There are 16 inclusive and
cooperative activities presented in this article, including activities
for aquatics, gymnastics, large group activities, and golf. The
activities are appropriate for outdoor or indoor, and individual
or group participation. Further, all activities are easily adaptable
to meet the needs of all students.
Each activity provides many suggestions to change rules, adapt
equipment, and modify for (high to low) physical abilities. These
inclusive activities are an excellent means for developing physical
fitness, social skills, and increasing self-esteem. Inclusive activities
are a fun way to improve muscle strength, motor coordination, and
Physical educators should be prepared to provide appropriate instruction
for individuals with disabilities, while maintaining a safe environment.
Do not let students with disabilities just be "score keepers"
or "goaltenders." Their involvement should be more than
a "token" gesture. This article should allow educators
a way to challenge students with disabilities, and overcome challenges
when teaching in a inclusive setting.
Finally, there are supportive web sites for the activities presented,
new course information to help pass the APENS certification, and
a IDEA update.
Adapted Section Editor
Swimmer(s) are to blow a ping pong ball as far as they can for a
given length of time or distance.
Swimmers should be in water depth based on there ability (waist,
chest, deep water). Have the swimmers place the ping pong ball in
front of them and a start command is given. If distance is used,
have different distances depending on their ability and have them
swim to something of interest (e.g., boat, tub, net). If a given
amount of time is used (e.g., 3 minutes), allow them to move as
far as possible. A start/stop signal could be a whistle but music
works better and is more stimulating. Swimmers are not allowed to
use any other part of their body to move the ping pong ball. In
some situations, have two or three swimmers working together to
move the ping pong ball.
Ping pong balls (colored) or other small floating toys.
Swimmers are to retrieve all the objects from the pool, and place
on pool deck in a limited or unlimited amount of time.
Place floating and/or submerse objects/toys in the pool. Have swimmers
help place/throw toys into the water. Note, the more toys retrievable
the better. Have swimmers start from pool side and with a starting
signal (e.g., whistle, music) begin retrieving toys and placing
on the pool deck or in baskets. If there is an unlimited amount
of time, then after all the toys are retrieved the game is over,
and/or if there is a time limit (e.g., 10 minutes) then swimmers
can help count all the toys retrieved. During the retrieving process
swimmers can walk, swim, and/or dive to obtain items.
Colored balls (various sizes), noodle boats, fish, diving sticks,
diving eggs, frisbees, kick-boards, mask, snorkels, etc.
Swimmers are to bob or swim with a flotation tub around them as
far as possible in a set amount of time.
Have swimmers start from the side of the pool, and with a starting
signal (whistle, music) have them move as fast and far as possible
in a set time (e.g., 5 minutes). If swimmers reach the other side
of the pool have them return. Swimmers should work on moving in
a straight-line or staying in their lane. However, swimmers could
move around an obstacle course, with a buddy, or as a relay race.
Further, swimmers could move to retrieve and return toys from the
other side of the pool. Note: the object is to move in the water
which could be achieved in many ways (e.g., arm(s), leg(s), arms-legs,
bobbing, walking, prone or supine).
Tube, flotation ring, noodle, lifesaver, Personal Flotation Device
Everyone works as a team to pass each student over or under a "wire"
without touched it.
Two team members are allowed to start on the opposite side, but
must return to be passed over the "wire." No throwing,
or jumping over the "wire," only being passed over by
a teammate. If needed, one team member can return to the other side
to physically help the last swimmer over. Very the wire height depending
on their ability level. If the objective is to swim under the "wire,."
no teammate should assist if possible. Swimmers can very the distance
from which they attempt to start swimming under the wire, as well
as the depth of the wire can change depending on ability. If any
teammate touches the wire the team must start over.
Rope, pole, noodle, floating net, or hula hoop,
Does anyone have any fun games for a visually impaired student.
This is my first experience with a visually impaired student
and I am looking for some exciting activities for the student
to do while in class. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Please share in the forum.
ON A BISCUIT
Have as many students as possible stand or sit together on a platform.
Students should be placed in 2 or 3 groups with everyone in the
group trying to get on the platform. There are several variations
on how the activity could be conducted: (a) a time limit getting
on and staying, (b) a race between teams getting on the platforms,
(c) how long can a group maintain their balance once on the platform
or (d) what is the maximum number of students that can get on a
Once everyone on the team(s)
gets on the platform, they should stay in that position for a minimum
of one minute without anyone in the group falling off. The game
could have students passing balls or colored ribbons to each other,
and/or have students move from front to back or side to side while
maintaining their balance on the platform. Music could be introduced
as a means of starting and stopping the activity.
