Master the Minute; 14 Active 1-minute Challenges for PE

Have you ever watched reruns of the classic game show, Beat the Clock?  It was a television game show that involved people trying to complete challenges to win prizes while faced with a time limit. The challenges were extremely goofy, yet challenging using a variety of everyday materials and equipment. I recently stumbled across the 1979 version of the game on the Gameshow Network and was riveted. I couldn’t stop watching. The challenges had the perfect balance of simplicity and fun. Anyway, below are 14 challenges inspired by Beat the Clock.

My version for physical education is called Master the Minute! Each of the challenges is done with a partner and has the ultimate goal to fulfill in one minute or less. However, I decided it would be better for my students to receive credit for partially accomplishing the ultimate goal. Therefore, each challenge has several ways to earn points.

Included below are written descriptions of each challenge, a video of each of the Master the Minute challenges, and scorecards for you to use with your students.

After reading this post, be sure to check out 8 More Master the Minute Challenges.



Below are the scorecards. One card is for each of the 14 stations while the other two cards break the stations down into two separate courses. I call them the red and blue courses. Be sure to print out the scorecards at the bottom of the post!


Full Scorecard





Descriptions and Scoring for each Master the Minute Challenge!

Pool Sharks

Challenge: Shoot 10 balls into the hula hoop in one minute or less.

How to Play

Using a swim noodle as a pool cue, attempt to shoot 5 balls into 5 different hula hoops in one minute or less. If a ball misses the hoop, the other partner retrieves it and places it back on the starting point, while the shooter moves on to the next ball. Partners switch roles after 5 shots.

Equipment: Hula Hoops, 5 Gator Balls, 1 Swim Noodle


5 balls -10 points

3-4 balls – 7 points

1-2 balls – 5 points


Ring It! Version 1


Challenge: Partners work together to catch 10 rings on a swim noodle in one minute or less.

How to Play

Stack 10 deck rings at the tossing line and place one swim noodle at the catching line. Set the distance based on the level of your students. One the signal to begin, partner one tosses a deck ring to partner two, who attempts to catch it with the swim noodle. I like to allow each partner a chance to toss and catch. Therefore, I encourage them to switch roles after every 5 tosses or after partner one catches 5 rings.

Equipment: At least 10 deck rings, 1 swim noodle, 2 spots to mark the tossing and catching lines 


10 rings – 10 points

6-9 rings – 7 points

3-5 rings – 5 points

1-2 rings – 3 points

Ring It! Version 2 – Advanced

Challenge: Partners each catch 4 deck rings on a swim noodle from 4 different distances for a total of 8 deck rings in one minute or less.

 How to Play

Stack 10 deck rings at the tossing line. Mark 4 catching lines at increasing distances with a spot or chalk line. Set the distances according to the level of your students. Partner one, the tosser, stands at the tossing line while partner two, the catcher, stands with the swim noodle at the closest catching line. On the signal to begin, the tosser tosses a ring to the catcher. If the catcher catches it, she moves back to the next line where she’ll remain until she catches another ring. If the catcher catches a ring at all 4 levels, the tosser and catcher immediately switch roles. You can also encourage partners to switch roles after each successful catch to ensure equal opportunity for each role.

Equipment: 10 deck rings, 1 swim noodle, 5 spots or chalk to mark the tossing and catching lines


8 rings – 10 points

5-7 rings – 7 points

2-4 rings – 5 points


Challenge: Partners score 5 baskets in one minute or less by striking a tossed ball with a plastic disc.

How to Play

Place a spot for the tosser to the side of the goal along with a bucket of gator balls. Place another spot approximately 5-10 feet in front of the goal for the shooter. Choose a distance that works for your students. On the signal to begin, the tosser tosses a ball to the shooter who tries to strike the ball with the disc into the basket. The shooter and tosser switch roles after each successful attempt.

Equipment: 1 small goal (could be a bucket or small basketball goal), 2 spots to mark the tosser and shooter lines, bucket of balls


5 goals – 10 points

3-4 goals – 7 points

1-2 goals – 5 points

Pin Up

Challenge: Partners stand up 5 bowling pins using only their feet in one minute or less.

How to Play

Spread out 5 bowling pins in a line on their sides. On the signal to begin, partners stand face to face, holding each other’s shoulders, while attempting to stand each of the pins up using only their feet.

Equipment: 5 bowling pins


Stand up 5 pins – 10 points

Stand up 3-4 pins – 7 points

Stand up 1-2 pins – 5 points

Flippin’ Cones

Challenge: Partners simultaneously flip 8 small cones onto 1 large cone in one minute or less.

How to Play

Set up a circle of 8 small cones. Each cone should be approximately 3 feet apart. Place one large cone in the center of the circle. On the signal to begin, partners begin flipping the small cones onto the large cone.

Equipment: 8 small cones, 1 large cone


8 stacked cones – 10 points

5-7 stacked cones – 7 points

2-4 stacked cones – 5 points

Paddle Ball Pick Up

Challenge: Partners transfer 3 plastic balls, one at a time, and place them onto 3 large cones using 2 foam paddles in one minute or less. The balls must be transferred between each of the 2 paddles, one held by each partner. 

