Physical education is a very important part of child and youth development, so incorporating cooperative games that help develop social, cognitive and physical skills simultaneously is always a good idea. Unlike competitions, cooperative fun manages to provide benefits for each of the participants.
Physical education classes are probably the most loved by children around the world, as it is an appropriate time to drain the accumulated energy and have fun with all the friends.
Due to the importance of physical exercise in the development of people, in the 19th century physical education was introduced to the school curricula at the elementary level in institutes around the world. Today, even at the secondary level, participation in physical education classes continues in most schools.
Although physical exercise encompasses a large number of activities, school physical education is usually focused on learning different types of sports and the environment in which these disciplines are developed is usually quite competitive.
Although it is important to have a good understanding of some sports and develop the physical conditions necessary to play them, the exclusive focus on these activities directly can put many students at a disadvantage. Not everyone has the same talent, and that causes some kids to avoid participation at all costs or become frustrated at underperforming their friends.
For this reason, cooperative play must always be present when it comes to physical education, as it is a good way to exercise and promote the integration of all students.
The dynamics of cooperation vs. competitions
Competing with each other is quite natural for people and, furthermore, it is something that undoubtedly brings with it valuable lessons that can help in child development. In the right context, competition can be a phenomenal resource for improving social, psychomotor and cognitive skills; however, when the child is constantly exposed to this competition, then problems can arise.
Competitions can cause a loss of confidence and low self-esteem in children who do not have the best physical abilities, as they often lose or are excluded from groups. It is even common to see some children bothering others for “making them lose a game”, for example, which makes certain children under so much pressure that it is impossible for them to have fun.
For that reason, in addition to competitive games, physical education time should have room for cooperative games , since fun teamwork dynamics also make the body exercise and are suitable for all children.
In group games for children, victory is always shared. Each participant is accepted, his abilities are exalted, and everyone helps each other to complete the activity. For that reason, cooperativeness should always be an important factor in physical education.
What fun cooperative games can be played?
There are many collaborative games that can be used in a physical education class and, in fact, it is not that difficult to invent some to personalize them for students. However, here are 6 team games that might come in handy for you.
1. The train
Among the easiest and funniest dynamics for children from 6 to 12 years old is the train. To do it, all the children must stand in single file and hold on to the shoulders of the person in front of them.
The game consists of placing a ball between both children, which will be held with the back of one and the chest of the other. In this way, the line must advance to a certain point without the balls falling.
The train is an activity that develops coordination and spatial perception.
In order to play minefield, all students must hold hands and line up. However, some will look to one side and others to the opposite side.
To begin, obstacles will need to be placed in the space and students will have to traverse the entire space without letting go of hands and without touching the obstacles. Some variations include hopping on one foot.
Due to its difficulty, it is considered a contemplated activity in cooperative games for teenagers . This game develops coordination and spatial perception, in addition to motivating cooperativeness.
3. Balloon Rain
Among the physical education games for children aged 10 to 12, the balloon rain is one of the activities that will cause the most laughter.
To start, all the students must have a balloon and, when the teacher indicates, they must throw them into the air and avoid the balloons falling to the ground. To prevent this, they must use any part of their body, so they will develop their agility, perception, coordination and speed of response.
If you want to make the game more difficult, more balloons can be inserted as time goes on.
4. All below
This activity is usually preferred by young children, since a giant children’s parachute must be used to carry it out.
“All below” begins with the children taking a piece of the parachute and turning in the direction indicated by the teacher, at a certain speed. At the teacher’s signal, the children must throw the parachute as high as possible and run quickly under it, avoiding anyone being left out.
By playing, the little ones will improve their spatial perception, coordination and agility.
5. The island sinks
If an activity that develops balance as well as coordination is required, then this is the right game.
After the teacher has drawn several circles of different sizes, the activity will begin with the children inside the largest circle.
When the teacher gives the signal, the children must jump towards the circle that follows, without anyone stepping outside. The students will have to organize themselves to occupy the smallest possible space, trying to reach the smallest circle.
6. Through the hoop
As a last activity we have left one of the most difficult but fun games that can be played in physical education.
All holding hands in a circle, the students must pass a hoop around their body and give it to the partner next to them, without letting go of each other’s hands. Due to the movements required to achieve this, participants will really need some good sweatpants (check this link for some purchase options), as they will require as much mobility as possible.
By achieving their goal, they will be working on their hand-eye coordination, foot-eye coordination, and agility.
With these 6 activities you can give a positive change to any physical education class, allowing participants to use their bodies and stay active, while promoting camaraderie , inclusion and fun.