Raised platform, tire, mats, or balance boards.
Students are to balance on a beam, while switching places one or
two at a time.
Students should first sit on the balance beam at a given number
or color spot, with some distance placed between them. Students
should be comfortable in their position. If the balance beam is
close to the ground, students can sit on the beam with their feet
on the ground. A command is given to change number(s) or color(s)
with those students at that location changing/switching position.
Student(s) will move along the beam to their new destination. The
other students that are sitting can help. As student(s) are going
over students that are sitting a spotter may be needed for assistance
and/or safety. After all students have had a chance to change position
the game is completed.
Balance beam, log, railroad tie, 2x4 lumber
Students leaning against each other for support, while traversing
two different balance beams placed at varying distances.
Partner students together (buddy), and have them face to face holding
hands on separate balance beams. Balance beams or tape on the floor
should be positioned in a "V" shape. Note: the starting
position distance is close together and final position distance
is further apart. Partners will move slowly hand-in-hand as the
distance between them increases and they begin to use their partner
for balance. Positioning of the balance beams should be maximized
to challenge the partners ability to reach the ending position.
All partners should have several opportunities to perform the objective.
Mats under the beams or spotters could be used for safety.
Balance beam, log, railroad tie, 2x4 lumber, or tape and mats.
Have students partner up and cross a balance beam, each starting
from opposite ends.
Partner up students and place each pair on teams. Teams should be
no larger than 5 partners (10 students). Each team will need to
successfully cross all partners. Partners will start on opposite
ends and move (walking, crawl) toward each other until they meet
in the middle. Partners will need to maneuver around each other
without falling off the balance beam. If ether partner falls off
they must start over.
Balance beam, log, 2x4 lumber, or tape, and a mats if needed.
Students are to stand or sit on a balance beam, while transferring
objects from one end to the other end.
Students are to stand or sit, maintaining their balance on the beam
while passing objects such as balls, frisbees, or water in a cup
to the opposite side. There can be a set number of objects to travel
across, or a time limit can be set to see how many objects can be
successfully passed to the other side. There should be a basket
or bucket at each end for object retrieval and deposit. Students
are allowed to help each other as needed for balance and passing
objects. If two balance beams are available then a race could be
Balance beam, log, railroad tie, 2x4 lumber, parallel bars.
Students on opposing teams throw objects at large balls propelling/moving
the balls to opponents side.
Place students on opposing teams separated by a volleyball net,
and at a start signal have students throw objects (e.g., beanbags,
rubber rings, small nerf balls) at several big balls (big beach
balls, therapy balls) placed under the net. Each team should start
with the same number of objects to throw (more objects the better).
The net should be at a height close to the height of the largest
big ball, but allowing it to roll under. Note: the purpose of the
net is to help shield the other team from flying objects.
Some students could be
designated as retrievers of objects/beanbags, and other students
could be only throwers. Space permitting, two or three games could
be going at once whereby each game represents different ability
levels (i.e., high, medium, low). If someone has trouble throwing,
they could kick the big balls, or they could strike the big balls
with a hockey stick. The game is over if (a) all the large balls
are in one teams court/area or (b) an allotted amount of time (20
to 30 minutes) has expired.
Volleyball net(s), big beach balls, therapy balls, beanbags, rubber
rings, small nerf balls.
Students are put in opposing teams, with each team trying to remove
all objects from their side to the other teams side, by throwing
items over a net.
Split the class into two opposing teams. A volleyball net, stacked
mats, or tables could be used as a barrier between the two teams.
Place objects (e.g. balls of different size and color, frisbees,
badminton birdies, balloons, beach balls) on both sides of the net,
and on a starting signal students on each team should throw the
objects over the net, trying to remove all objects from their side.
The more balls etc., for students to throw the better (40 to 60).
Note: balls etc., should be soft, small in size, and thrown up and
over the net to help prevent injury. If a student is touched by
an opponents thrown ball (before hitting the ground) that student
will need to temporarily leave the game and perform a exercise (setups,
pushups, jumping jacks, etc.) before reentering.
The game duration should
be about 20 to 30 minutes. If some students are not having success:
(a) have designated objects/balls only used by those students, (b)
have several opposing teams of high, medium, and lower levels and/or
(c) the height of the barrier/net could correspond with the teams'
ability level (i.e., high, medium, low).
Nets, mats, balls, frisbees, birdies, balloons, etc.
Group Games (continued)
Students are split in four teams and instructed to defend their
goal and make balls in opponents goals.
