While the beginning of the school year can be a stressful time for both students and teachers, pep rallies can help alleviate some of that stress. Pep rallies are a fun way to get everyone involved while creating a sense of community within your school. Use a variety of inclusive games and activities in your upcoming pep rally to ensure students of all abilities and ages can participate. Not sure where to start? Check out this list of 40 of our favorite pep rally ideas for your next school spirit event!
These timed challenges are just so fun and a great way to include every student in a fun and engaging way.
1. Balloon Pop
This creative idea involves students popping balloons so they can get to the letters inside. Once the balloons are popped, the goal is to spell an acronym related to your school. The first student to spell the word wins!
Learn more: Spring Pep Rally at PWest Pathfinder
2. Head, Shoulders, Knees, Cup
Perform the command called out by touching the appropriate body part, but be ready to grab the cup before your opponent when “Cup!” is yelled.
3. Toilet Paper Mummy
This game works especially well around Halloween, but it can be played anytime. Students work as a team to mummify a classmate with TP. You can include the audience during this activity by having them vote on the best mummy.
4. Skin the Snake
Have students form single lines while reaching their right hand through their legs for the person behind them to grab. Then, the front student walks backward, and the other students follow, creating a snake effect. The students then go the other way, and the team with all members standing the fastest wins.
5. Blindfolded Stack the Cups
Simply stack cups in a pyramid, and then unstack them into a tower. The fastest team wins. For an extra team-building challenge, blindfold one student on each team while playing.
Source: Minute-To-Win-It Games Spark Spirit, Competition at the The Network
6. Tic-Tac Tweezer
This minute-to-win-it game will really challenge your students! The person with the most Tic-Tacs collected on the finished side wins.
7. Sweep the Potato
Pep rally activities that use everyday objects in a silly way are undeniably fun. This game is more challenging than it seems! Students use brooms to sweep a potato to the other side of the gym.
8. Elephant March
This game will get some great laughs from the kids. All you need are pantyhose, tennis balls, and water bottles. Knock over the line of water bottles in a minute or less!
Learn more: Elephant March at GUIDE, Inc.
9. Musical Chairs
Musical chairs isn’t just for little kids’ birthday parties, so why not give it a go at your next pep rally? We especially love the idea of playing with both staff and students.
Relay Race Games
Include some relay race games at your next pep rally for students to engage in a little friendly competition.
10. Relay Race Limbo
A classic party game, limbo will surely be a hit at your next pep rally. Create teams of students and then have them compete in a relay race. The fastest teams win a prize of your choosing.
Learn more: Limbo at NOLA.com
11. Dizzy Bat Race
This game involves students spinning around a baseball bat until they are dizzy and then racing their peers to the finish line.
12. Sack Race
Sack races are a classic for a reason since they are both fun and hilarious. Break into teams and see which team can get all their teammates down and back the fastest. But be careful not to wipe out!
13. Toilet Plunger Relay Race
Who knew toilet plungers could be so entertaining? Students use two plungers and a scooter to make it to the finish line in this relay-style game.
14. Obstacle Course
Set up an obstacle course relay race for students from each grade to participate in. The crowd will undoubtedly be cheering their friends on!
School Spirit Pep Rally Activities
Put some pep in your step with these creative school spirit activities.
15. Foam Noodles Entrance
Introducing a sports team or just showing some school spirit? Have teachers hold up pool noodles so the students can run through the tunnel that is formed. Participants will feel encouraged as their classmates cheer them on!
Learn more: Foam Noodle Game at ESF Bethesda
16. Pie a Teacher Raffle
What could possibly be more fun for students than getting to throw a pie in your teacher’s face? This is certainly a great way to get the school to rally together!
17. Glow Party
Set up a black light and tons of glow-in-the-dark items for a fun and glowy pep rally. You can even have students wear different-colored neon shirts to enhance the glow effect.
Learn more: 4 Ways To Make Your Pep Rally Glow at Superlative Events
18. Lip-Sync Battle
Pick a theme for the pep rally, such as “Circus,” and have different grades compete in a lip-sync battle. This creative idea allows students of all abilities to participate and feel included.
Learn more: Lip Sync at Twitter: Mccgirlscc
19. Themed Dance-Off
Including a theme in your pep rally can make it that much more exciting for students. Assign decades to each grade and have students perform in a dance-off for an added element of fun.
