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Name of Activity:

Raid the food pantry

Purpose of Activity:

To identify USDA MyPyramid food groups while developing motor skills.


Students should be familiar with the USDA MyPyramid food groups.
Students should have prior practice performing locomotor skills.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Music, CD player, large mats connected and flat on the floor (the number of mats is dependent on the amount of play food used), play food, small cones, 6 signs (Grains, Vegetables, Fruits, Milk, Meat and Beans), tape, two tagging hands.

Description of Idea

Designate an area for the food pantry (mats on the floor) at one end of the playing area and spread out the play food on the mats. At the other end, designate six 10 x 10’ “Exercise Stations” using small cones. Tape the signs to the floor around the outside of each Exercise Station.

Assign two students as “food patrol” and provide both with a friendly tagging hand. Ask them to stand in the middle of the food pantry.

Divide the rest of the students into groups of three and assign each group to an “Exercise Station”.

On the word “Exercise”, one person from each group runs to the food pantry while the others perform an exercise that is being demonstrated by the teacher. (During play, change the exercise frequently). The runner attempts to grab a food item out of the pantry without being tagged by the food patrol.

If they are successful, they run back to their Exercise Station and place the food item on the sign in which the food belongs.

If they are tagged, the runner must drop the food and run back to their “Exercise Station” and begins performing the demonstrated exercise. As soon as they are back, the next person runs to the food pantry and tries to grab a food item without being tagged.

The activity is over when all the food from the food pantry is gone.

Choose two new students as “food patrol”, change the locomotor skill (hopping, jumping, galloping, sliding, or skipping), and play again.

Suggested exercises:

•Stand—shoulder shrugs
•Stand—arm circles
•Stand—arm crosses
•Stand—side stretch
•Stand—toe touch
•Stand—foot circles
•Lay—side leg lifts
•Lay—push ups
•Lay—legs straight up
•Sit—toe touch
•Sit—sit ups
•Sit—hurdler stretch

Assessment Ideas:

Check to see if foods are on the right signs.

Submitted by karen nagle bagby who teaches at Hoover Elementary in Iowa City, IA. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 3/5/2009.
Viewed 64146 times since 2/20/2009.

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Raid the food pantry

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Previous Comments:


seems like a really good activity to do with the kids i think they will like it as well and the will learn at the same time.

Prof. Kalpana Sharma

ideas are excellent and motivating for the teachers to do and students to perform

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