Cooperative Games For Kids
THE GREAT THING ABOUT COOPERATIVE GAMES, IS THAT ALL OF THE KIDS ARE INVOLVED THE ENTIRE GAME. NO DOWN TIME. I WILL HAVE SOME RELAYS THAT ARE NOT COOPERATIVE IN THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES BUT STILL GREAT GAMES FOR CLASS OR CAMP.
Equipment: 1 ball, 1 pin and 1 cone per group
- Break your class into 4-6 to six team’s with about 4-6 players on each team.
- Begin with 1 player behind the pin and the rest of the team behind the cone.
- Distance between pin and cone should be age appropriate. Approximately 15-30ft.
- Job of the player behind the pin, is to get the ball and run it back to the next player in line. (HAND IT, DON’T THROW)
- Job of the player that rolls the ball is to stand up the pin and take the place of the player that was there.
- Play a few 5-7 minute rounds.
- This game is good for about 15 minutes of play.
I USE A FOAM SOCCER BALL FOR THE FOLLOWING RELAYS.
OVER & OVER RELAY
Equipment: Dome cones & foam balls
- Each team placed behind a designated cone with 3-8 players on a team depending on the size of your class.
- Place cones on the far side of the gym for the finish line.
- Make sure each team turns their back to the finish line.
- The first player in line will pass the ball over th back of their head as in the photo above.
- Once the player behind grabs the ball from the person in front, they will run to the end of their line.
- This process will repeat until each team reaches the finish line.
- TIP: Make sure players know they must sit and put the ball in a lap to show the teacher/coach they’re finished. This makes it easy to see which team won.
- TIP: I give each team a place 1st, 2nd, 3rd instead of saying which team won.
- TIP: If a player loses the ball during the relay, the team will freeze and the player that lost the ball will retrieve it and bring it back to where it was lost.
- VARIATIONS: Under & under relay, which is just simply passing the ball under the legs. You can roll or hike it. Over & under with alternating passes.
SKIN THE SNAKE
Equipment: Cones only
- Each team stands in a straight line just in front of their cone.
- The last person in line starts the race, by crawling under everyone’s legs.
- When a player is last in line, it will be their turn to go.
- TIP: Tell children to keep their hands to themselves. No need to nudge anyone along as they go thru the legs.
- TIP: I would suggest to cut the distance a little short. Possibly have the distance of the gym.
Equipment: Bean Bags and Poly Spots.
- Each team will line up behind a poly spot in a push-up position.
- The last player in line will pass the bean bag to the player in front of them.
- Players are not allowed to come out of the push-up position while passing the bean bag.
- If the bean bag is dropped, the entire team must go back to the start line and start over.
- TIP: Don’t make your class go the full length of the gym. Especially the first time they attempt this race. Use your best judgement.
Lily Pad Relay
Equipment: Poly Spots, hula hoops or pool noodles.
- Groups of 3.
- As one player is stepping on poly spots (Lily pads) the other two are picking them up and moving them.
- Set a starting and finishing point to make it a race.
- Option: This can be done with hula hoops and pool noodles.
ALL TANGLED UP
- Place 4-8 players in a group.
- They must reach out and grab one hand of two different players as in the photo above.
- Once the players are tangled up, they must untangle without letting hands go to form a circle.
Equipment: 1 tennis or racket ball.
- Groups can be as small as 10 or large as 30.
- One player will start with the ball.
- They must pick another person to throw to or bounce the ball. When the pass is made, the thrower must say the name of the player receiving the ball.
- When the next person receives the ball, they will repeat the process.
- Each player will keep receiving the ball and passing the ball to the same players.
- This is a fun way to learn names of everyone in the class or camp.
- VARIATION: Add 2nd or 3rd player. Give the groups a chance to play with 1 ball before you add a 2nd or 3rd.
- The players can walk, skip, run in any direction of the gym or field.
- No group size is too large.
- As the kids are moving around the gym, the teacher/coach will shout out a number. The kids must get into a group of the number you call.
- If you call 3, they must get in groups of 3. If a player doesn’t get in a group they’re out and the other players will scatter again on your call.
- I don’t like my students/campers to be out of a game for too long, but this game goes fast, so you can play rounds.
- Students/campers will be placed in groups of 2.
- The first person is blindfolded with the teammate standing behind them.
- The player in the back will place their hands on the shoulders of their teammate.
- The player in the back will guide verbally and physically to make tags.
- Everyone is a tagger.
- If a team is tagged, they will chain onto the team that tagged them. This process will repeat until one team has all of the players on their chain.
Equipment: Wrist bands or pinnies
- This game is on my TAG GAME page, but I thought I would include it here, since it is a cooperative game.
- Very simple, game. Start with 1 player as a tagger. If they make a tag, then they will join hands and now you have two taggers.
- This process continues until everyone is tagged or the blob gets too big.