Source: Grease Pep Rally at The Patriot Post
20. Holiday-Themed Rally
Having a pep rally during the fall? If so, why not make it a Halloween theme like the super-intricate one in the video.
21. Decorating Contest
Each grade can decorate an area of the gym with a different theme for a creative competition. Once everything is decorated, vote on the best-decorated area at the pep rally.
22. Pajama Day
Wearing PJs at school is undeniably fun for students! Encourage participation by handing out PJ-themed prizes to the best-dressed students.
Learn more: Students Gather To Cheer On Winter Athletes at Pep Rally at TAPintoClark
23. Acts of Service
Participating in a school-wide day of service before the pep rally can be an awesome way to raise school spirit while doing some good at the same time. Students can start a painting project, clean up around the school, or even help teachers clean out their classrooms.
Source: The Augusta Chronicle
24. School Mascot
We think nothing says school spirit more than a school mascot! Include your school’s character in the games and activities—students will love it!
Learn more: Clyde Mascot at Charleston Day School
25. Banner Competition for School Staff
This banner competition idea praises school staff such as cafeteria workers—how sweet! Students will love creating banners that show love to their favorite staff members.
Learn more: Midlo Enjoys First Spring Pep Rally in Years at Midlo Scoop
Students can strengthen bonds with their peers and have a blast with these team games.
26. Hands and Feet Hopscotch
This awesome take on hopscotch is reminiscent of Twister. You can create your own board pieces and rearrange the tiles for a fun and engaging pep rally game.
Learn more: Hands and Feet Coordination Game at Continuing Student Learning ECA Blog
27. Team Sports Swap
Have the teams of various sports come onto the court or field and then have them swap sports with another team. For example, have the football players try cheerleading, the wrestling team try soccer, etc.
28. Hungry, Hungry Hippos
This game is so fun—it’s the life-size version of the popular game Hungry Hungry Hippos. See who can scoop up the most balls in their laundry basket while acting as a hippo!
29. Keep the Balloon Up
Simple but fun, students keep the balloon in the air without using their hands. Students work in teams to avoid dropping the balloon.
30. Hula-Hoop Pass
Pass the Hula-Hoop without breaking the chain of hands! This game is competitive but encourages teamwork.
Learn more: Class of 2017 Takes Home the Spirit Stick at The Lance
31. Four-Team Tug-of-War
A new take on the classic pep rally game, this tug-of-war game features four teams. After the timer goes off, whichever team is farthest from the middle wins. More players = more fun!
32. Seated Basketball Game
This game requires participants to play a version of basketball while sitting in chairs around the room. The “hoops” are two laundry baskets held by students. Watch as the chaos unfolds!
33. Human Foosball
All you need for this game is some PVC pipe and a ball. Participants act as the players in a game of foosball and try to score points for their team.
34. Human Knot
The Human Knot is traditionally an icebreaker game but would also work really well for some school bonding. Participants stand in a circle and reach out, grabbing others’ hands. The challenge is to untangle the knot without letting go of any hands.
Learn more: Human Knot at GUIDE, Inc.
35. Team Scavenger Hunt
Pep rally activities that get everyone involved while having the grades and faculty compete against each other are some of the best! Have a representative from each grade and faculty department come to the center of the gym or field, and then yell out something they have to go and find (example: a piece of homemade jewelry). The crowd will have fun being included because they just might be in possession of the treasured item!
Non-Physical Pep Rally Activities and Games
Make your pep rally as inclusive as possible with these non-physical games.
36. Blindfolded Connect 4
Students will love this new take on a childhood favorite. Have one student guide the blindfolded participants for the ultimate team-building activity.
Learn more: Connect 4 at Aldergrove Star
37. Poster Contest
For a less physical activity, have students create posters to cheer on classmates or for general school spirit. Vote on the posters at the pep rally, and don’t forget the prizes!
38. Themed Bingo
Bingo is such a crowd-pleaser, and you can create boards with fun themes such as school spirit or an upcoming holiday. Students will be engaged and excited to win prizes!
Learn more: Bingo at The Advocate
39. Paper Airplane Toss
Have students create paper airplanes with their names on them and then try to toss them into trash cans in the center of the gym. Fun, inexpensive, and so easy!
Source: Flight Camp at Vanier Collegiate at Discover Moose Jaw
40. Shouting Contest
While not very physical, this one is definitely loud! Challenge each grade to yell at different times and then proclaim the loudest as the winner.