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Engaging STEM Sports Activities

If you are looking for something to grab the attention of your students, these resources are perfect!

Looking for something STEM-related and engaging? I don’t know about you, but somewhere around the real beginning of fall, I start losing kids. There is just something about the crisp fall air and football season that grabs their attention.  

Now, mind you, we live in Alabama, where the normal outside temperature during recess is about 95 degrees with 100% humidity. Seriously, sometimes the playground equipment is not used because the bars are too hot to touch. So, naturally, when the weather finally cools kids love to play outside.  

But, what about inside? Easy answer – engaging sports activities!

Engaging sports activities for the classroom

So Many Sports Ideas!

I have some fabulous ideas to share about keeping the attention of your elementary kids! It’s all sports-related!

  • Try an Escape Room- with and without locks!
  • Grab a Free STEM Challenge
  • Try a Sports STEM Challenge
  • Add a Sports Book!

Sounds like fun, right? Your kids will love these!

Sports Escape Room

elementary sports escape room breakout

The invention of these locked box events has grabbed my students’ attention for sure.

They love solving riddles, math problems, and coordinated grids to find lock codes that unlock those boxes!  

The idea with our newest Breakout is to use sports in a really fun way. Students complete the tasks and follow clues on posters displayed around the room to discover the lock codes to unlock the boxes.

Here’s where this really became fun!

I made the posters for this Escape Room to resemble a Sports News Show (like ESPN). I had so much fun designing these posters and all the logos for each network. The 5 posters were displayed around our classroom and I told students the posters were like television screens- each tuned into a different sports network. Think about a restaurant that has lots of televisions! They loved it!  

After opening the last locked box we had EVEN MORE fun! I added a little something to this Escape Room!

After completing the locked box tasks students participated in three sporting events. I set up a basketball shooting area, a football kicking area, and a baseball pitching area. Don’t worry- we used ping pong balls or paper footballs. (Our basketball area was a plastic basket taped to the wall and the kids tried to land ping pong balls inside it. Super easy to set up!)  

If you are not up for locked boxes at this time I also have a sports escape that is totally paper!

Escape the Game

No Locks Escape the Game breakout

With these “No-Locks” escapes students complete paper/pencil tasks and earn something along the way.

This breakout event is called Escape the Game.

Students will complete 4 tasks. Each task will lead to a number or word clue. When the answer is shown to you, students have unlocked that task and will be awarded a basketball card.

After getting through the last task the team has Escaped the Game.

Are You Ready for STEM Challenges?

Sports STEM Foosball

I just happen to have a free Sports challenge that you can grab in my store.  

This challenge is super easy to set up. Students just need shoe boxes, wide craft sticks, markers, and masking tape. I have used hot glue guns with this challenge, but masking tape also works very well.

The kids decorate their foosball players and have a fierce competition trying out all the foosball models!

Soccer STEM Challenge

Sports, soccer STEM Challenge

The soccer challenge has students making the soccer goal and the attached goalie.

My favorite part of this one is seeing how the students decorate the goalie. Can you see that aggressive look on the goalie in the above photo?

The soccer challenge has an interesting requirement that the goalie is attached to the goal in some way. I added this rule to make this one more challenging.

Basketball STEM Project

Basketball STEM build the gola na dcatapulting device

We also enjoy the basketball challenge.

In this task, students have to build the backboard which includes the goal and its net. Then they have to build a catapult that will toss the basketball through the net!  

The netting fabric I use for these challenges is called mesh. I have tried tulle but found it to be really flimsy.

The mesh was purchased at Wal-Mart and for about $3 I grabbed enough to do the soccer and basketball challenges and have plenty left over for next year.

Football STEM Activity

Sports STEM Challenge Football Goals

My students love this one!

They have to build the football goalposts and a catapulting system to kick the ball through the uprights.  

I have tried many different footballs for this challenge- including the vinyl one in the above photo. It is actually way too large and heavy for their catapults.

What works the best for all these sports challenges is just a simple ping-pong ball!

Sports Reading Passages!

Sports-related reading passages and comprehension questions

This set includes 4reading passages.

These are provided in two reading levels- an easier and a more challenging.

The reading selections include a passage celebrating famous African-American athletes, a passage about three famous women athletes, a passage about field events, and a passage about lacrosse.

The passage about field events is further provided in two versions- either a metric measurement or an American standard version.

Are you looking for great read-aloud books?

The perfect introduction to a sports theme in the classroom is to read a book. I have two amazing books to suggest for you!

Crash by Jerry Spinelli

My all-time favorite read-aloud chapter book for kids. I read this to my third graders every single year. And I cry in parts of it- every single year. If you have not read this book- go grab it right now!

Teammates by Peter Golenbock

This is an amazing little picture book! It’s the story of Jackie Robinson becoming the first African-American professional baseball player.

This is a beautiful book with such a strong message of friendship and hope. It’s also perfect for encouraging teamwork in a STEM class!

There you have it STEM friends– engaging sports events in the classroom will keep your students involved and completing tasks without realizing they are still doing some school work! Just click on any of the images to see these resources in my store.

Engagement at its best with Sports activities in your classroom!

In this post, for your convenience, you may find Amazon Affiliate links to resources. This means that Amazon will pass on small percentages to me with your purchase of items. This will not create extra costs for you at all! It will help me keep this blog running!


Engaging sports activities are the way to go! In the fall (or anytime) you can keep students involved with STEM, Escape Rooms, and reading passages all sports-related.