Fun Games to Play in the Gym

By Dylan Lamberti

Children love to play games inside or out. However, in unfavorable weather or in gym class, it is sometimes necessary to keep the children indoors. Thankfully, there are a number of fun games that can be played in the gym to keep the children occupied and having a good time.

Doctor Dodgeball

Divide the children into two teams, one on each side of the gym. Have each team designate one player as their team doctor, but make sure that the other team doesn't know who it is. Start the game by giving each team an equal number of balls to toss at one another. If a player is hit below, they have to sit down, and they can only rejoin play if their team doctor touches them. If the doctor is hit, they can not get back up. Once all players are sitting down, that team loses. If the gym has basketball nets, a variation of the game exists where if a team's doctor is sitting down, and a team member hits the backboard of the basketball nets, the doctor is granted another life.

Octopus Tag

This is a great game for young children and doesn't require any equipment to set up. Choose a child to be the octopus and have them stand in the middle of the gym. Have the other children line up against the wall. The child who is the octopus will then yell "Come swim in my ocean!," and the other children must run across the gym while pretending to swim. The octopus tries to tag as many people as possible. The people who are tagged become seaweed and help the octopus by tagging people as well. The octopus can replace "swim" with any other action, and the other children have to do that action while running across the gym as well. Once players reach the far wall, they are safe, and the octopus has to call out again. Play goes on until everyone is caught, and the last player becomes the octopus for the next game.


Benchball is styled after soccer. Divide the class into four even teams. In each corner of the gym, there should be a bench, with the flat side facing into the center of the gym. Each team numbers their players, starting at one. If teams are uneven, some players can take two numbers. A volleyball or soccer ball is placed in the middle of the gym. Call out numbers; if a player's number is called, he has to run a lap around the gym before he can touch the ball. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands, only their feet, chest or head. The first player to the ball must try to use it to hit a bench; if he does, his team gets the letter "B". Players go back to their benches, and a new round starts with new numbers called. Once a team has spelled "BENCH", they win, and play can begin again.

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