Looking for PE agility games to help you and your kids develop strength, speed, balance and bodily control? If so, you’re on a smart track. Agility is all about thinking fast under shifting conditions, and being quick and agile on your feet—important skills for people of all ages to develop in this modern and rapidly changing world. And we’ve got you covered!
Here are six fun PE agility games that you and your family can play at home, either indoors or outdoors. If your children play sports, they’ll definitely benefit from these activities—but everyone can benefit from increasing their facility with pivoting quickly, adapting to new conditions and heading in a different direction.
One of the best things about these games? Your kids won’t even realize they’re getting moderate to vigorous physical exercise as they play—they’re that much fun! If your children are school-aged, they might already be familiar with several of the following games—which means before you know it, they’ll be tweaking the rules and customizing the activities to make them even more dynamic.
Set out cones—or canned goods, stuffed animals or whatever else you have on hand—to create an obstacle course for kids to weave their way through. The closer together you place the cans or cones, the harder it is; the farther you place them apart, the easier it becomes (which can be an important adaptation for children who are younger, less balanced or less stable on their feet). Use a stopwatch to time their progress so each kid can compete against themselves, trying to best their own times. They can also dribble or kick a ball through the course for added challenge.
Set up your own agility ladder by marking off squares in a line indoors with masking tape or with chalk on the driveway or sidewalk. Then let children determine their own activities and rules: Will they hop on one foot in each square, or alternate feet while skipping every other square? Will they hop into the first square on both feet, the second square on just their left foot, and so on? Kids love making up their own sequences. You’ll be amazed at how many different ways they can figure out to use a simple ladder drawn on the ground!
Set out colored hula hoops or use different colors of sidewalk chalk to draw large circles on the driveway, and have children jump from one circle to the next according to the colors called out by the leader. If you have several children playing at once who are all of similar abilities, you can mix it up (and make it competitive) by seeing who can process directions and leap into the right circle first. The last one in must jump rope or do pushups on the sidelines for the next round.
This game can be played as a warm-up or as the main event, and there are many different ways to structure it. Set out hula hoops in the pattern of a tic-tac-toe grid (three rows of three), or use chalk or tape to mark out a large tic-tac-toe grid on the ground. Children can play a traditional tic-tac-toe relay game by forming two lines a certain distance away from the grid. Each line is a team, and everyone on a team is given a shirt, bean bag or whatever items you have on hand, all of the same color. The first players from each line run to the grid, drop their items into their chosen section of the grid and then run back, so the next players can take their turns. It’s also fun to play a rousing game of fit-tac-to by giving kids set activities to perform, depending on which section of the grid they choose to run to—such as hopping, doing lunges, doing pushups, dancing or performing high-kicks.
Jump the Noodle
Children can play this in pairs or groups with a pool noodle: One holds the noodle close to the ground and swipes it back and forth, while the other players try to jump over it a set number of times without touching the noodle. The person holding the noodle can choose to speed it up, make it choppy, or otherwise switch things up so the jumpers must think quickly on their feet.
This game works best with several players, and requires at least three. Two or more players hold hands, facing one another, while one player outside the circle darts around, trying to grab a scarf (or colored shirt, stuffed animal or other item) that is tucked into one of the circle players’ back pockets. The players forming the circle together try not to drop hands as they twist and pivot together, turning the scarf-bearer away in order to protect the precious item. This activity builds teamwork skills along with agility—and, of course, it gives everyone a fit of the giggles.