Successful PE with Limited Equipment

In a world with endless budget cuts, federal mandates and ever-occupied students, it can be very difficult to teach a successful PE program—but not impossible.

Even with limited funds, you can direct a physical education curriculum that gets your students interested and eager, and best of all, makes them forget about Facebook.

PE equipment is important, but you don’t need a Fort Knox-sized cache of balls to pull off a fun and educational game. It just takes a little imagination.

For example, it’d be great if you had enough basketballs for every student to practice bouncing and dribbling. But since you don’t, you have to rely on sharing and teamwork. Now, that’s not such a bad thing, is it?

Make the most of limited PE equipment

You may have a harder time teaching your students how to play tennis or putt a golf ball, but that doesn’t have to stop them from learning altogether.

Here are a few ways to keep their brains tuned into your lessons:

• Face it, there are a few things you won’t be doing: jumping hurtles, for one. But you can still create games that involve jumping. Team sports allow for the maximum number of players with only a ball or disc to play, and basketball, volleyball, and soccer all teach important team-building communication skills and motor skills—not to mention a good leg workout.

• Try alternative games. By now, most of your students have probably heard of Quidditch. It’s the fictional game introduced to the world by way of the Harry Potter franchise. There is now an international organization of Quidditch players, and many leagues exist. The point is to get your kids active and using their brains. Non-fictionally, Quidditch accomplishes that.

• Do more active participation exercises, like racing to clean up the schoolyard or other kinds of scavenger hunts. Add an educational twist by having your students search for health terms. Impose time limits and bonus points, or you may find a bit of moseying.


You could run the most successful PE class in the state without any equipment at all, but your students are still missing out on important skills. While you’re finding new creative ways to teach, don’t stop searching for extra funding.

There are scores of philanthropic organizations out there dedicated to the idea of helping kids stay active and healthy. An appeal to your local health organizations or national clubs like the Boys and Girls Club could net you PE grants that cover the cost of all the equipment you want.