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Counting Steps, Calculating Fun! Math-Enriched Games for PE and Afterschool

Two fun math-focused games for PE and Afterschool Programs

Step into a world where movement meets math! In today’s Tips & Tricks, we’ll explore an innovative approach to physical education and afterschool activities —one that infuses the fun of movement and fitness with the exciting challenge of math-enriched games. 

Integrating math with physical activity offers a dynamic way for kids to grasp mathematical concepts. When children engage in activities that involve counting steps, measuring distances, or calculating scores, they apply math in real-life scenarios. This hands-on approach not only reinforces their understanding of mathematical concepts but also encourages problem-solving skills. Furthermore, associating math with movement makes learning enjoyable and memorable, fostering a positive attitude towards both subjects while promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.

Keep reading to play Math Move-a-Thon and Number Line Run!

Ways to Add Math to Physical Education Games


PowerUp Fitness offers evidence based-physical activity programs for before & afterschool, PE, summer camps and more! PowerUp programs are designed to provide children with the opportunity to become more active, physically and mentally. Use our bundle finder to find the best PowerUp bundle for your organization.


Here are two fun games that add math to pe and aferschool activities!

Math Move-a-Thon

  • Divide the participants into teams, each consisting of an equal number of players.

  • Create a track or designated area where teams can run or move around.

  • Scatter flashcards or cards with multiplication problems (e.g., 3 x 4, 7 x 8, etc.) around the track or area.

  • When the game starts, the first player from each team races to find a flashcard, solves the multiplication problem, and then runs back to tag the next player.

  • The next player repeats the process until all players have had a turn.

  • To add a fitness component, incorporate exercises corresponding to the answer of the multiplication problem. For example, if the answer is 24, the player might do 24 jumping jacks before tagging the next teammate.

  • The team that completes the relay race with the correct answers and finishes all exercises first wins the game.

  • This game not only promotes multiplication skills but also encourages physical activity through a relay-style race with fitness exercises tied to the math problems.

No flash cards, no problem!
  • Divide participants into four groups.  Team members from Groups 1 and 2 will scatter around opposite halves of the play area.  Each player from Groups 1 and 2 will be prepared with a math problem (put parameters of the difficuluty of the problems to make it fair for all players).  On “go”, the first team member from Group 3 will find a player from Group 1 and solve the problem presented. The first team member from Group 4 will run to player from Group 2. Continue the game as described above as if Groups 1 and 2 were the flash cards. Play again, but switch roles so that Groups 1 and 2 can run and solve the problems. 

Number Line Run

  • Have students line up in a typical, single-file line down the middle of the room.  Ensure there is enough space between students so they can easily move to their left or to their right.  Ask students to imagine they are standing on their own number line, at zero.  

  • Ask them to imagine, positive numbers are to their right, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and negative numbers are to their left, -1, -2, -3, -4, -5.  

  • The instructor calls out a number line prompt, followed by, ”go”! Students will “show” their answer by moving to the appropriate spot on their own imaginary number line.  

  • Start with simple prompts. For example, “-3, go!”. Progressively make the prompts more challenging. For example, “a number greater than 2, go!” or “a number less than -1, go!” 


More than one answer may be correct, i.e., -2, -3, -4, and -5 are all less than -1. Adjust the number line according to students’ grade level and skill set.  For example, instead of -5 to 5, it could be 0 to 10, or 0 to 100 by 10’s.

It's evident that this innovative approach, connecting physical activity and classroom subjects holds incredible potential for children's learning. By intertwining math with movement, we've seen how it enhances comprehension and problem-solving skills in an engaging and practical manner. 

Ready to take your fun and learning up a notch? Our PowerUp bundles are packed with awesome activities that mix math and ELA with movement in the coolest ways! Dive into a treasure trove of academic-infused games and physical challenges that'll fire up your brain and keep you on your toes. Come join the fun and let's PowerUplearning through movement together!

If you love these activities, try several of our math-focused activities here. Want to mix in more English Language Arts - see some of our favorite literacy activities here. Looking for more? The PowerUp Your School program offers over 300 math and ELA-integrated physical activities, requiring no equipment and perfect for any space, any place!


Did you enjoy these activities? For 100’s of activities, games, and exercises aligned with state and national standards, shop our PowerUp programs!


Download the printable pdf version of PowerUp's Tips & Tricks below.

Tips & Tricks - 2023 Dec Math-Enriched Games for PE & Afterschool
Download PDF • 957KB

Add Math to Physical Education and Extended Learning
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PowerUp Fitness is an Advocate Member of the National Afterschool Association and a proud partner of Active Schools.


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