Beginning of the Year Activities for Physical Education

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been an educator for 20 years and earned her Master of Education degree in 2017. She enjoys using her experience to provide engaging resources for other teachers.

Starting the year with your PE students can be fun when you engage them in active team building. Use these activities to help your students of any grade level get to know one another, use their creativity, and practice physical skills.

Beginning of the Year PE Activities

Starting the year in a PE classroom can be a challenge, as students have yet to establish the necessary skills to play organized sports but come ready to burn off some energy and have fun on day one. Use these activities with any grade level to engage them in creative thinking, help them learn more about each other, and give them practice with important physical skills. ''Partner Stretch'' and ''Name Tag'' are whole class activities that require partnering with several new classmates throughout the exercise. ''Invent-a-Game'' is a team activity and can include a whole group element as an extension. Suggestions for accommodating different age groups and ability levels are interspersed within the descriptions.

Partner Stretch

  • Materials: stretch instruction cards (one per student - duplicate cards are okay)

In this activity, students will partner with classmates, working together to carry out the instructions for various stretches. Begin the activity by demonstrating a couple of stretches and having the whole class follow along. For added support, consider providing written instructions for the whole group stretches, as well.

Next, distribute one stretch instruction card, with clear illustrations and step-by-step descriptions, to each student. Give students time to practice the stretch on their card. Then, have each student partner with a classmate and guide each other through their stretches.

After the first partnership concludes, you may want students to keep their original cards and move onto the next partner. Alternatively, for an added challenge, you can have students trade cards so they have to recall what they learned to teach their next partner.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account