Knock Down

Activity Overview

Participants learn about and practise sending an object to knock down a variety of targets.

  • Primary (Ages 6-9)
  • Junior (Ages 10-12)


  • Gymnasium
  • Outdoors
  • Multipurpose Room
  • Classroom

Materials and Equipment

  • 4 targets (e.g., pylons, plastic bottles, bowling pins) per pair
  • 1 object to throw (e.g., beach ball, soft-skinned ball, beanbag) per pair


Inspect the activity area and eliminate potential hazards. Check that the activity surface provides sufficient traction. Set boundaries for the activity a safe distance from walls and obstacles. Ensure that activities take place a safe distance apart.

Activity Information

Activity Set-up

  • Divide participants into pairs. Each pair chooses four objects to act as targets and one object to throw.
  • Have partners find their own space. One partner holds the ball. The other partner sets up four targets at distances that will offer various levels of challenge.

Activity Instructions

  • The participant who set up the targets identifies which target he or she wants to challenge his or her partner to hit.
  • The participant with the object throws it underhand toward the selected target.
  • If the participant who threw the ball knocks down a target other than the selected one, his or her partner sets that target up again and continues to do so until the chosen target has been knocked down. If no targets were knocked down, the partner retrieves the ball and the thrower tries again.
  • Once the selected target has been knocked down, the participant who set up the targets selects another target for his or her partner to hit.
  • Participants try to knock down all four targets within ten throws. After ten tries or all targets have been knocked down, participants change roles.
  • The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: Which target was the easiest for you to knock down and why? If you chose a target that was too difficult or too easy for your partner to hit, did that make the game fun? How did you come up with a distance and an order for hitting the targets that created the best challenge and the most fun?
Knock Down


To maximize the challenge and the fun, participants could identify their own ways to increase or decrease the challenge.

To decrease the challenge, participants could:

  • Decrease the distance between the throwing line and the target.
  • Use only large targets (e.g., pylon, large water bottle)
  • Choose which target they would like to try to knock down.

To increase the challenge, participants could:

  • Increase the distance between the throwing line and the target.
  • Use their non-dominant hand to throw the object underhand.
  • Send the object in a different way (e.g., overhand throw).
  • Use an implement (e.g., hockey stick, racquet) to send the object.
  • Roll the ball down a ramp.
  • Place an obstacle between the throwing line and the target.

Pause for Learning

Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies for sending an object to knock down a variety of targets. Note that this list is not exhaustive, and further learning opportunities may arise during the task.

Movement Skills and Concepts

  • Manipulation skills and effort awareness – applying a controlled force to send an object toward a target (e.g., being able to control how forcefully the arm swings when sending an object to knock down a small target in order to increase accuracy of hitting targets at different distances)
  • Body awareness – self-awareness of how parts of the body are moving and of body actions when throwing an object toward a target (e.g., arm following through and pointing where the participant wants the ball to go)

Movement Strategies

  • Applying appropriate skills to send an object to improve control and accuracy (e.g., keeping the target in view, following through toward the target)
  • Making decisions about which throwing implement to use to be successful at knocking down the target (e.g., choosing a big object to send when trying to knock down a small target)