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CHAPTER 6

HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES AND GAMES

 

Place the class in a square formation using the sidelines and end lines on the half court .*

 

Give each group a name that is different than the others. ( ghosts , ghouls , pumpkins,

 

witches or skeletons , bats, etc.)* Chose one group in the center as taggers.* Call out one

 

group at a time to run directly across the other side. If caught they go back to their

 

original stating position.* After each had a turn tell them to go back where they started

 

from.*Chose a new group to be IT until all had a turn.


MONSTER TAG *.Chose 1-2 students to be IT. *The rest of the class are trick or treaters

 

who must run away from the taggers in the open space.* If caught those students must

 

walk like Frankenstein and be helpers with the taggers.* Chose new taggers each time.

 


TRICK/TREAT*. Establish two groups at the center line of the b-ball court about 5-8

 

feet apart.* There will be two contact lines , which are the end lines behind each team .

 

 *Use a frisbee or a homemade device( A pizza pie cardboard circle) and on each side

 

color or paste an object about Halloween.* For the treat it may be a candy picture. For the

 

trick it may be a witch or skeleton, etc.)* Flip the object in the air and whatever it lands

 

on ( TRICK or TREAT) that group must run away from the chasers.* That is , if the

 

designated group were TRICK , the TREATS will pursue.* If caught they go to the other

 

group .


BOGIEMAN.*  Chose one "bogieman" who is standing inside the mid court jump circle.

 

*All of the others who are 30 feet apart walk up in their favorite monster walk saying

 

...moonlight, starlight , bogie man come out tonight.* At the appropriate time the bogie

 

 

man says {boo} which is the signal for all to return.* As an alternative chose another student to roam the floor to catch them going back. *Chose new taggers each time.

 
 


STEAL THE PUMPKINS*. This activity resembles capture the flag but use plastic store

 

bought pumpkins.* Place three each off/behind the back end line.* Give each group that

 

is arranged on their designated area behind the midline three Halloween names(

 

skeletons, witches, monsters)* You may use rip tags or hand tags to send those tagged

 

back to their area.* For example , if you call the skeletons, they will try to steal the

 

pumpkins.* The witches and monsters will be the taggers.* Chose a new group each

 

time.* If tagged , that student must go back to their area and start over.* Make boundaries

 

at the sidelines.* This also sends them back to their area to start over.* No guarding

 

permitted and no students behind the end line except the group who are stealing the

 

pumpkins. *Most steals wins.




SKELETON BALL.* Secure some tennis balls (number depends on size of teams).*

 

Take one of the balls, paint it white and mark it with the features of a skeleton. Divide the

 

group into two equal teams and have them stand or sit approximately 20 feet apart, facing

 

each other.* Divide the tennis balls equally among the teams.* When the teacher signals

 

the start of the game, participants must toss the balls to the other team in a way they can

 

easily be caught.* This continues until the teacher calls stop.* The team with the skeleton

 

ball will have 10 points counted against it.* At the end of the game the low-scoring team

 

wins.


HALLOWEEN TAG :


*Arrange the class into 3 different teams , each equipped with 3 different colored tube

 

socks that are placed in their back pockets or waist band.* The Halloween colors are

 

white , orange and black . *Call one color to chase and rip off the other two colors .

 

When ripped off that person must walk like Frankenstein until another team mate of the

 

same color repeats the task for 5 steps . Return to the game at that point. Call a new color

 

each time.

 

 

 

 

 

PUMPKIN SMASH.
*Arrange the class in a square formation on the sidelines , end line and mid court line.

 

Give all the students a ball to throw(soccer, volleyball ,  play ball, etc.)*Place a

 

Halloween ,plastic blow up witch or ghoul, etc. in the center of the square.* On a signal ,

 

the students throw the pumpkins(balls) at the witch to try and knock it over another teams

 

sideline.* All, throws must be taken on the line. Any ball that is stuck in the middle must

 

be passed to a team mate.* A score is made against the team that lets the witch pass their

 

sideline or if the witch is touched by a student retrieving a ball from the middle.* Repeat

 

the process after each score. If there is an available pumpkin plastic blow up ,then that

 

would be a better Halloween choice.

