Badminton – Ideas and Games

If you can get your hands on a set of badminton racquets, some shuttlecocks, and a length of rope, then you have all you need to teach a couple of weeks of lessons.

Here are ten drills, games and ideas that you can use to teach badminton to your class.

Start simple – have the children bounce the shuttlecock off the racquet as many times as possible. You could set a timer and see who can keep it bouncing for a full minute etc. For older classes, you could challenge them to touch the racquet off the ground in between bounces.

Partner Pass
Grab a partner, and pass the shuttlecock without dropping it. Move further apart each time you complete five passes. Try getting the players to run from one end of the court to the other to vary this drill.

Badminton Golf
You will need a number of targets for this one – these could be hula hoops or even cones for older classes. Students hit the shuttlecock, and see how many shots it takes to reach the cone. See the video below to see what it looks like – the quality is awful though!

Put students into groups of six or seven. One student stands in the centre. He/she will pass to each student in turn, and the team will try to complete a full circle without letting the shuttlecock drop. The pattern is: middle student, player one, middle student, player two, etc etc.

Now you can progress on to using a net. If you happen to have badminton nets, lucky you! If not, tie a rope, or sports tape, from wall to wall, or basketball pole to basketball pole. Now you’ve made a net!

Bombs Away!
Put two teams either side of a net, and place an even number of shuttlecocks on each side. Kids must throw the shuttlecocks onto the other side of the net – whichever team has the least on their side when time is up, loses.

Up and Down

For this game, players face a partner across the net. They must hit the ball to their partner, sit/lie down on the ground, and stand up again in time to hit the next shot!

Long and Short Serves
Players work in groups of four to practice serving – see the video below.

Players go in groups of five/six. One player begins as the champion. They play a point against the challenger, starting with a serve. If the champion wins, they earn a point. If the challenger wins, they become the new champion.

One Racquet
This is a challenging game, for older classes. Players go in teams of five or six, but only have one racquet per team. Each team goes in a straight line. The first player hits the shuttlecock, and quickly turns to give the racquet to the next player, before running to the back of the line. The aim is to keep the rally going, or you can make it into a competitive game between the two teams.

Two on Two
Time to get serious. Put players with a partner, and have them play a match against another pair. Play first to ten points, win by two, starting with a serve. If the ball touches the ground, or you hit it out of bounds, you lose the point. Don’t forget to outline the court!

I hope you got some ideas from this post, and are considering giving badminton a try with your class. Let me know if you do over at @irishguyteaching on Instagram!

Olympic/Team Handball – Ideas and Games

Olympic handball is a great sport to teach any class. I particularly like it with older age groups, as the structure of the game enforces team work, and prevents the competitive, sporty students from dominating all of the time.

The rules are very simple.

  • You have a pitch with two goals, the same as a soccer pitch.
  • Each team has a goalkeeper, and there is a box around him that other players cannot enter, about three strides in each direction.
  • The aim of the game is to throw the ball into the goal for a score. The ball is smaller than a soccer ball – see the picture below.
  • When a player has the ball, he/she is allowed to take three steps, before passing/shooting. (In the real game, you can bounce the ball while running, similar to basketball, but I find this lets the stronger kids run the game too much!
  • If the ball drops to the floor, pick it up and play on. You cannot kick or roll the ball.
  • Olympic handball is a non-contact sport – players can slap the ball away, but can’t tackle the player.

Related image

Here is a clip of a game of Olympic handball – just remember that the rules are a little different than what I suggested, so be ready to defend yourself!