- TIP: If kids feel funny holding hands, they can chain elbows.
- TIP: The first tagger of the blob should be identified as the leader, so he/she can guide the blob as it grows.
Equipment: Poly Spots and 1 hoop
- Place poly spots in one big circle taking up most of the gym.
- 1 poly spot will have a hula hoop around it.
- Each player will start on a poly spot. When the player in the hoop says something they like, everyone that has the same opinion must, leave their poly spot and find another. Examples: I like ice cream, my favorite color is green, the redskins are my favorite football team etc…
- VARIATION: Each round, take away poly spots, as in musical chairs.
Equipment: Hula hoops and cones.
- Each team starts behind a designated cone.
- The first two players in line start with the hoop. One player inside the hoop and one player holding on to the front.
- They must go around their cone on the far end of the gym and back to their team.
- When the first two players return to their team, the player on the outside goes to the end of the line. The player on the inside goes to the outside and the next player in line goes to the inside of the hoop.
HOOP RELAY VARIATION
Equipment: hula hoops and cones.
- Each team starts in front of their cone and they stand in one straight line holding hands.
- The last player in line passes the hoop to all players until it gets to the first player without breaking hands.
- The last player in line will keep running to the front of their line and repeat the process until they get to the designated cone on the far end of the gym.
Equipment: Poly spots with letters or paper plates with drawn letters and cones.
- Each team will be placed behind the designated cone.
- In front of each team on the other side of the gym, will be letters turned upside down on poly dots or paper plates.
- The letters will form the word halloween, thanksgiving, christmas etc…
- The players must pick the letters in the correct order. The first person in line must retrieve the letter “H” if they’re spelling halloween and the next player must retrieve the letter “A” etc…
- If a player chooses the incorrect letter, they must return to their team and high five the next player.
- VARIATION: Multiple letters spread out all thru the gym for all players to take. In the previous version, each team had their own letters. In this version, all teams can grab any letter from any where in the gym.
- First team to spell the holiday wins.
CATCH & GO RELAY
Equipment: Bean bags, cones and foam balls.
- Each team is placed behind a designated cone with a foam ball.
- On the far end of the gym you have all the bean bags you have. You can use other objects or small balls, if you don’t have that many bean bags.
- The gym is set up in zones.
- The first player in line goes out for a pass and the second player in line throws the ball.
- If the player, catches the pass, in zone 1, they may pick up 1 bean bag, zone 2 they take 2 bean bags and 3 in zone three.
- If the ball is dropped or caught, either way they must bring the ball back to the first person and go to the end of their line.
- Next the player who was the thrower, will now go out for a pass.
- You have the option to have everyone go once or set a time limit. Either way, the team with the most bean bags wins the game.
- OPTION: You can set up zone 4, but if a player drops a ball in zone 4, they must return 2 bean bags. If they make the catch they may take 4.
CLICK HERE to check out Aerobic Bowling. A favorite Cooperative game of my students & campers.
Stuck On You Relays
You may choose from two different versions when playing the following relay races. The class can simply partner up and perform all of the races together or separate the class into teams. For example: 5 teams with 6 players each behind a designated starting area.
- Run side by side with a partner, joined elbow to elbow.
- Side by side with a partner, palm to palm.
- Side by side with holding a frisbee palm to palm.
- Side by side holding a foam ball.
- Side by side holding a football palm to palm.
- Side by side holding a baseball or wiffle ball bat.
- Side by side holding a kick ball at the hip.
- Belly to belly holding a large cage or OMNIKIN BALL.
- Back to back holding a kick ball.
- Left foot to right foot with laces tied together.
- Inside of a hula hoop together with your partner.
- One partner on inside of hoop and one partner on the outside.
- NOTE: All of the above games can be played with partners or teams with 2 players racing from each team. I prefer partners because there’s less down time for your students.
- OPTION: You can do most of the above races with more than 2 players at a time. It’s a little more difficult, but you could have 3-6 players each with a ball between them as in the picture.
Cooperative Team Corn Hole
Equipment: Bean bags, Corn Hole box or Hula hoop or Card board box or bucket. ( Many ways to make a corn hole set up)
Grades: 2nd-8th grade
- Let’s say 5 team’s of 5.
- One player begins behind the corn hole box and the other players wait in line behind a designated cone.
- The thrower will attempt to land the bean bag in box hole or on top of the box.
- 3 points for every bean bag that goes in the hole and 1 point for every bean bag that lands on the box.
- The job of the player behind the box is to carry the bean bag back to the next player in line and go to the end of the line.
- The player that tosses the bean bag will replace the player behind the box.
- You can play 5 minute rounds to music with your class.
- Choose a score keeper for each team.
- OPTION: Place a bucket in a hula hoop. 3 points if it lands in the bucket and 1 point if it lands in the hula hoop.
I hope you enjoyed this information. Please feel free to leave a comment or question below.