3 HALLOWEEN FITNESS ACTIVITIES for the Gym, Classroom, or Home


There’s nothing that excites kids more than Halloween. The anticipation of parties, costumes, and candy is almost unbearable. Why not add some Halloween exercises to the mix? I present to you three Halloween challenges for the classroom, gym, or home. Each activity is a 30-day challenge.

You can get each challenge individually by clicking the links below or click HALLOWEEN FITNESS BUNDLE  to get all 3 SPOOKTACULAR challenges.
  1. The Fitness Spooktacle

The Fitness Spooktacle consists of three separate workouts. Each workout is represented by one of three spooky Halloween images; a jack-o’-lantern, a skeleton, and a vampire bat.

On the exercise calendar, each day is highlighted by one of the three images. For example, day 1 has an image of a jack-o’-lantern. Therefore, on that day, students complete the jack-o’-lantern workout. A student’s level of spook (level of fitness), determines how many rounds of the workout he/she completes. Students cross out or write their initials on the number completed. At the end of the month, my students add up the total number of days completed, sign their name, and return it to me for a certificate.

2. Trick or Treat, Move Your Feet

The Trick or Treat, Move Your Feet fitness challenge consists of three separate workouts. Each workout is represented by one of the three colors of candy corn; white, orange, and yellow.

Click TRICK OR TREAT for access to the challenge!

Each Day of the week is highlighted either white, orange, or yellow. For example, October 1st is highlighted in orange. Therefore, on that day, students will do the orange workout. Using the fitness calendar, students will write their initials on each day they complete the workout. At the end of the month, they add up the total number of days completed, sign their name at the bottom of the calendar, and return it to me for a certificate.

3. Pumpkin DICE Latte 

It’s time to Flourish with Fitness by taking the Pumpkin Dice Latte fitness challenge. In order to take this sweet challenge students, parents, teachers, and staff will need the following:

  • Pumpkin – With the help of an adult, find a pumpkin you can safely lift off the ground and over your head. You should be able to hold the pumpkin with extended arms in front of you for at least 10 seconds. If you are unable to find a pumpkin, use an alternative like a ball.
  • Dice – Go to your game closet to find a single dice.
  • A desire to get fit

Once a pumpkin has been selected, it’s time to get pumped using the pumpkin as a weight.


Check out this awesome video for a demonstration of each exercise!

Thank you Jedd Austin (@jeddaustin) for your incredible videography/editing talent. This video will, without a doubt, be a useful resource for everyone who takes the challenge.

  • Spooky Squats – Hold your pumpkin by your chest. Slowly complete a squat. Remember to keep your shoulders back and push off your heels.
  • Jack-o-Lantern Jacks – Complete jumping jacks holding the pumpkin over your head.
  • Pumpkin Press – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Push your pumpkin above your head then down to your chest for one repetition.
  • Pumpkin Seed Sit-ups – Lie flat on your back holding the pumpkin on the ground with extended arms over your head. Lifting one leg, curl up and touch your toe with the pumpkin. Repeat this move while alternating legs.
  • Boogedy Boogedy Burpees – Complete a burpee while holding your pumpkin with two hands.
  • Frankenstein Kicks – Hold the pumpkin out in front of you with extended arms. Alternating legs, gently kick the pumpkin with your toes.

I spend the week prior to the challenge introducing the workout and practicing each of the exercises during PE class. This allows me to help students with the form before setting them off to do the workout at home. I’ve incorporated rest days this year as well. Students need to know that giving your body a break is an important part of any workout regimen. At the end of the month, participants turn in their calendars. Anyone who completes ten days or more receives an award certificate with a two-inch gold sticker and a plastic shoe token.

You can get each challenge individually by clicking the links below or clicking HALLOWEEN FITNESS BUNDLE  to get all 3 challenges.



No matter the age, the skill set for students today should include tools for team building and greater communication skills.

For access to the 12 posters click, RECIPE FOR TEAM BUILDING!
Team building with students improves productivity, boosts motivation, increases collaboration, encourages creativity, and enriches communication.

As in most physical education programs, it has been a tradition for my team and me to kick off the school year with two weeks of team building and cooperative activities. Not only is it the perfect way to get to know students, but it also encourages them to communicate (talk to each other – a dying art!) and problem-solve in small, medium, and large-sized groups. Through these cooperative activities, we are able to determine which students work well in group settings, and those who may have difficulties within this dynamic.


For more on teaching team building, click TEACHING TEAM BUILDING IS AS EASY AS 1, 2, 3…4?

As a reference for me, my team, and of course, our students, we developed THE RECIPE FOR TEAM BUILDING. This recipe consists of six key ingredients we feel are essential to being a positive, contributing team member.


1. Respect Your Teammates

An important role for teachers is to create diverse groups. We consistently encourage our students to be willing to work with each and every classmate. This is why we deliberately group students who do not generally work or play together throughout the day. With this approach, repeated reminders regarding respect, patience, and flexibility are paramount.

2. Evaluate and Understand the Goal

In order for a group to be cohesive and for each member to perform at their maximum capacity, the task at hand must be comprehended by all. We encourage our students to have a conversation immediately after a challenge is presented. Along with sharing ideas on how to tackle the challenge, this is the time when each member assures one another that they understand the goal. This alleviates any doubt or confusion, helping the group to run effectively on all cylinders.

3. Communicate Clearly

So much is involved in communicating clearly. This includes sharing ideas, taking turns speaking, encouraging each other, and making compromises. Especially with younger and larger groups, this can be the most challenging ingredient. For many students, their idea is the only idea, therefore neglecting to consider the thoughts of others. Consistent practice and modeling can help strengthen this essential ingredient.

