January 11, 2013

Elementary P.E on a Budget

Here at Pleasant Knoll, we are very fortunate when it comes to funding. We haven't had any major cuts in the Fort Mill School District and if I really really wanted something I am sure there would be a way to get funds to buy it. By saying this, I do not mean that we have an abundance of money laying around and if we did, that we would actually use it. I just have the mind set of "if you can build it cheaper, why buy it?" If you're like me or you're on a strict budget, this blog entry is going to be right up your alley.

How many of you have flipped through the various catalogs and just thought that some of the materials are just too darn expensive? I have a stack of magazines that sit on my desk that I thumb through and compare prices when deciding whether to buy or build. Some things you just have to buy and others are reasonably priced, but there is a lot of equipment out there that's easier to build than to shell out the money to buy it.

Below, I am going to list several different pieces of equipment as well as provide pictures, prices, and materials of what it cost to buy and build the comparable equipment.

Bowling Pins



Bowling Pin Set (ball not included)  
Price: 49.99 (plus tax, S&H)

Yes! The pins look great, and in a perfect world I would take 10 sets. The picture is decieving. The ball is not included in this set.


2 Liter Bottle Bowling 
Price: Free

Find empty 2 liter bottles. Then, fill the bottom with an inch of sand or water. Decorate them any way you want, or leave them undecorated. Play with them as long as you need them. If something happens to 1 of your bottles, replace it by drinking another soda or raiding the recycling bin!

Corn Hole 



Plastic Baggo Game 
Price: $100.00 (plus S&H)

Made of plastic, this game is light weight, but not very durable when it comes to the P.E. classroom. The first kindergartener that walks on top of the board, and your equipment is potentially ruined. The beanbags are of average quality.

Wooden Corn Hole Game 
Price 40.00-60.00 (including bags)

If you have ever used a saw, a drill and can follow directions, this project will not be very hard for you. For almost half the cost of the store bought version you can have your own sturdy customized Corn Hole boards. You can buy cheap beanbags, use the ones that you have in your gym, or spend 10-20 dollars for custom made beanbags. Now, if you are not only good with power tools, but also a sewing machine then cut even more off this price. Find some cool fabric, beans or corn, and make your own beanbags.

 Directions Please...!

I found some good directions on this DIY site. Step by Step directions. You can custom paint your favorite team or school logo or even let your students paint them. This will give them ownership of the P.E. equipment. Make sure you put some sort of polyurethane over the final paint job so that your designs will last . 



Ladder Golf 



Ladder Ball
Price: 50.00-80.00 (Catalog Prices)

I have seen these sets in assorted colors, materials, and configurations. Most of the "PVC" pipe they use is very cheap and the elbows and T pieces break easily. I have seen some that were well made, but only if you pay a pretty penny for them.


PVC Ladder Golf 
Price: 20.00-30.00

I built our schools ladder golf sets from the website listed below. Very easy to build! The best thing about building these yourself is that you know what your getting for you buck. You can make your own bolos by drilling holes in golf balls and threading rope through the holes or you can spend a couple of dollars and buy the bolos from your local Walmart or Target.

Corn Hole Building Instructions

 What do I need?

The picture to the left shows everything you will need to build your ladder golf sets. I would also invest in a good set of PVC cutters, or if you have a hand saw this will work just as well.

So, these are only a few things that we have built here at Pleasant Knoll. I will most likely do a second blog on this topic down the road. If you have any easy to build P.E. equipment ideas post them in the comments section. We look forward to seeing your ideas!

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