 

HALLOWEEN HORSE SHOES.(3rd-4th grade)
*Arrange the class into small grids within the basketball court lines. Place two

 

pumpkins(plastic) about 20-30 feet apart.* Make the teams into doubles with two tube

 

socks(tennis ball inside) and duct taped at the end . Take turns trying to toss the tube sock

 

into the opening of the plastic pumpkin. This will count as three points. Accrue extra

 

points for the tube sock that is closer to the plastic pumpkin.* Place beanbags or heavier

 

objects inside the pumpkin for more stability.* After a few minutes have the students find

 

new double team players.* If tube socks aren't available use multi -colored bean bags. *If

 

there aren't enough plastic pumpkins ,use orange colored hula hoops that are taped or

 

weighted down.

 

Alternatives: In all Halloween activities ,it is necessary to change the rules, equipment

 

and space according to the ability of each grade level. Play scary music to enhance the

 

interest and fun.

 

 

THANKSGIVING .

 

TURKEY TAG.* Give half the students a rip flag belt with a turkey (feather), a rip flag.

 

Half the students are Pilgrims and the other half are Turkeys.* The Pilgrims have no rip

 

belts and try to steal the feathers.* If stolen return to the Turkey Pen and put on another.

 

Reverse roles after a time limit.

 

TURKEY PASS .


1. Align 5-6 groups slightly outside the out of bounds area on the basketball court.(single

 

file)
2. Arrange four groups at each corner and one more halfway at mid court


3. Give a turkey "figure " to each group's first person. A rubber chicken can be used or a makeshift turkey from pillows or stuffed animals.


4. On a signal , all groups run in order in a single line arrangement.


5. The first person tosses the "turkey" over the head to the next person in line. The first person goes to the end of the line .Continue the process with each person as the leader.


6. The object is to make it back to the original position without any drops or to legally pass up the group directly in front.


7. Time each group and repeat to improve a previous score


TRIMMINGS.

This leads up to the passing skills of this game.* Divide the areas into 2 or 3 grids with a

 

goal area arranged at each end . That can be cones or nets as the places to score. Start the

 

game with a turkey toss from the opponents end line. *There must be 3 tosses before a

 

score can be made in between the cones or in the goal net.* Any turkey that is dropped

 

loses possession.* No defense permitted other than gyrations of the hands and feet to

 

block a pass.* After a score the opposition repeats the process.* If time permits ,switch

 

grids to play another group.* As an alternative place bowling pins in the goal area , which

 

have to be knocked down with a "turkey roll ."* Make a restraining area from which the

 

players must stay behind to roll /toss the turkey for a score.( and NO goalies)



 

                                                                       

 

 

 

 

STUFFING *. Chose 2-3 taggers that have paper turkeys that are stuck with masking

 

tape. All other students are the turkeys.* Any turkey that gets tagged with the tape is

 

stuffed and must spell out (G-O-B-B-L-E ) before returning to the game.* The younger

 

students can say (Gobble) 5 times instead.  *Make sure to make many turkey tags to

 

ensure a smooth transition.

 

Alternatives. Make half the class taggers and the other half, turkeys. Make the space

 

smaller on one side of the area. Call out the body part where the tag should be made.

 

Recipe . Always have  a back up plan and visualize what situations may cause problems

 

with planning or equipment.

 

 

 

 

OVER THE RIVER .* The students are scattered within the boundaries of the basketball

 

court.  Chose 2-3 taggers , who will roam the “woods” and try to tag the students .*

 

Incorporate the song lyric , “over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house we

 

go(boom) . *The students will be engaged in designated locomotor skills that mimic

 

traveling, such as sliding, shuffling, driving, spinning out, galloping , hopping and

 

jumping. * On the word(boom) , they all have to freeze.* Anybody moving or tagged

 

become the new taggers.

 

LOCO-LICENSE .* This is a similar activity to (Over the River) , but mimic different

 

skills that are related to actual traveling to teach safety .* Listed are the skills the students

 

mimic in free space.* This will teach pathways, following directions and listening skills.

 

School bus – stop

Raining(windshield wipers) – jumping jacks

Snowing – slipping and sliding

Stuck in the mud – jog –in-place

Ambulance- freeze in place

Race car – run , run, run

Pothole- jump , jump, jump

Flat tire- hop, hop, hop(one foot)

Fire- stop, drop, roll

911- hand to ear, make an emergency call

 

*Call out different commands every few seconds .* When the (ambulance) is chosen , check to see if there is a complete stop . *Hand out a makeshift ticket and reply something about Thanksgiving( no pumpkin pie for you , car crash(no turkey for you), or slipped on mashed potatoes ( help Grandma cook).