4. Include Everyone

I always tell my students that collaboration is just a fancy word for working together nicely and respectfully. It’s also important for them to realize that collaboration means that EVERYONE in the group has an important role to play. If anyone feels left out, then the success of the team is limited, even if the goal is accomplished. My colleagues and I always celebrate teams that didn’t necessarily complete the goal but cohesively worked together, including everyone throughout the challenge. In our opinion, that is a successful group.  More on this coming up.

5. Participate 

As mentioned above, each group member needs to feel supported, be heard, and participate in the challenge in order for the group to accomplish complete success. There are times when a student chooses to be silly rather than problem-solve with the group. Often it’s because the student feels left out or maybe still doesn’t understand the plan of attack. When this happens, and the group is unable to encourage this student to return and participate, it’s a good idea for the teacher to step in to provide the tools to do so. In some instances, a private conversation with the student may be necessary. Processing at the end of a challenge is a great time to discuss situations like this.

On other occasions part of a group or even the whole group can become careless or sloppy when taking on a challenge. This can occur when they begin to rush or turn the challenge into a race. I often preface a challenge by reminding students that success is not defined by who finishes first. Success is defined by the process. Also, as mentioned above, individual students can stray away from the group when they feel left out or ignored. When all members are locked into the challenge success is almost always guaranteed.

6. Errors are welcome, make mistakes!

This ingredient can seem unnecessary, similar to that pinch of salt you add to a banana bread recipe. Most students will tell you that making mistakes is essential for learning. If at first, you don’t succeed, do you give up and continue the same process, or do you regroup, go back to the drawing board, and try again? Some of my most successful groups are the ones who fail over and over and over again. What makes them special is their fortitude and resilience, their ability the pick themselves up and try again.

Get your RECIPE FOR TEAM BUILDING posters by clicking 12 POSTERS

Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/justybubpe.
Check out my Facebook group called Keeping Kids in Motion!
Subscribe to my YouTube channel for over 100 useful games for physical education!

Check out my TeachersPayTeachers store.


Recess: Where the most IMPORTANT learning happens



Friday, September 1st 

On this beautiful fall day, I am one of three teachers on recess duty. A sense of calm fills the playground – ready for the children who love their time outside. Minutes later, 80-3rd-grade students explode onto the playground for 30 minutes of learning.

Recess – their daily, self-guided class, is officially underway.

As I stand on one end of our track, I’m in a centralized location where I witness the outdoor education in full swing:


In the middle of the field, I observe the early stages of a football game developing. The students thoughtfully divided the teams, ensuring the balance of power was relatively equal. I can tell the players are satisfied based on how quickly the game begins. Throughout the game, I witnessed several small confrontations, all of which were resolved through redo’s, rock, paper scissors, or simple problem-solving.


Just off the track, there was a game of 4-square taking place. Students were lined up, patiently waiting their turn to enter the game. Again, like the football game, there were several close calls challenging the students to resolve conflict. Despite the disputes, the game would consistently resume with no hard feelings and continued excitement.


I quickly noticed the football game abruptly stop. There was a small group of boys and girls who wanted a space to play soccer. I wanted to intervene and share my solution, however, I resisted the temptation to help. Instead, I observed, and within no time the football game quickly moved to the far end of the field, creating ample space for the soccer game.


I then look beyond the track into Discovery Playground. Six students were gathering wood and branches, dragging them to a triangular structure constructed out of long sticks, resembling a tepee. To the left I witnessed two more students pretending to hunt. I soon realized they were preparing for the “long winter ahead.” Their game was based on, The Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was impressed by their connection to literature.


As I turn to my right, toward the playground equipment, I see a flurry of activity, which at first glance, seems to be chaos. There were boys and girls running in all directions. Some were fleeing while others were chasing. The game appeared to be a variation of Capture the Flag. To an outsider, the rules seemed complicated and without boundaries. To its creators, the game made perfect sense.


My attention is then drawn to excitement and laughter just beyond the soccer game.   A group of girls were working together to choreograph a dance. One of the girls was teaching her friends a cheer from her cheerleading team. In just a short time the girls were in sync and had learned both the cheer and the routine.




I see a boy running alone on the track. His pace seems to quicken after each lap. I then noticed he was acquiring a fan club, which was standing next to another teacher on recess duty. As his peers began chanting his name, he began to sprint as if being chased by a dog. As he crossed in front of the teacher, he collapsed with exhaustion. The students exploded with excitement when the teacher called out, “7:21!” This was a new personal record for the runner. He apparently attempts to break his PR once a week. One of his buddies helped him up and escorted him to the water fountain. I appreciated his empathy and support.


Finally, the whistle blows and recess has come to an end. 3rd Grade students immediately race to their lines. Within seconds, there are 4 lines standing at the door, ready to go inside. Three students are packing up the recess equipment into their bag when they realize a basketball is missing. Another student sees the ball near the courts, hustles over to get it, and places it in the bag.

NOW, recess is complete.  Another day in the students’ outdoor classroom is a success.

From a teacher’s perspective, recess duty is an opportunity to watch students grow physically, emotionally, and socially, in an unstructured environment.  It’s a time when we put the plan book away and allow PLAY to provide the lesson.

Interested in more of my work?

Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/justybubpe.
Check out my Facebook group called Keeping Kids in Motion!
Subscribe to my YouTube channel for over 100 useful games for physical education!

Check out my TeachersPayTeachers store.

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