Olympic Games for Physical Education

Happy children throw colorful hoops on cones

The Olympics theme fits well into the physical education curriculum at any grade level. The kids participate in activities that simulate actual events in either the Summer or Winter Olympics. The theme is ideal during an actual Olympics year, but you can use it anytime to add variety to gym class.

Torch Relay

The Olympic torch is a symbol of the Games. This PE game incorporates the torch in a relay race. Create your own Olympic torch using a paper towel roll as the handle, a cup as the top and paper flames. You'll need a torch for each team. Set up the team members around the gym at equal intervals. The kids run their section of the race and then pass the torch to the next team member. The first team to complete all legs of the relay wins.


Gym scooters create the bobsleds for an indoor version of the Winter Olympics sport. The first person on each bobsled sits on a scooter with his legs crossed. The second team member sits on a separate scooter behind the first person. He wraps his legs around the first team member. Together they move the bobsled with their hands down the gym. The first team to reach the opposite end wins. You can also assign a pusher who moves the bobsled down the gym.


The Summer Olympics gymnastic competitions work well in PE class. The specific routines you choose depend on the available equipment and skills of the students. A simple walk across a balance beam is an option. You can also have the kids perform small hops of other moves on the balance beam. A floor routine is another option. If the kids know some tumbling moves, they can incorporate them into the routine.


A skating competition in the gym is another game. No skates are required for this event. Towels or socks under the feet help the kids slide around as if they were skating. Speed skating laps around the gym is one option. Divide the kids into heats so there aren't too many children skating at once. Another option is a figure skating competition where the kids put on a routine to music either individually or in pairs. Routines of about 30 seconds to a minute are ideal.