PE activities for your first week back

published on 6th September, 2022

So it’s a brand new school year and it’s time to prepare those PE activities for your first week back.  But what are the PE activities you kick off with to excite and inspire children from the start?

Now is a fantastic opportunity for a fresh start!

No matter how good or bad your Phys Ed was last year (no-one can blame teachers for letting the odd lesson slip at the end of a school year with so much to do!), and no matter how positive or negative your students have been towards PE, now is a fantastic opportunity to reignite your passion for the PE, and wellbeing, of your students.  You want to create the right culture and it starts now – with your first PE activities of the school year.

Starting off on the right foot means establishing with children what your PE lessons are all about. Getting this right at the beginning means less chance of behavioral issues and disengagement further down the line.  So, for your first PE lessons, we recommend the following steps.

Start with introductions – but make it active from the get-go

Before you dive into PE activities for your first week back, start building relationships with your students.  You can ask them what they did over the summer break.  They will be bursting with stories about their vacations, trips, and fun they had with family and friends. 

So, let them tell talk (you could even tell them about your summer).  But this doesn’t need to be a sit-down group chat.  Here’s a few ideas of how to make this an active chat…

  • In small groups of 3 or 4, ask one child per group to tell their friends about an activity they did during the summer.  All members of the group must then act-out that activity.  After a short practice time, ask 1 group to act out their activity in silence for the rest of the class to guess what the activity is.
  • Play 1 or 2 quick fun PE activities where the children score points (get loads of quick PE activities in our resources section here). The winning children can then be given a 1 minute slot to tell the class about their favorite summer activity.
  • If any children have been on a Sport Camp, ask them to lead the class on their favorite Sport Camp activity.

Establish Phys Ed rules

This is the time to establish rules, too.  It’s so easy to do this, and so important for avoiding accidents and injuries.  Here are some important rules that may not have been covered in everyday classroom lessons…

  • React to the whistle – all students should know to stop and listen immediately after hearing the whistle.
  • Safety – until instructed by the teacher, children should be aware that they never touch, hold or kick equipment.
  • PE Kit – all students should be aware of the school PE Kit policy, particularly footwear, for their own safety and comfort.
  • Respecting others – students are aware of the rule of keeping hands and feet to themselves and the importance of sportsmanship.

Just like your introductions, these rules can be practiced actively.  We have created some brand new Kindergarten Games, Lower Elementary Games and Upper Elementary Games that focus on reiterating the rules of PE.  You can download these PE Expectation Lessons here.

Issue PE Rewards

At this stage of the year, issue more certificates than usual to highlight good examples of children following the rules, and to demonstrate the rewards available for good work in PE, regardless of natural ability.

You can download ‘Star of the Week Certificates’ and ‘PE Superstar Certificates’ from the website here.

Share your PE Plan

It’s always good to share the whole year plan with your students.  Not all children enjoy all sports, so seeing the range of activities throughout the year will keep students excited about what’s to come.  Discuss positive attitudes and the importance of giving all sports a go, even if it’s not their favorite.

This discussion can be a perfect opportunity to introduce the concept of applying the same skills into different sports, such as using soccer space/positioning skills in field hockey, or tennis racket skills in badminton.  Tell the students that all sports have similar ‘transferable’ skills so it is important to try our best in all PE activities.

A good quality PE Display Board will help with this, and here are some resources and examples for creating an elementary school PE Display Board.

Have fun!

And most importantly, have fun!  We’ve done all the hard work for you with the PE Lesson Plans on our website. They’re easy to follow too, so ideal for PE activities for your first week back.  So, please select your grade, choose your sport, print out lesson one and have a go.  There is no better feeling than seeing children actively developing and having a great time!

Please don’t forget that we are here for you.  No matter what the question, please just ask and we will do everything we can to help you provide the best possible Phys Ed.