Idea 186: ‘Dishes and Domes’ Great P.E. Activity


A fantastic P.E. activity, and all you will need is some cones (like the ones pictured). Scatter the cones inside a set area of the gym/playground, with all the cones placed so that they are all the right way up (so that they look like a dome, like in the picture above).

The game works best with two teams of between 3-5 pupils on each team, with I’d say at least 12 cones needed.

Each team is assigned as either the ‘dish’ or ‘dome’ team. They line up at opposite sides of your area until you signal the game to begin.

THE GAME: The teams have to turn over as many cones as possible so that they are in their team’s assigned position, either upside down as a ‘dish’ or the normal way up like a ‘dome’.

The ‘dish’ team gets a headstart (maybe just 5-10 seconds) where they are allowed to begin flipping over the cones, as remember when the game starts the cones will all begin as ‘domes’. This headstart element of the game really gets the children excited, as one team are dashing about trying to get all the cones turned over while they are unopposed and the other team is stood at the sideline absolutely bursting to get in and stop them!

After the headstart time limit expires, the other team is allowed in. Both teams now have two minutes to get flipping! They’ll be dashing about flipping over cones to their position, then running back to re-flip other cones that the other team has flipped over….. It’s a lot of fun!

When two minutes are up you signal the end of the game and EVERYONE must immediately put their hands up to show they have stopped playing. This is the only tricky part of the game as you might have children still trying to squeeze in that last all-important flip, so make a big deal that any cones flipped ‘after time’ will be added to the other team’s total. I find it can be useful to end the game by having you and spectators count down from 5 before you blow the whistle.

You (or an elected pupil acting as an official) count up the cones that are domes, and the cones that are dishes. The winning team is whoever has most cones their way.

VARIATION: You can of course skip the ‘headstart’ element of the game, but then you need to make sure that the cones are laid out with a roughly equal amount of dishes and domes before the game begins.

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