Snow FortsFocus Skills: Defending a Goal · Overhand Throwing · Underhand Throwing
Snow Forts is a super fun fundamental movement skills game that is perfect for having your students practice their throwing! I love to play this game during the winter months and especially around the Holidays!
The squad rotations in this game can be a little tricky to keep track of. To help you out, I created a squad rotation schedule that you can download for free!
The play area is divided into four areas, with each area being a team’s base.
Class is divided into six teams: four teams will be assigned to a base area and the two remaining teams sit out (for now).
Each team builds a snow fort in their base area that consists of three icicles (pins), a castle (hula hoop structure), and a snowman (three balls stacked on top of each other).
Before play begins, the teacher assigns players from the two teams on the bench as builders to different forts. A builder’s job is to a) defend fort structures and b) build any fort structures that collapse during the game.
Once the forts are set up and the builders have all been assigned an area, the teacher adds snowballs (foam balls) to the game!
Without leaving their area, players can throw snowballs to attempt to knock over structures in the opposing teams’ forts. If a fort structure collapses, the builders may attempt to reset it while the game continues to be played.
Play continues for a set amount of time and then teams all rotate roles.
Build One: Icicles
For build one, the playing area will be divided into four bases. The teacher then divides the class into six teams. Four of the teams will be assigned a base area. The remaining two teams will stand on the side for a second.
Each team will be given three icicles (I like to use thin pins for these) which will serve as the foundation of their fort. Once each team’s fort is set up, the teacher will pair up students from the two teams on the sideline. These students will be builders and each pair will be assigned to a base. A builder’s job is to defend the fort structure and repair any structures that get knocked over in the game.
Once all of the players have been assigned to a base, the teacher add snowballs (which are foam balls to the game). Players at a base can take snowballs and, without leaving their base area, throw the ball using either an overhand or underhand throw. Their goal is to knock over opposing team’s fort structures! As fort structures get knocked over, the builders attempt to set them back up as quickly as possible.
Play goes on for a set amount of time and then the teams all rotate bases and roles. To help you with these rotations, I created a rotation schedule for the game that is available as a free download.
Build Two: Snow Castles
In build two, each base will be given six hoops. The hoops are used to build a castle structure.
Play continues just as before, but with Castles now being a part of each team’s fort.
Build Three: Snowmen
In build three, each base will be given materials they need to build a snowman. Here’s how I build snowmen in my gym:
- I start off by placing a rubber ring on the floor.
- I then place a large medicine ball on the ring and place another ring on top.
- I then balance a volleyball trainer ball on top of the second ring and place a third ring on top of the volleyball.
- Finally, I complete the snowman by placing a deflated playground ball on top as the head.
Once each team has set up their snowman, play continues just as before with teams trying to knock over the other team’s fort structures while builders try to keep everything up!
Grade Level Outcomes
Throws (underhand and overarm) using a mature pattern in non-dynamic environments, with different sizes and types of objects. (S1.E13.5a)
Throws (both underhand and overarm) to a large target with accuracy. (S1.E13.5b)
How do you throw with power and accuracy?
Why was it important to throw the ball with power and accuracy in this game?
How was being a builder challenging in this game? How did you deal with that challenge?
Players should always throw the ball downward to prevent anyone getting hit above the shoulders.
Players should throw the balls in ways that are responsible (i.e. that will limit accidents).
Players are not allowed to kick the balls or throw the snowman balls.