 

Alternatives: The Thanksgiving games are geared mostly to grades K-3 , but by changing

 

the rules  ,equipment, and different  words can include the 4th grades. Play appropriate

 

Holiday music.

 

 

CHRISTMAS

 

SNOWBALL RUN:

Place the following objects throughout the gym in a scattered formation - frisbees with

the bowl side up and adapted "snowballs”( wiffleballs , paper wads , etc.) and have half

of the snowballs on the frisbee and the other half outside and beside the frisbee.* Divide

the class between two groups , the Elves and the Grinches.* One group will try to steal

the snowball from the frisbee and place it outside , while the other group places the

snowball from the outside into the frisbee .* The frisbee may be a "toy" or cookie tray

for Santa .* After a few moments count all those out or inside the PLATE/TOY .Switch

positions often to try both tasks.


STEAL THE SNOWBALL
:

*Arrange the students in groups of 6-8  behind a designated contact line, and place all the

snowballs on a frisbee(plate).* Chose 3-6 Grinches to guard the snowballs . On a signal

the ELVES will try to steal the snowballs and bring them back to a designated contact

line.* Count one score for each snowball but if tagged that person must go back to the

contact line and start over. Chose new Grinches each time.* As an alternative have the

Grinches stay in the middle of the area facing the Elves , who will be standing on a

contact line, and will try to retrieve Holiday objects placed on another contact line about

30 feet away.* Place as many objects on that contact line spaced a safe distance away.

*Use traffic cones as starting places for each of 5-6 groups.* The first person in each line

will try to take the Holiday gift or object and bring it back to their start area.* If tagged

they will go to the end of the line and the next person goes.* But, if an object is stolen

they can't be tagged , then they place the object next to the cone( TREE. *The

progression continues until all objects are taken. Here are some examples of the Holiday

fare :

OBJECTS/HOLIDAY

  1. Jersey or pinnie (sweater)

  2. Wiffleball ( popcorn ball)

  3. Jump rope (gift)

  4. Beanbag ( food)

  5. Deck ring ( cake)

  6. Frisbee(plate)

  7. Small cone ( glass of milk for Santa)

  8. Softball( ornaments)

    *The students will be lined up in 5-6 groups in order and when all the objects are

gone , the teacher will have slips of paper with all the names of the objects that are to

be taken.* Chose one slip of paper and that group with that object at their TREE

becomes the next GRINCHES.* Repeat the process with each group trying to become

the new Grinches the most times.

PARACHUTE EXPRESS:

*
Arrange the class around the parachute and underneath place 4-5 scooters or

SLEIGHS.* Give numbers from 1-5 to try to leave the parachute , run to the scooter

and sit on it.* Next , those students will have to make it back to their places before the

parachute comes down on them.* For more fun have the parachute be the IGLOO and

the scooters (sleighs) and the students GRINCHES . *Call a new number each time.*

Practice using the parachute safely with the command " DROP " the only time the

class lowers the parachute .* It will be more effective if there is a contact circle or

line for the students to get back to for a safe trip back to their places.

SLIEGH RIDE:

*
Use larger tumbling mats as sleighs for the students to transport their team to a

designated line.* All teams start at another designated line with one student on the

mat while the others pull him/her to the other line. *Once there , switch with another

teammate and repeat the process until all had a turn. Time the students and then

repeat to try to better a previous score.* Please note that the student on the mat should

be in a kneeling position and not laying down .* The pulling students should be

arranged around the front of the mat and dragging safely.* Note : any student who

falls off the mat receives a 5 second penalty time.

 Alternatives .The Christmas games are highlighted by using makeshift equipment

that can be used for all grade levels .  Give the students some ownership by allowing

them to make the objects in art class or at home. The inclusion of he family is always

a positive approach.

TRIM A TREE .* This is a combined activity that includes makeshift equipment or

any homemade utensils that can be practiced at home with the family.* The first part

of the activity will lead up to the eventual trimming of the tree.* The tree can be a

golf tube that is placed inside a traffic cone .* Use duct tape to secure the tube and the

cone. *Use cotton balls as the snowflakes and clothespins as pincers, which are the

devices to pick up the cotton balls. Include paper wad balls ,paper circles as bulbs and

popcorn strings(simulated) .* Don’t limit the creativity of using anything in the house

, school or department stores .* Each tree has masking tape (curled) for the ornaments

to be stuck on as the final product.

