Winter Races Galore! | Ophea Teaching Tools

    Winter Races Galore!

    Physical Activity Level
    • Vigorous

    • Gymnasium

    • Outdoors

      • 4 pylons (or alternative)

      • Appendix A

      • Appendix B

      • Ball (1 per team)

      • Beanbags

    Safety Considerations

    Inspect the play area prior to activity and eliminate any potential hazards. Remind students to be cautious when moving and to be aware of the personal space of others.


    Students will actively and safely explore a variety of winter themed races.

    Warm Up

    Dot Drill

    • Instruct students to perform all of the activities below, on the spot, as if they are jumping on the “dots” of a dotted drill mat (i.e., like the number 5 side of a die). Reference Appendix A for activity descriptions.
    • After 10 seconds of performing an activity, signal students to start the next movement.

      • Raise the roof on 1 dot.
      • Skier hop left to right between two dots.
      • V-hop: start on 1 dot with feet together, then jump forward while spreading feet apart to land on 2 upper dots.
      • Box hop: jump to all 4 corner dots of the number cube.
      • 5-dot hop with a turn: start with feet together on the centre dot. Jump forward with feet apart. Perform a 180° turn, landing on the same two dots with your feet still apart. Jump back to the centre with your feet together. Jump to the opposite two dots, feet apart. Perform a 180° turn, landing on the same two dots with your feet still apart. Then jump back to the centre dot.
    Getting Active

    Winter Races Galore!

    • Set up equipment for the following activities.
    • Students try to complete as many relays or races as possible in the allotted time.
    • All races will require teams of 3 to 6 students. Races should last approximately 3 to 5 minutes.

    Dog sleds
    Identify 2 lines (A and B), spaced 20 metres apart. Place equal amounts of beanbags (15-20) on each line. Teams line up behind line A. On your signal, 1 student per team carries beanbags (1 or more at a time) on their back and deposits them on line B, in any way that is most efficient for them. Upon the student’s return, the next student in line takes as many beanbags on their back as they can at once from line B and carries them back to line A. Teams continue the race, with each student counting how many beanbags they carried, until the time has elapsed.

    Snowball Passes
    Each team forms a line, with the last student holding a “snowball” (beanbag or ball). On your signal, students pass the snowball in an under-legs / overhead manner, from the back of the line toward the front. As soon as the student at the back of the line passes the snowball, he or she races to the front in order to receive the snowball—but before they can receive a pass, they must do 5 jumping jacks. As the students race from the back of the line to the front, their team advances towards the end line, which should be 40–50 meters from the start.

    Toboggan Round-Ups
    Teams are lined up in single file. On your signal, the first student (who is steering the toboggan) runs to line B, and then returns to line A. The rest of the students are doing jumping jacks. At line A, the driver “picks up” a second student, who puts both hands on the driver’s shoulders; the pair then runs behind to line B and back, while the waiting students are doing sit-ups. The driver continues to make round-ups until the entire team has made it to line B and back.

    Snowshoe Races
    Students line up in 2 teams, on either side of a row of pylons going from point A to point B. On your signal, the first student from each line races to the end of the row of pylons by lifting their knees high then taking large steps. When they reach the end of the pylons, they turn around and repeat the process on the way back. The first student touches the next person in line, and the teams continue the race until all students have run.

    Cool Down

    Snow drift

    • Students stand side-by-side, arm length apart in a long row.
    • A student at one end of the line is appointed leader, chooses a stretch of their choice, and holds it. The person next to the leader repeats the stretch, and the move is passed down the line in a wave.
    • When the last person begins the stretch, direct the first person to begin again with a new stretch. Students hold the previous stretch until the new stretch reaches them.
    • Ensure the leader understands that it is necessary to stretch all major muscle groups used in the lesson (see Appendix B for ideas).
    Other Considerations
    • Pylons could be used to identify the lines.
    • For Toboggan Round-Ups, if teams are not of equal size, those with fewer players must make extras round-ups to match the number of students on the largest team.
    • Choose a different exercise for each round-up.