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Fun with Beams and Benches

Jan 2015

First Published: Tuesday 20-Jan-2015 4:56 PM, Edited: Monday 26-Jan-2015 11:56 PM
Author: Gary Black

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This is a whole group activity

kids on beam

We often do some fairly simple things on a day to day basis without even thinking about them. Here are some simple activities using just a balance beam, or some benches / bench seats. You may have some bench seats concreted into the school yard that you could use. You will need enough to fit all the children in your class.

This article was inspired by a teacher in Ivanhoe, Victoria (I'll put her name in later if she lets me - Cara Boustead - Mary Immaculate School - Ivanhoe ), whom I've been helping out with some tips and ideas.

See our earlier article on teaching landings.


  1. Jump on your name - When you hear your name called out, jump off the beam and land in your motorbike. Don't forget to be a statue in your motorbike for 3 seconds when you land (1 jellybean, 2 jellybean, 3 jellybean.) Good activity for the start of the year when you are trying to learn the names of new students!
  2. Boys / Girls - When I say 'boys' all the boys jump off and hold their motorbikes. When I say 'girls' all the girls jump off and hold their motorbikes.
  3. Red Shirt / Blue Jeans - You need to jump off and do a motorbike if I call out a colour that you are wearing - if you have a red hat, if you are in green house, etc...
  4. Mexican Wave - Jump off and do a motorbike when you see the person beside you land. Hold your motorbike for three then climb back on. Set the benches up in a circle, and watch it go round and round. Good for Grades 5/6 to encourage team work
  5. Catch the ball (or bean bag) and jump - If I throw the ball to you, you need to catch it, jump off, do a motorbike, then throw the ball back.
  6. Point and jump - When I point to you, you need to jump off and do a motorbike. Start slow, and get faster and faster.
  7. The fountain (Grade 5+) - We are going to jump off, do a motorbike, and fall backwards. Teacher / audience is looking longways down the beam (not side on). Person 1, 3, 5, etc... face left, person 2, 4, 6, etc... face right. Person 2 jumps just after 1, 3 just after 2, etc (like a mexican wave). 

At higher grade levels you can extend it with falling forwards, falling backwards, etc... instead of just doing motorbikes.

No reason why it has to be landings either... 

Extend and have fun....


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About Gary Black...

Gary Black

Advanced Silver Mens Gymnastics Coach, Intermediate Womens Gymnastics Coach, Intermediate Kindergym Coach.

Gary began running gymnastics programs in schools in 2003. Initially as a casual staff member with another company, whilst studing teaching at Deakin University; and quickly becoming one of their managers. Gary went on to own what was the sole Victorian franchise of that company.

Whilst with that company, under Gary's leadership, Victorian customers enjoyed quality, reliability, flexibility, and understanding.

In mid 2014, to be able to better service the changing needs of schools, Gary decided to move away from a restrictive franchised business, and started Gymnastics 4 Hire, determined to keep the high standards that customers had come to enjoy, and to provide a service specifically tailored to the customers needs.