The Number / Group Game (Phys. Ed.)

Our second Gym / DPA game is another one where all you need is a big open space (whistle is optional for this one).

* Some students like to call this The Number Game and others like The Group Game, some call it Atoms. Usually I play it with them and let them call it what they want and then go with that, it makes it more personal.

Tell your students to line up on one side of the gym (if you are playing this outside you just need to establish two boundaries that are on opposite sides of each other). Explain the simple rules for The Number / Group Game and have some fun!


  • Students wait against the wall
  • Students must have one hand or foot against the wall
  • When the Teacher says ‘GO!’ or blows the whistle the students run to the opposite wall
  • Before the students reach the opposite wall the teacher says a number out loud
  • Students must get into groups of that number  (the picture above shows groups of 5)
  • The teacher goes around and makes sure all the groups have the right number, if not you can help students get in an appropriate group
  • The students that are left in a group without the assigned numbers are eliminated


  • Students DO NOT need to be eliminated
  • Younger students can be asked to play the game as different animals or characters for each turn
  • Older students can play the game with addition, or other math problems, which they have to solve to get in the right group (ie.  4+2-3, where the students need to get into groups of 3)
  • If there are any students that are unable to hear the numbers being called the teacher can use their fingers raised above their head, or number cutouts to show the numbers

I have played this game a lot with every grade from K to 8 and the students always love it.  It is a great warm up or quick way to get a lot of running in a short time, perfect for DPA.  The Number / Group also helps to improve the listening skills of younger students, and show them how important it is to always pay attention, because they are always listening for the correct number.  This game will also work on communication and teamwork skills, as the students will communicate with the members in their group, and the remaining students, to ensure their group has the right number of students in the end. This game is also really good to use at the start of the school year because it will allow people to get into groups with students that they may not tend to associate with, as almost every student wants to be in the correct group.

If you liked this game check out The Whistle Game (with almost 1000 views this week) and subscribe for more games and posts! You can also join us on Facebook and Twitter to discuss posts and share them with friends.

Mr. S

*Credit for this, and other games, goes to my dad, who taught them to me a long time ago.



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