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Forces and motion on our bodies in the playground

Use playground equipment to show different types of motion and the forces on the body.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Physics: Motion and Forces, Newton’s Laws, Gravity (K, 2, 6)
Science topic (2005 curriculum connection): 
Physical Science: Properties of Objects and Materials (grade K)
Physical Science: Force and Motion (grade 1)
Physical Science: Forces and Simple Machines (grade 5)
  • playground equipment such as slide, swings, climbing structure etc
  • optional: basket of balls
  • worksheet listing motions with space to draw next to each

Outside in the playground, make your bodies do all the motions listed on your sheet (spin, roll, slide, lift, fall, bounce, swing).
If you can’t do it with your body, do it with a ball, or other found rocks etc on the playground.
For each motion, check off that you have done it on your sheet, and draw where the force comes from.


Use this activity to study gravity: students are challenged to use the playground equipment and list/draw all the times they use gravity. e.g. gravity pulls students down the slide or down to the ground when they jump off something; gravity brings a swing back down after a student has used the forces of their bodies to push it up.

Grades tested: 
Gr 1
Gr 2
Anke Barabulea
Teaching site: 
General Gordon Elementary
ProD for Elementary teachers
Activity originally developed and delivered: 

Gordon Elementary School