How to Play

Spread out 3 plastic balls. Line up 1 large cone per ball about 15 feet away. Adjust the distance to work for your students. Each partner holds a paddle. On the signal to begin, partners pick up one of the balls using only the paddles, then transfer it to the aligned cone. They carefully place the ball onto the cone, then quickly return for the second ball.

Equipment: 3 plastic balls, 2 lollipop paddles, 3 large cones


3 balls – 10 points

2 balls – 7 points

1 ball – 5 points

Paddle Pitch

Challenge: Partners flip a lollipop paddle to each other, successfully catching it by the handle 20 times in one minute or less.

How to Play

Partners stand alongside each other. One the signal to begin, one partner flips a paddle to his partner, who must catch it by its handle. The paddle is continuously flipped back and forth. The paddle must complete one rotation, and be caught by its handle in order to be considered a successful catch.

Equipment: 1 lollipop paddle


20 catches – 10 points

15-19 catches – 7 points

10-14 catches – 5 points

5-9 catches – 3 points

Riding the Rails

Challenge: Partners carry 4 different balls, one at a time, across the floor using 2 swim noodles in one minute or less.  

How to Play

Place a basketball, playground ball, volleyball, and a football on a starting line. Spread out 4 deck rings at the finish line, approximately 25 feet away from the starting line. On the signal to begin, partners each hold the ends of 2 swim noodles. They attempt to pick up the first ball using only the noodles. Balancing the ball on the noodles, they take it and carefully place it on the first deck ring, they sprint back a repeat with the next ball.

Equipment: 2 swim noodles, 1 basketball, 1 volleyball, 1 football, 1 playground ball, 4 deck rings


4 balls – 10 points

3 balls – 7 points

1-2 balls -5 points

Hockey Strikers

Challenge: Partners knock over 10 bowling pins in one minute or less.

How to Play

Set up 10 pins in bowling formation along a wall. Set up 10 hockey pucks along the shooting line, 5 for each partner. Adjust your shooting line according to what’s suitable for your students. Place a bucket of extra pucks behind the shooting line (you can also use any type of ball if you don’t have pucks). On the signal to begin, partners quickly shoot the pucks, trying to knock over the 10 pins. Continue shooting until all pins are knocked over or until time runs out.

Equipment: Bucket of hockey pucks and/or balls, 2 hockey sticks, 10 bowling pins, 2 cones to mark the shooting line.


10 pins – 10 points

9 pins – 7 points

8 pins – 5 points

Fill the Bucket

Challenge: Partners work together to bounce one ball in each of the 10 buckets in one minute or less.

How to Play

Set up different sized buckets in a circle. Each bucket is about 3-4 feet apart. Place a bucket with 10 balls in the center of the circle. On the signal to begin, partners take turns trying to bounce a ball into each of the 10 buckets. 

Equipment: 11 buckets (1 for the balls), 10 plastic balls. I use balls from a ball pit.


Fill 10 buckets – 10 points

Fill 7-9 buckets – 7 points

Fill 4-6 buckets – 5 points

Fill 1-3 buckets – 3 points 

Jumping Dynamic Duo

Challenge: Partners share a long rope to simultaneously jump the rope 15 consecutive times.

How to Play

Partners position themselves so their outside hand is holding one end of a long rope. On the signal to begin, both partners turn the rope. Each partner must be “inside” the turning rope so they can both jump it. The goal is to jump 15 consecutive jumps without missing. If the partners miss prior to reaching 15 jumps in a row, they immediately start over and continue to do so until time expires.

Equipment: 1 long rope


15 consecutive jumps – 10 points

10-14 consecutive jumps – 7 points

6-9 consecutive jumps – 5 points

2-5 consecutive jumps – 3 points

Munch Man

Challenge: Partners retrieve 4 balls and place them in their basket in one minute or less.

How to Play

Set 4 balls along a sideline about 2 feet apart (I recommend 6″ gator skin balls). Set 1 medium sized cone at the starting line about 15′ feet away from the balls. Place one basket/bucket behind the starting line. On the signal to begin, one partner jumps to a first ball, pinching the cone between his feet. When he gets to the ball, he jumps the cone onto the ball, turns around and jumps back to the starting line. Once he successfully returns the ball to the starting line, he jumps off the cone, to allow his partner to retrieve the second ball. The partner who retrieves the ball must place it into the basket using only his/her feet.

Equipment: 4 (6″) gator skin balls, 1 cone large enough to fit over the ball, 1 basket or bucket


4 balls – 10 points

3 balls -7 points

2 balls – 5 points

1 ball – 3 points

Kangaroo Catch

Challenge: Partners catch 20 balls using a bucket strapped around their waist in one minute or less.

How to Play

Set up two throwing lines, one for each partner, about 10 feet apart. Adjust the throwing lines to fit your students. In the video, you’ll see a short distance and long distance version of the game. Each partner straps a small plastic bucket to their waist using a strap. I use flag football belts. On the signal to begin, players pass a yarn ball back and forth attempting to catch it in their bucket without using their hands.

