3, 2, 1

Intermediate, Senior

TGfU Category: Target Games

Locations: gymnasium, playground, multipurpose room, hallway

Game/Sport Connections

Target games are activities in which players send an object toward a target while avoiding any obstacles. By playing these games, participants develop skills and tactics to play other target games or games that require the application of similar skills, concepts, and strategies (e.g., archery, bocce, bowling, croquet, curling, golf, horseshoes, shuffleboard, Snow Snake).

Activity Overview

Participants learn about and practise aim and accuracy and required force as they send an object toward targets.

Key Movement Skills, Concepts, and Strategies

Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies for effectively sending an object toward a target. 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 targets at different heights and/or distances.
  • Body awareness and location of self: choosing an appropriate distance away from the target, understanding how the body moves when sending an object toward a target.
Movement Strategies
  • Applying appropriate skills to be proficient when sending an object toward a target (e.g., work on accuracy by following through in the direction of the target).
  • Applying tactics that will increase the chances of hitting a target (e.g., keeping eyes on the target to improve aim and increase the accuracy when sending the object).


  • Incorporate some or all of the variations listed in the “Variations” section while planning the activity. This will help to best meet the diverse backgrounds, identities, needs, and interests of participants and maximize the fun, inclusion, participation and success of everyone.
  • To elevate participant voice and choice, periodically pause the activity and share the variations with participants. Ask them to determine how they would like to change the activity to maximize the fun, inclusion, meaningful participation, and success for everyone. Encourage participants to add any variations of their own.


  • 1 floor marker per pair (e.g., line on floor, pylon, rubber/vinyl spot)
  • 3 – 4 objects to send per pair (e.g., various sizes and textures of balls, beanbags, discs, rubber chickens)
  • 4 targets per pair (e.g., floor tape, paper, hula hoop)


  • Inspect the equipment and activity area to identify and remove hazards. Check that the activity surface provides sufficient traction.
  • Establish the boundaries for the designated playing area at a safe distance from walls and obstacles. Share the boundaries with participants.
  • Review the safety rules and activity instructions with participants prior to the activity.
  • Instruct participants to be aware of their surroundings, including the locations of other participants during play.

How to Play

  • Divide participants into pairs.
  • Each pair finds space on a wall or the ground in the activity area.
  • Provide each participant within the pair 2 targets of their choice, which can be secured to the wall or placed on the ground at various heights/distances and levels of challenge.
  • Each pair uses a floor marker (e.g., line on floor, pylon, rubber/vinyl spot) to establish a sending line at a distance determined by the participants for optimal challenge. Participants may increase or decrease the distance to the targets throughout the period of play.
  • Participants choose an object to send and take turns sending their object toward the targets until both partners have hit all 4 targets. Participants may choose to switch their object at any point during play.
  • Participants then switch the location of their targets to continue to practise sending their object toward targets at various heights/distances.
  • Participants can decide to keep track of the score (e.g., each target hit equals 1 point and the first person to 5 points wins).
  • After a period of play, provide participants with some or all of the variations. Ask them to decide how they might change the game to enhance their fun, challenge, and success. Encourage participants to add any variations of their own.
  • Consider having groups share their variations and select another variation to try with their group.

Video: Visual Depiction of the Activity Instructions

Video link

Pause for Learning

Throughout the activity, ask open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement skills, strategies, and tactical solutions. Examples include:

  • What changes can you apply to the force or effort used to send your object when the target is high on the wall/farther away on the ground to help you be successful at hitting the target?
  • What changes can you apply to the force or effort used to send your object when the target is low on the wall/at a closer distance on the ground to help you be successful at hitting the target?
  • How do you maintain control of the object you are sending when you are closer to or farther away from the target?
  • How do you choose the distance to set up your sending line?
  • How do you choose the object to send?
  • What other ways can you send the object to hit the targets?
  • What changes might you make to your strategy after you are able to hit the first target?
  • Which games or sports have you played or know about that use similar rules and strategies to the ones used in this game?


  • Allow each member of the pair to establish their own sending line.
  • Have fewer targets.
  • Work together with their partner to hit all 4 targets.
  • Eliminate targets as they have been hit.
  • Use smaller targets.
  • Add letters to the targets to attempt to spell words.
  • Send the object in various ways (e.g., throw, kick, roll, strike, bat) toward the targets.
  • Use smaller, larger, lighter, or heavier objects (e.g., beanbags, whiffle ball, tennis ball).
  • Use various objects to practise accuracy (e.g., various shapes, high-bounce rubber balls, rubber chickens, discs).
  • Select the order the targets must be hit and start over at the first target if a target is missed. Assigning numbers to the targets could help with the pattern.