A few simple drills you can use before playing competitive matches are:

  1. Drop-Ball: Players throw the ball to each other in a line of three. If anyone drops the ball, the whole team is out. Make players switch hands, place one hand on their head, or lie down to make this more difficult.
  2. Pass, Catch, Shoot: Set out three cones with an equal number of players – back, middle and front. The player at the back passes to the player in the middle, who catches and passes to the front, who shoots. The shooter then collects the ball and each player moves to the next station.
  3. Possession Game: Two teams of 4/5 players play within a grid to complete 5 passes without the ball being intercepted by the other team.
  4. Long and Short: Two players face another pair across the pitch. The ball is passed (short) between partners, and then thrown (long) to the other pair, who repeat the process. Focus on passing the ball without stopping!
  5. Can’t Touch Me: Players go in pairs – each player needs a ball. The players hop on one foot and try to score points by touching the other player with the ball.
  6. Double Time: In pairs, players pass and receive a ball simultaneously. Great for hand-eye coordination and timing!

I took a lot of these drills from the video below, so take a look if you want some more ideas.

I hope this post encourages you to give Olympic handball a try with your class. It’s a nice one to add a bit of energy to the end of the year, when your class are sick of playing basketball or rounders.

If you do decide to give it a go, I’d love to hear how you get on @irishguyteaching on Instagram!


3D Drawing – Easy Art Lesson!

Here’s a really simple art lesson that you can pull out of the bag when you’re having a busy week.

Related image


  • Paper and pencil
  • Colouring pencils
  • Fine black markers.
  • 30cm ruler.


  1. Trace your hand onto a piece of paper.
  2. Starting at the bottom of the page, draw straight lines 1cm apart, horizontally across the page, skipping over the hand itself so that you have two sets of lines. Use the bottom of the ruler rather than the top to draw the line, so that you can see the lines you have previously drawn. Don’t draw through the hand!
  3. Join each set of lines together by drawing a curvy line, freehand, to connect them.
  4. Trace over the lines you have drawn using a fine black marker. Do not trace the outline of the hand.
  5. Choose two contrasting colours and shade in between the lines.

Here’s a video of the process, and a look at what your 3D hands will (hopefully!) look like:

Hope this helps, and good luck!

Printmaking (with Foam)

Printmaking is a creative, tactile lesson that offers your kids the chance to explore a new medium.

There are lots of different types of printmaking:

  • Monoprinting: This is where you paint an image onto e.g. the back of a baking tray, and get one ‘print’ by pressing your blank paper on top of it. You can only get one print, as the detail is removed by the transfer paper – hence the name ‘monoprinting’.
  • Screen-printing: This is where you press ink through a stencil onto the page underneath. Screen-printing was most famously used by Andy Warhol in such pieces as ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans’ and ‘Marilyn Diptych’.

The type of printing that will be discussed here, however, is relief printing. This is where an imaged is carved into a surface, and transfer paper is pressed on top of the inked surface. This is commonly done using lino and lino cutters, but this post will look at using foam instead, as it is cheaper and more readily available.

Image result for foam print



  1. Place your foam sheet on a blank sheet of paper, and trace the outline.
  2. Sketch your image inside the space you have outlined on the paper.
  3. Place the foam sheet underneath the image, and trace over each line, checking to make sure the image is transferring across. (You can skip steps 1 and 2 and just draw on the foam, but it is more difficult).
  4. Recycle the paper drawing. Retrace the drawing on the foam, etching each line deeply to create relief. (i.e. to ensure that the image you have sketched is ‘deeper’ in the foam than the rest of the sheet).
  5. Place a small amount of printing ink on the glass plate, and roll the ink roller through it until you have an even coating.
  6. Apply the ink to your foam drawing, ensuring you cover the space evenly.
  7. Take a fresh piece of A4 paper, and place it carefully on top of your inked foam drawing. Taking care that the paper does not move, press it into the foam to allow the ink to transfer. You need to apply plenty of pressure at this stage. Use the palm of your hand, a wooden spoon, or a clean ink roller.
  8. Peel off the paper, and check out your print!
  9. Repeat steps 5-8 if you like he great thing about these prints is that you can create multiple copies, as the printing process itself doesn’t remove any detail.  You can even wash the foam with a damp sponge cloth if you want to use a different colour!

Here’s a video that I found online that I think gives a good overview of the process – there’s no sound however!


I hope this post helps, and you give printmaking a try with your class. Let me know if you do @irishguyteaching on Instagram!