The Importance of Including Non-Traditional Sports in Physical Education


Many schools have been using the same physical education curriculum for decades. This means they tend to be packed with the same sorts of traditional sports and activities. While these sports certainly get kids up and moving during gym class, it might not be enough to capture or hold their interest in sports or fitness for years into the future.

Incorporating non-traditional sports into physical education exposes students to entirely new possibilities for physical activity. It expands their horizons and shows them there are many ways they can stay healthy and active that they might not have considered previously, and that they will enjoy much more. These sports and activities also help children hone a much wider variety of skills (and muscles).

Here are some approaches you can take when looking to introduce new activities and sports in physical education classes or after school programs:


  • Choose activities that encourage teamwork and problem solving: Physical education doesn’t have to just promote the “physical” element—there are plenty of ways to make it more educational and encourage the development of new skills. For example, a non-traditional activity like geocaching will get kids up and moving around while also encouraging them to solve problems in creative ways. Other team-based activities can focus on students working with each other and developing communication and collaboration skills rather than directly competing against each other.


  • Work popular fitness activities into curriculum: Most children have participated in non-traditional sports outside of school. There are lots of ways you can safely work these activities into P.E. or after school curriculum, including tumbling, Ultimate Frisbee, roller skating and much more.


  • Bring in sports and games from around the world: Introducing students to world sports has a variety of benefits, beyond them just being fun to play. These unfamiliar activities freshen up curriculum and expose kids to brand new cultures and countries. This makes them a wonderful teaching opportunity, especially if they are planned alongside social studies or geography units.


  • Incorporate technology: Kids of all ages love gaming, so when you have a rainy day, there are ways you can incorporate gaming and technology into P.E. There are a variety of “active gaming” options that will help kids hone their tech skills in the process.


To learn more about non-traditional sports and games that are a hit with kids and why it’s important to keep variety in your physical education curriculum, contact us at Globetrotter Games.

Joshua Chernikoff