Students should be organized into four teams of equal or unequal
sizes with two goals positioned like a regular soccer game and the
other two positioned on each opposing sideline. Place 20 or more
balls (soft) in the middle of the field. Each group starts from
their goal. Upon a starting signal, each group attempts to kick
or strike (hockey stick) as many balls possible in to all opponents
goal while defending their goal. Ball(s) acquired in goals can be
kicked or thrown back into play. The game is usually times (20 to
30 minutes) and at the conclusion each group can add up all the
goals scored. The size of the playing field, goal size, and group
size will very the difficulty level. Some individuals may need assistance
to increase kicking or striking opportunities therefore, certain
ball(s) could be designated for their use only (e.g., all the red
balls). Further, if these individuals and their designated ball(s)
become separated other group members could retrieved the ball back
to that player.
Soft soccer size balls of different colors, four nets.
Students are to push a large ball(s) toward designated players moving
within a circle.
Students are to create a large outer circle (facing in) and a smaller
inner circle (facing out) with one or two large balls (e.g., beach
ball, therapy ball) and several students between. Following a starting
signal, students between the two circles are trying to not be touched
by balls, while students making up the inner and outer circles are
trying to push the balls toward the students inside. If a student
pushing a ball makes contact with a student inside, then those two
students need to switch positions.
The game is over after
everyone has had a chance to flee from the balls. Ball size, circle
sizes, number of balls, or number of students between the two circles
fleeing from the balls will vary the difficulty level. Increasing
participation for some students could mean positioning them in the
inner circle, and pushing the ball have a buddy help them during
fleeing, and/or allow them to be touched several time with a ball
before having to switch positions. Further, there could be several
separate games at once, with one game made-up of higher skilled
and another game made-up of lower skilled students.
Large beach ball, large therapy ball.
Students are to putt or chip several balls nearest to a line marked
on the ground.
Students are to putt or chip (e.g., oversized club) at balls (e.g.,
golf ball, whiffle ball, tennis ball) from a starting line toward
an ending line. Scoring zones are marked on a field (blacktop, sidewalk,
grass field, gym floor) with each zone representing a higher value
score nearer to the ending/last line. If a ball passes over the
last line or the ball goes out of bounds no score should be given.
Students can strike opponents’ ball but both balls will be
scored where they stop. Usually each student or team putts or chips
six balls, repeating the process until a certain score (21 points)
is obtained. Difficulty should very depending on individual ability.
Club size, ball size, playing field size, zone size and points can
all very ability level.
Golf clubs, whiffle balls, golf ball, tennis ball, tape or rope,
Students are to chip golf balls over an obstacle into a soccer goal
Students attempt to strike (#8, #9, WP, WS, Club) three to six golf
balls (whiffle golf balls, tennis balls) over an obstacle (e.g.,
lake, sand, tennis court, mats) into a soccer goal or between two
poles, trees, or football field goal. Scores are obtained by going
over the obstacle, going into the net, and/or going into the net
at different heights. Ropes or string could be placed across the
goal posts, with each zone representing a different point value.
Game is over after every student or team has obtained a certain
Rope or string, Golf clubs, soccer goal, obstacle to cross.
Students are to putt golf balls from a start to a finish line while
maneuvering around obstacles.
Place students in groups and at a starting signal have each member
putt a golf ball (e.g., whiffle or tennis ball) around obstacles
(e.g., cones, Flags, poles) from a start to a finish line. The race
could be timed or have each team count up the total amount of strokes
used to complete the course. To help equalize competitiveness between
groups use different size balls and clubs, change distances between
the start and finish line, have less or more obstacles to maneuver
around and/or group sizes could be smaller vs larger. The game is
over after everyone has complected the course.
Golf balls, whiffle balls, or tennis balls, golf club or oversized
plastic golf club, and cones, flags, or poles
Adapted Physical Education
New course designed to prepare individuals for successful completion
of the APENS certification. This on-line experience is a great,
exciting, and easy way to advance your credentials. The course
is endorsed by APENS and NCPERID. Register now at: New Mexico
State University Adapted Physical Education (NMSUAPE)
or contact Dr. Scott Pedersen (505) 646-2071.
For more information on what adapted physical education is, what
are the National Standards, why take the exam, how to become certified,
and exam dates and places for APENS - visit: http://cortland.edu/apens/
| Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) officially launched
a New Web Site. For information, a "one stop shop" for
IDEA 2004 can be found at: http://idea.ed.gov.
Here is the final
version of IDEA Part B regulations in the Federal Register,
and for more information on IDEA 2004 visit NICHCY.
| If you have ideas, comments,
letters to share, or questions about particular topics, please email
one of the following Adapted PE Section Editors: