Tug of War

By Activity Bank on Jul 24, 2013

This activity has been revised and was originally created by Kathy Heydt and Monica Allon and published in the Perkins Activity and Resource Guide (1st edition, 1992).  The second edition is available for purchase.

This hands-on activity helps students to develop their gross (large muscle) motor skills by working on weight shifting and muscle strength. It also increases proximal stability (core strength). Lessons include Orientation and Mobility, Adapted Physical Education, and Recreation and Leisure.


Rope, Hula-Hoop®, deflated inner tube, Thera-Band®


  • Ask two students (or one student and teacher) to hold onto opposite sides of a rope and pull in opposite directions.
  • Provide assistance as necessary.


  • Vary materials.
  • Material such as the rope or Thera-Band® may be easier to use if knots are tied near the end to make holding on easier.
  • Tug-of-war can also be performed in a sitting position. Ask students to sit with legs straight and have their feet touching.
  • Vary positions: kneeling, half-kneeling, standing back-to-back.

Hints: Guard against students falling or bumping into objects. Perform activities on a safe surface, such as an exercise mat. If using an elastic material such as Thera-Band®, be careful of the band snapping into someone’s face.