7 Fun Winter PE Activities

Published on 23th November, 2023

It’s cold, it’s dark, and it’s tempting to stay indoors and cozy up. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your PE lessons. In fact, there are many ways to make your PE lessons more fun and exciting in the winter season.

winter PE activities

It’s cold, it’s dark, and it’s tempting to stay indoors and cozy up. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your winter PE lessons. In fact, there are many ways to make your PE lessons more fun and exciting in the winter season.

Outdoor PE

Outdoor PE in cold weather can be challenging, but also fun and beneficial for children. There are many winter PE activities and games that you can do with your pupils that are suitable for different weather conditions.

Here are some tips to help you plan and deliver outdoor winter PE activities:

  • Dress appropriately. Make sure your pupils have appropriate outdoor PE kit including adequate footwear to keep them warm, dry and prevent slipping. You can also encourage your children to wear hats and gloves to protect them from the cold and wet.
  • Safety First. Prior to the lesson, have a walk around the area where PE will take place. Make sure the surface is safe for children with no icy areas or deep puddles. Children will love the opportunity to get wrapped up warm, and participate in PE outdoors, but we must make sure it is safe to do so first.
  • Warm up and cool down. It is important to warm up your pupils before they start any physical activity, especially in cold weather. This will help them prepare their muscles, joints, and cardiovascular system for the exercise, and prevent injuries and discomfort. You can use some simple exercises, such as jogging, skipping, jumping, or stretching, to get your pupils’ blood flowing and raise their body temperature. Here’s a couple of great examples that your class will love! Similarly, you should cool down your class after the activity, to help them lower their heart rate and relax their muscles. All our lesson plans include a warm up and cool down.
Winter PE warm up plans

  • Choose suitable activities. Children don’t want to be static during outdoor PE. Can the lesson introduction and plenary be done indoors before and after the lesson? Discussions and explanations between activities must be kept to a minimum to allow lots of opportunities to raise the heart rate whilst on the move.
  • Have fun and be flexible. Outdoor PE in cold weather can be a great opportunity to have fun and enjoy the beauty of nature with your class. You can use this time to teach them some valuable skills and build character, such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving, or resilience. All important aspects of the National Curriculum for PE. You can also use this time to explore some cross-curricular links, such as history, science, or art.

Christmas PE

Christmas is once again creeping up on us! A wonderful time of year to be in primary school. Try one of our Christmas themed activities to kick start the holiday season! There are lots to choose from in our Calendar Resources

snow monster pe plans

Indoor Space

If indoor space is available, great!! Consistency is so important for PE activities. Not only to ensure learning objectives and medium term plans can be met; but also to secure progression links, keep motivation in PE and instil values that promote healthy, active lives.

PE in a school hall obviously has its challenges… limited space, safety issues, noise levels, or equipment availability. PE plans should be carefully adapted to ensure PE lessons suit the school hall environment and the needs of your pupils.

Dance and gymnastics are favoured on many long term PE plans this time of year, often for the reasons above. Our gymnastics lesson plans are brand new, and each year group from 1 to 6 has two full units of work. These units cover many topics and elements in gymnastics, and offer progression throughout a child’s Primary School journey. Below is often a favourite in class – jumping!

Limited Space

More than likely at this time of year, indoor space is limited, or booked up by things other than PE! Fitness, Gymnastics and Yoga, can all be taught in the classroom. Check out a couple of our favourite examples below, or head over to our dedicated area in Resources for Classroom PE!

Can we Help

We hope this helps you plan and deliver winter PE activities during this cold season. If we can help in anyway we’d love to hear from you. Contact us now.