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Relays and Other Fun Challenges

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Here are three great games for grades 3-8 submitted by Dick Samaria, Belmont, Massachusetts.

This article contains three great activities that we have used with our students over many years. The first activity is a one-on-one basketball challenge for those who truly love basketball!

The Larry Bird/Michael Jordan Challenge!

This is a fun partner activity. Each player is given a basketball and a challenge sheet. Using all of the available basketball goals, we set up the basketball stations as shown on the sample challenge sheet that was designed for our older students. Please feel free to modify this sheet for students under fifth grade.

Each partner counts for the other. See how many of the challenges each partner can perform or see how many the class can accomplish as a whole.

The Larry Bird/Michael Jordan Challenge!

Names of Players: ________________________________________

Directions: You and your partner are challenged to see how many of the 20 items listed below you can accomplish. Good luck!

Player #1 Player #2 Basketball Challenges

___ ___ 1. Around the cone, at the foul line, dribble lay-up on the right side.
___ ___ 2. Around the cone, at the foul line, dribble lay-up on the left side.
___ ___ 3. Wall passing, 50 catches in a row.
___ ___ 4. Wall passing, 60 catches in a row.
___ ___ 5. Two-ball dribble 50 times in a row.
___ ___ 6. Two-ball dribble 50 times while on the knees.
___ ___ 7. Side shot after dribbling through three cones.
___ ___ 8. In and out of three cones, corner shot.
___ ___ 9. Lay-up right side then left side.
___ ___ 10. Five-dot shooting, all made 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 feet from the basket.
___ ___ 11. Hook shot from 3 feet.
___ ___ 12. Hook shot from 6 feet.
___ ___ 13. Dribble the length of the court; jump shot at the foul line.
___ ___ 14. Dribble the length of the court, jump shot right and left side of the foul line.
___ ___ 15. Dribble from the left sideline; lay-up on the left side.
___ ___ 16. Dribble from the right sideline; lay-up on the right side.
___ ___ 17. Around the cone, foul shot.
___ ___ 18. Around the cone, 3-point shot.
___ ___ 19. Run around the gym 2-ball dribbling.
___ ___ 20. Run around the gym 2-ball dribbling backwards.

Tumbling Relays & Group Races

Here is a fun tumbling relay our students have tried. What makes it fun also is that each child may select the roll or stunt he does best. The gymnastic students can perform the harder stunts while some can work as a partner team. The above activities were used in a class challenge relay. The students picked their own stunts to try. The class set the times to beat during gym.

1. Lame Dog Walk: The child walks along the mat with two hands and one foot on the floor.

2. Log Roll: The student rolls sideways down the mat; the arms can be along the body or over the head.

3. Egg Roll: This is similar to the shoulder roll or side roll.

4. Forward Roll: The child does the forward roll down the mat.

5. Cartwheel: Have the students do as many cartwheels as it takes to get to the other side.

6. Wheel Barrow: This is a two-person activity. One holds the feet of the other.

7. Round-Offs: Do the number necessary to reach the other side.

Group Challenges: We finish the class with several of the group races listed below.

1. Skin the Snake: Each child puts one hand through their legs and holds the hand of the person in front of them. The group now performs forward rolls between the knees of the person on the ground. Once all are lying down, the group stands and walks over each person. If you have many mats, you can do it again!

2. Frog Jump: The group leap frogs over each member until they reach the end of the mats.

3. Train: The group sits one-behind-the-other with legs along the sides of the person in front. The group joins around the waist or shoulders and, using their buttocks, moves along the floor or mat to a set goal or distance.

The Mini-Olympics

Background: Divide the class into 3-4 relay groups. Some of the Mini-Olympic relays can be done one at a time as an entire team; other events have a fixed number of players. The Mini-Olympics can take place over several class periods or can be done by combining classes. For example, if you have three 4th grade classes, combine the classes so that you have a 90-minute block of time.

Scoring: Score 5 – 3 – 1 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places; or 5 – 3 – 2 – 1 if 4th place is used.

1. Release the Doves: As a relay, bat a balloon up to a line and back.
2. Chariot Race: Two students pull a rider who is on a scooter either on knees, lying or sitting. Take turns.
3. Javelin: Three players from each team throw a straw or chop stick. Each person gets two tries.
4. Shot Put: Use a whiffle ball with tape around it. Students get two tries and count the longest throw. You could use a basketball.
5. Discus: Toss a paper plate �frisbee style.�
6. Relay Baton Race: This can be done as a shuttle race or a lap race.
7. Basketball Shot: Set a time limit; all team members shoot in order. Count the total. If there is a tie, one player from each team takes five shots.
8. Tug-of-War: Team vs. team.
9. Relay: This is a baton-passing relay. Teams of four boys or four girls could run twice around the gym or field. Or, mix the teams with two boys and two girls.
10. Team Long Jump: Use three players per team. The team score is the total of the three players� jumps.
11. Shuttle Run or Potato Race: Run to a bean bag, take one, and drop it off at the starting line. Go back, pick up the second bean bag and drop that with the first.
12. Team Touch Run: As a relay, the players race to the center line and must touch it with their hand, then return to the starting line and touch it with their hands. Then run to the end line and touch it with their hands, and return to the starting line.

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