balls, though. The game should focus on passing between the ‘Tiggers’ to try and hit all students with the soft balls.