Equipment: 2 plastic buckets, 2 belts, 4 cones to mark the throwing lines, 1 yarn ball


20 catches – 10 points

15-19 catches – 7 points

10-14 catches – 5 points

5-9 catches – 3 points

Click RED COURSE for a copy of the Red Course Scorecard.

Click BLUE COURSE for a copy of the Blue Course Scorecard.

Click FULL COURSE SCORECARD for a copy of the Full 14 Challenge Scorecard.


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Check out my Facebook group called Keeping Kids in Motion!

Subscribe to my Youtube Channel for over 100 useful games for physical education!


Keeping Kids in Motion by Keeping Fitness Fun – 2018 NYS AHPERD Conference

Keeping Kids in Motion by Keeping Fitness Fun!

Presenter: Justin Cahill (Keeping Kids in Motion) 

Location: Mohawk

Description: This session will be chock-full of fun, dynamic, and challenging ways to keep kids moving throughout their physical education class. Play equals exercise, therefore exercise equals fun! Can we provide other opportunities for students to move throughout the day? Together, let’s discover the possibilities.

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Fitness Table – Personal Trainer Challenge

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Tabata Table

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 5-minute challenge template

Slide Deck from my presentation with active links.

Instant Activities – 2018 NYS APHERD Conference Presentation

Instant Activities

Presenter: Justin Cahill (Keeping Kids in Motion)

Location: Mohawk

This session will explore a wide range of ways to get students moving as soon as they enter the gym. From fitness routines to game creation, from cooperative activities to jump rope, there a countless ways to motivate and energize students from the first seconds of class.

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Partner Points Challenge Activity Cards

Slide Deck with active links.

November’s GIVING THANKS and DOING PLANKS Fitness Challenge

Are you ready to Flourish with Fitness throughout the month of November? If so, then it’s time for GIVING THANKS and DOING PLANKS! 

Why plank exercises?

Plank exercises strengthen the core. Core muscles help to support the body and allow us to use our arms and legs strongly and effectively. Strong core muscles form the foundation for good posture, coordination and balance. All gross and fine motor skills rely on a stable core.

Remember to practice and encourage proper form with your students. Now lets take a look at the challenge.

Part 1 of the challenge:

Choose 1 Timed Plank Exercise and 3 Counted Plank Exercises each day from the list of 10 plank variations below!

TIMED PLANK EXERCISES Hold for at least 20 seconds. Increase time each day for your personal best.

  • High Plank (on hands)
  • Low Plank (on elbows)


  • Plank with Shoulder Touch – 10 repetitions each shoulder
  • Up Down Plank –10 repetitions
  • Alternating Arm Raise – 5 repetitions each arm
  • Plank Jacks – 10 repetitions
  • Knee to Outside Elbow Plank – 5 repetitions each leg
  • Alternating Toe Tap Plank – 10 repetitions each side
  • Plank Leg Raise – 10 repetitions each leg
  • Knee Tap Plank (Low plank) – 10 repetitions each knee

Thank you Jedd Austin (@jeddaustin) for your incredible videography/editing talent.

Part 2 of the challenge:

Think of something or someone you’re thankful for, and write it on the calendar each day. If your thankful for a person, go above and beyond by telling the person or writing them a note.

Using the linked fitness calendar, write your initials for each day you complete the routine. At the end of the month, add up the total number of days completed, have your parents sign the bottom of the sheet, and return it to your PE teacher. Students completing at least 10 days will receive an award certificate and toe token.

For an editable copy of the November Flourish with Fitness Challenge, click Giving Thanks and Doing Planks 2018.

For a PDF copy of the November Flourish with Fitness Challenge (in case font does not work on editable version) click Giving Thanks and Doing Planks 2018.

For an editable copy of the Award Certificate, click Thanks and Planks Certificate Final.

“Strong Core Muscles Create Confident Kids!” Clamber Club, 25 Feb. 2017,

Follow me on Twitter:

Check out my Facebook group called Keeping Kids in Motion!

Subscribe to my Youtube Channel for over 100 useful games for physical education!

October’s PUMPKIN DICE LATTE Fitness Challenge

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.


  • Dice – Go to your game closet to find a single dice.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 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 regiment. 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.


For an editable copy of the October Flourish with Fitness Challenge, click Pumpkin Dice Latte.

For a copy of the Pumpkin Dice Latte certificate, click Dice Latte Certificate .

BTW – Don’t forget about the yummy pumpkin seeds when the challenge is over. They make a super, yummy, healthy snack. Click PUMPKIN SEED RECIPE for directions on how to roast them. I like to make several batches, each with a different seasoning. Here are a few of my favorites (season prior to roasting):

  • Salt and Pepper
  • Salt and Vinegar
  • Barbecue
  • Ranch – Envelope Hidden Valley ranch seasoning
  • Cheddar or Parmesan – use packets of powdered cheese from a macaroni and cheese box

Follow me on Twitter:

Check out my Facebook group called Keeping Kids in Motion!

Subscribe to my Youtube Channel for over 100 useful games for physical education!

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