We all have our favorite pieces of equipment used for our physical education classes. I documented mine in a previous post called, My 10 Favorite Pieces of Equipment for Primary PE. My list is growing and I’d like to pay homage to two items I use frequently, Foam Activity Pins, or cylinders as I’ll call them throughout this post, and Lollipop Paddles. Each is extremely versatile, beneficial for students of all ages and useful for a range of activities. Here are ten simple, fun, and adaptable games using foam cylinders and paddles. Each game is easy to set up and uses basic equipment. Enjoy!
Operation Stack’em reminds me of the Hasbro game called Operation. Students need to be very steady in order for success. This cooperative challenge begins in pairs. Partners practice moving their cylinders around the room by pinching them between two swim noodles. Next, I challenge the partners to practice stacking and unstacking their cylinders. I give them two minutes to see how many times they can successfully do this. Then, the students get into a group of four where they are challenged to build a 4-stack. I have them repeat the 4-stack several times, encouraging them to mix up the order so that each student has an opportunity to place the fourth cylinder on top. Once this challenge is successfully completed, I allow each group to attempt a 5-stack, then a 6-stack, etc.
Divide the gym in half with cones. Evenly space 6 poly spots behind each team’s baseline. Each spot is the foundation for each of the pillars.
Place 2 bins of cylinders (foam activity pins) on each sideline.
Put at least 2 pools or buckets in each of the 2 play areas. Sometimes I substitute basketball hoops or laundry baskets set a different height for each of the pools.
Players try to accumulate as many tiers (cylinders) as possible to build their PILLARS OF POWER!
A complete pillar consists of 3 vertically stacked tiers.
2 ways to earn a tier:
– toss a ball into a pool
– catch a ball thrown by the opposing team
Any stacked tiers or completed pillars can be destroyed by the opposition. If this happens, any tier that is knocked on its side MUST be returned to the bins on the sideline. The round ends when a team successfully builds 6 PILLARS OF POWER or when the time expires.
Rules and set-up thoroughly discussed in the video.
Activity Procedures created by Chance Condran (@MrCondranHPE).
How to Score Points:
Divide the gym into quadrants. I always have a discussion on the prefix quad while explaining the game. Each quadrant houses one of four teams. Each team lines up 4 foam cylinders across the back of their quadrant. When the game begins, students use foam paddles to strike foam balls, attempting to knock over any of the opposing teams’ cylinders. The balls must be stuck in any one of the following ways:
Balls cannot be kicked or thrown. When a team loses all of its cylinders, they immediately join the team to their right. The last team with cylinders wins the round.
Using foam paddles as candle holders and foam cylinders as candles, students explore a dark cave in search of artifacts and secret messages on the walls. The goal is to keep the candle lit while completing a variety of tasks. If the candle falls off the holder, the student must walk to the teacher or a student holding a torch (noodle) to relight her candle. This is a great opportunity for students to use their imagination while working on balance and body control.
Toss 12 had been shared more than any other game I’ve posted on Twitter (@justybubpe). I feel it’s because of its simplicity, basic equipment, and its adaptability for all grade levels.
Here are the simple instructions.
The Loner 1 Point – Ball lands in hoop / Cylinder remains standing
The Deuce – 2 Points – Cylinder falls / Ball stops outside hoop
The Ultimate – 3 Points – Cylinder falls and the ball stops inside hoop
To win, a player must score exactly 12.
This is a simple relay race that can be adapted for any grade level.
Rolling, tossing, catching, and hustle all rolled up into one game.
How many points can you score in two minutes?
The video pretty much explains the activity. I find this to be a great way to work on the underhand serving motion. Students are challenged to stabilize the non-dominant hand while striking the bottom of the cylinder. Students must then attempt to catch the cylinder.
I’m always searching for ways for my students to use manipulatives to enhance their patience and body control. The paddle pin relay does just that. In pairs, students take turns carrying a cylinder across the floor by pinching it between two paddles, then carefully placing it on a spot. For increased difficulty, add a beanbag to the top of the cylinder. Students tally the number of times they place the cylinder on the spot in a certain amount of time.
Do you use lollipop paddles and/or foam activity pins? If so, I’d love to learn some of your favorite games. Please feel free to post them in the comments section.