*The first order of the activity is to scatter the cotton balls throughout the gym . *This

alignment is for 4-6 groups on a contact line with the cotton balls spread out in front

of the students about 10-20 feet away.* Hand out clothespins for all the students.

*Their job is to take ONE snowflake , pick it up with the clothespin , and return to the

starting contact line.* The snowflakes are to be placed in a container.(frisbee, box,

bowl ,etc.) After that is completed , the ornaments are scattered throughout the area.

*These can be paper wad balls , paper circles or any equipment that resembles objects

that can be placed. on a tree. *The students chose one ornament , return to their tree ,

which is placed near their group .* They place the paper ornament on the masking

tape, then return for another one. *During the holiday season , ask the art or

classroom teacher to help .* This is an integrative activity that includes trimming the

tree in a particular shape and design. *As a closure project have the students return

the snowflakes and carefully take off the ornaments for the next class.

Alternatives. Play Christmas music for fun and enthusiasm . Have a supply of all equipment at hand for a smooth transition . Have a contest to design the best tree. Use makeshift or real candy canes to design the tree after all other ornaments have been used. Add any other ornaments  and let the students make and or decide.

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOLIDAY TAG. *Chose 2-3 taggers to capture the candy canes ( students). If tagged ,

 

that person must arrange their body into a candy cane shape.* Another student can free

that person by lifting up the tagged person’s arms , “breaking” them free.* Chose new

 

taggers often .* Practice safe pathways to show the proper directions for avoidance

 

procedures.

 

Alternatives. Play Holiday music. Chose different ideas ,such as gifts, food or toys instead of the candy cane shape. For example , if tagged , that student must march like a toy soldier from the Nutcracker Suite song. March(5 steps) together to set that person free

 

 

FALLING TREES.* Place cones(trees) around the area a safe distance apart. Divide the

 

class into two groups .* Establish one group to knock over the trees, and the other one to

 

pick them up.* They must move to the next tree ,and never guard or kick over the

 

tree(hands only). *After a designated time limit count the number of falling trees and

 

those still standing .* After the time limit, any tree that is touched is eliminated from the

 

count total.

 

 

 

Alternatives. Change the locomotor skills after each turn. Use a holiday theme as the

 

skills ,such as sliding , skiing or skating.

 

 

WINTER OLYMPICS. * During the winter season or an Olympic year is great time to

 

incorporate activities to mimic the events .* By using makeshift equipment will make it

 

easier to understand :

 

Skating – shoe boxes

Skiing – cardboard slats

Luge – scooter boards(attached)

Toboggan – large cardboard box( pushed) or folded tumbling mat

 

Alternatives. Use shoe boxes in a shuffling pattern ,then jump out of the boxes into a marked tumbling mat . Use traffic cones for a slalom event. Use golf tubes as the gates for the slalom . Make an obstacle course that depicts the winter season and available or makeshift equipment.

 

 

 

  The obstacle course can be changed according to each grade level’s ability. Use from 4-

 

8 stations. The first station is made with broken hula hoops that are placed in traffic cones 

 

for crawling under. The second one is a series of tumbling mats for a jumping/landing

 

activity. The next station is a luge activity on attached scooter boards. The directional

 

arrows show the two foot take-offs between hula hoops . Next, the arrows depict slalom

 

gates . Use shoe boxes to shuffle in between the cones /golf tubes. The set up is arranged

 

so that once the course is completed , it can easily be repeated in the opposite direction ,

 

and back to the starting contact line. Also, the set up tends to move at a moderate pace to

 

encourage continual action, and less idle time. As soon as the first person completes the

 

first object , the next person goes until all have completed one cycle. Switch stations after

 

each students completes two chances at each place. Play upbeat or seasonal music. Add  a

 

FREEZE FRAME activity , which is a stationary(freeze) position .When the music stops 

 

all the students can’t move.

 

Recipe . Use opportunities in real life situations as a cross over for addition to the curriculum. This will encourage participation , and may even entice” timid” students to be involved in physical education more often.