PE Supplies and Ideas to Make Your Own Exercise Equipment

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The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children participate in aerobic activities and fitness programs to enhance health, self esteem, and to fight childhood obesity. Here are a list of supplies that will make teaching physical education from your home easy. Below you will not only find the supplies, but descriptions on how to use them will be included if necessary. There are also instructions for making your own PE supplies to cut down on costs.


  • sleeping bag for log rolls, and potato sack races
  • tennis balls
  • plastic play ball
  • masking tape for balance beams, game boundaries, and more
  • kids’ chairs (kids’ feet need to reach the floor when they sit down), used for stretching
  • hand held weights (two hand weights for each child; homemade or store bought)
  • hula hoops
  • ribbon dancer stick, used for free form dance time, creative movement
  • bean bags, used for balancing games, or competition games
  • small bowling set (homemade or store bought)
  • jump rope
  • soft foam round ball (such as Nerf; safe to play indoors)
  • small parachute (homemade or store bought)
  • table tennis paddles and balls. Turn your table into a tournament table. Use masking tape for the line.
  • ring toss set (homemade or store bought)
  • stopwatch
  • whistle
  • Velcro catch set (one Velcro catch pad for each child and two sticky Velcro balls)
  • fun noodles, used for limbo and other cooperative games
  • ski ball set (homemade or store bought)
  • three legged race bands
  • plastic cones, used to set up obstacles and do training exercises (homemade or store bought)
  • punch balloon; repeated motion builds upper arm strength
  • baton (homemade or store bought)
  • Twister game mat (homemade or store bought)
  • indoor golf set (homemade or store bought)
  • indoor croquet set (homemade or store bought)
  • hopscotch mat (homemade or store bought)
  • stilts (one set for each child; homemade or store bought)
  • hacky sack (homemade or store bought; one for each child)

Make Your Own Physical Education Supplies

Hand Held Weights

For small children, you will want to use the mini (single serve lunchbox size) small plastic water bottles. Remove the cap and the label from the water bottle, and allow children to decorate it using stickers or plastic paint. Use a funnel to pour sand or rice into the bottle, and then put glue along the neck of the bottle (tacky glue works well) and screw the cap on. For older children, you will want to use the slightly larger water bottles (the regular individual size water bottles). Repeat all of the steps above to create a larger set of weights.

For adults, you will want to use two-liter bottles, or gallon jugs. Follow the steps above to create a heavier set of weights. If you make the two-liter bottle sized weights, they can be difficult to hold, however the gallon jugs give you handles to hold while lifting.

Ribbon Dancer Sticks

To make your own ribbon dancer sticks, you will need one or more wooden dowels. Allow children to paint the ribbon stick. Cut a total of 27 ribbons (nine of each of three colors) 46” long. Next, take all 27 ribbons, and tie them in a giant loop knot around the top of the wooden dowel stick. Start to make a knot, but don’t pull it tight. You can put glue on the top of the wooden dowel, and then tighten the knot so that the ribbons hang down. Your ribbon dancer stick is ready to go.

Bean Bags

Using some of the old socks that have come out of your dryer with no mate, color them in desired theme with permanent markers. When making your own beanbags, you may want to use rice instead of beans. (Rice tends to not sting as badly if you get nailed in the head with a rice beanbag.) Fill the sock with rice and bind tightly with a rubber band. Fold edge of sock over rubber band and hot glue in place.

Bowling Set

Making your own bowling set is easy to do, all you need is some sand, 10 single size water bottles (labels removed), and whatever materials you would like to use to decorate them. Fun foam is an easy thing to use, making the bottles into people. You and your children should have fun with this part, and be creative. Put a half an inch to an inch of sand in each bottle, and use tacky glue to attach the lids once dry to the bottles. A small ball such as a tennis ball will knock these over, but a softball (the kind that is squishy not hard) works the best.


You can make your own parachute that the kids can decorate the parachute themselves for a whole lot cheaper than you can purchase one. What you need is a canvas painter’s drop cloth. You can purchase these at home stores such as Home Depot or general stores such as Wal Mart. Once you get the painter’s drop cloth, fold it in half, and draw a half circle with pencil (if you need to), or just start cutting a half circle. Let kids decorate it. You can paint it with acrylic paints and decorate it with stencils, fabric paint or paint pens. Once you are finished decorating, it is time to add the handles. Get some heavy duty rope that is soft (such as cording), and sew it all the way around the outside edge of the circle, leaving six inches of excess rope hanging over the edge, not sewn down, every few inches around the parachute. Be sure the rope is sewn on tight.

Ring Toss Set

To make your own ring toss set, you will need construction paper and paper plates. Form the construction paper into cones and tape. Cut out the middle of the paper plates. Tape three paper plates together with decorative tape. Decorate the kit as desired and enjoy!


Use fun foam to make great bases; you can decorate the back of them with fabric paint, which will help keep them from sliding on carpets or hard wood floors (if you don’t, be sure to tape them down so that children do not slip.) You can leave them rectangular, or you can cut them in whatever fun shape you want.

Ski Ball

To make your own ski ball game, you will need a long, skinny, box , six golf balls, a razor knife or a pair of sharp scissors, various sizes of disposable plastic cups, and two to three books. First, cut the sides off of the box, leaving a three inch wall on both sides. Leave the bottom of the box completely in tact, and cut the top of the box off. When you finish, you should have a flat long box with three inch walls on both sides, no top at all, and the bottom of the box becomes a “back wall.”

Cut the cups an inch and a half below the rim, so that you have what looks like a mini cup with no bottom. Glue these in a row, with the smallest one in the back, and the largest one in the front, up at the end of the box that has the “back wall.” Then prop up the box on two or three large books that have been stacked. You will be putting the books under the end with the “back wall.” Set your finished ski ball game on a table, or put it on the floor, and roll a golf ball up and try to make it go into one of the “holes.” Lower the angle of the ramp by removing books, or raise the ramp by adding books to the stack.

Three Legged Race Bands

Cut strips of material that are two inches wide by 15 inches long. The material should be cotton and can be any color.


For obstacle courses, the main reason you would need cones, you can shape a piece of construction paper into cone shapes and tape securely. Flatten the bottom with scissors and place around the room.

Batons are great to use in races. Simple batons can be made by painting paper towel rolls bright colors, and putting stickers all over them.

Limbo Poles: You can use long, decorated dowels for this activity.


You will need a piece of canvas painter’s drop cloth or a white twin size sheet, a paper plate, and some acrylic paint. First, trace around the paper plate to make four rows of six circles each. For a standard Twister mat, paint one row of circles red, one row green, one row yellow, and one row blue. For a fancy Twister mat, use stencils to put your favorite animals, characters, colors, or even numbers in the circles.

Indoor Golf

Decorate coffee cans in the theme of your choice, and use dowels with toilet paper tubes taped to the end for the clubs. Wet newspaper and form into a ball. Let dry in that shape, and use!

Hopscotch Mat

All you need to make your own is some thick fun foam, some fabric paint (to draw the numbers on the foam), and some bean bags to use as markers. Write or paint one number on each piece of fun foam, 1-10. Then double stick tape them in the following order on the floor (1, 2 and 3, 4, 5 and 6, 7, 8 and 9, 10).


To make your own, place holes in the sides of coffee cans, and tie some rope for children to hold on to. Use strong knots so children do not get hurt.

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