Lesson 1 of 4
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Beanbag Activities

National Standards:

1, 3, 4

Outcomes:

  • I can toss and catch with both hands
  • I can balance a beanbag while moving

Equipment:

One beanbag per student

Teaching Hints:

  • Remind students to keep their eyes on the beanbag.
  • Encourage reaching for the beanbag and bringing it into the body (create a soft home).
  • Hand/eye coordination requires many repetitions. Encourage students to practice whether they make or miss the catch.

Skills & Activities

Stand in place and practice tossing and catching:

  • Toss and catch with both hands – right hand, left hand.
  • Toss and catch with the back of hands. This will encourage children to catch with “soft hands.”
  • Toss the beanbag to an increasingly high level, emphasizing a straight overhead toss. To encourage straight tossing, have the child sit down.

Stand in place, toss, and catch while performing stunts

  • 1/4 and 1/2 turns, right and left
  • Full turn
  • Touch floor
  • Clap hands
  • Clap hands around different parts of body, behind back, under legs.
  • Heel click
  • Sit down, get up
  • Look between legs

Toss, move to a new spot, and catch the beanbag

  • Toss overhead, move to another spot, and catch.
  • Toss, do a locomotor movement, and catch.
  • Toss and move from side to side.
  • Toss overhead behind self, move, and catch.

Balance on the following body parts:

  • Back of hand
  • Shoulder
  • Knee
  • Foot
  • Elbow

Balance and move as follows:

  • Walk
  • Run
  • Skip
  • Gallop
  • Sit down
  • Lie down
  • Turn around
  • Combinations of the above

Additional beanbag challenges:

  • Hold the beanbag between knees and play tag with a partner or small group.
  • Place the beanbag on tummy and shake it off.
  • Place the beanbag on back and Mule Kick it off.
  • Push the beanbag across the floor with different body parts.
  • Toss the beanbag up and touch specified body parts.
  • Put beanbags on floor. Rotate various body parts on a beanbag.
  • Beanbag Balance Tag – balance a beanbag on selected body parts. Announce a color to identify those who are it.

See it in action!

This video was recorded in a PE class before COVID-19. Some activities may need to be altered to follow safe physical distancing guidelines.


Students will need sidewalk chalk and their own beanbags. Students should use their own beanbag the entire activity and not share or use their partner’s beanbag.

Students will be in pairs. Students will use the chalk to draw a tic tac toe board. In the spaces students should write numbers 1-9, one number per space and in any order they would like, numbers don’t necessarily need to be sequential, they cannot repeat the same number.

Pairs will pick a distance they would like to toss their bean bags from and use the chalk to draw a line for them to stand behind. Students will take turns tossing their bean bags to complete various challenges. Optional: pairs earn points for every challenge they complete.

Encourage students to use positive and uplifting statements towards each other. Communicate and connect the SEL competency of relationship skills along with its sub-competencies by explaining the importance of relationship-building (positive messages) and teamwork.  It’s important to have healthy, positive relationships with classmate because it helps reinforce a positive climate and community especially when we may not be able to see each other everyday because of physical and social distancing.

Partner Challenge Ideas

  • Toss bean bags in a specific space (e.g. middle space, top right space, bottom left space).
  • Toss bean bags in a specific row (e.g. middle row, farther row, closest row)
  • Toss bean bags in a specific column (e.g. left column, middle column, right column)
  • Toss bean bags on a specific number (e.g. 9, 3, 5, 7, etc.)
  • Toss bean bags as necessary to equal a sum (e.g. students will toss their bean bags in various spaces to equal 32, they might toss to spaces 8, 6, 9, 9 to equal 32)
    • Do this in the least amount of spaces for extra points!

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National Standards & Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education is used under license from SHAPE America. © SHAPE America 2014, www.shapeamerica.org. All Rights Reserved.

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