Identifying Level-Appropriate Sports & Recreational Activities

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Cooperative Games & Group Challenges

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:05 Activities for All Ages
  • 0:50 Activities by Grade Level
  • 4:42 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: John Hamilton

John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.

In this lesson, we'll discuss some sports and recreational activities that are appropriate for different ages, different purposes, and also for varying developmental levels.

Activities for All Ages

Who doesn't love playing sports or participating in recreational activities? That's all well and good, but remember that certain sports and activities are better and more level-appropriate for elementary students, others are better for middle school students, and still others are best suited for high school.

However, to compound matters, not all students grow and develop at the same rate, and thus different students in the same grade may be at different levels of development. Therefore, make sure children of different ages and abilities are steered toward the right sports and activities for their musculature and skill level.

Nevertheless, certain activities tend to be lifetime sports and are appropriate for students of all ages. They include cycling, dancing, hiking, roller-skating, swimming, and walking.

Activities by Grade Level

Did you know that the physical education standards for our nation are overseen by SHAPE America, and that it dictates grade-level outcomes as well? Note that while SHAPE America sets the federal guidelines for physical education, which are not laws, different states and even various school districts can implement their own set of standards. Let's look at a breakdown of the grade levels.

Ages 1-5

Children up to five tend to lack the advanced motor skills necessary to play organized sports. However, they can still play movement games such as hide-and-seek, freeze tag, and red rover.


Children at this age need to only demonstrate basic locomotor skills, and can perform fun activities such as:

  • Galloping
  • Hopping
  • Jogging
  • Playground
  • Running
  • Sliding
  • Skipping
  • Walking

Kindergarten students can also participate in creative dance led by the educator, and can jump rope one time with a short rope. They can toss a ball underhand while stepping with the opposite foot. They can also kick a ball without running up to it, catch a large ball, and dribble a ball with one hand.

Grades 1-5

First through fifth graders can slowly advance their skills they built on in kindergarten. First graders may add the ability to throw underhand, but in a more mature pattern. They may also dribble a basketball continuously, and a soccer ball while walking. A first grader can use a long jump rope and do several revolutions.

As they advance to second grade, overhand throws may be added, as well as performing basic dance and gymnastics moves. Consider hand-only catching, walking while dribbling, striking a ball on a tee, running with a soccer ball, and jumping rope backwards.

Third graders may throw underhand to targets and overhand for distance, may dribble while jogging, and may pass a soccer ball back-and-forth with the feet. They may also hit balls with sticks and perform jump rope tricks.

Fourth graders may start distance running, perform more advanced gymnastics and dance moves, and catch a thrown ball with the arms above the head. They may also advance to creating their own jump rope routines with either length rope.

Fifth graders can run various distances and pace themselves accordingly. They can actually use gymnastics equipment to create a sequence. They can also strike a ball from a pitcher using a bat.

Grades 6-8

At the middle school level students are much better adapted to play competitive sports, especially ones that involve power, coordination, and agility. These students also begin to employ more advanced strategies and tactics as their mental abilities improve as well. At this stage there is also an increased emphasis on weight transfer movement patterns, and proper body positions.

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