(Mostly for Kids)
Start with one person in Tate-shiho-gatame. Bottom one escapes, gets past the legs into Yoko-shiho-gatame, transitions to Tate-shiho-gatame. Action continues in the same manner each taking a turn escaping and attacking.
Get one or several soft balls and just start passing them from one person to the other on the mat by using De Ashi Harai motion only. The idea is to practice moving to intercept the ball (since it doesn't always come right to you) and still get an accurate sweep to pass it on to someone else as soon as possible.
To learn de ashi harai skills use sheets of paper (or paper towels) and sweep those. Start at one end of the mat and see who can get to the other fastest.
Have several students link hands in a circle. Each tries to sweep the feet out from the other (everyone at once). If a person falls down they sit out, and the rest continue until there is only one left.
Have 3 students hold hands to form a triangle, while a fourth student starts outside the triangle and attempts to tag (or knock down) the one who is farthest away. The 3 who are holding hands move around to always protect the one being attacked so that the he/she can't be reached.
One student starts in the middle of the mats on hands and knees. The rest of the students attempt to crawl from one end of the mats to the other while the one in the center grabs them and pins them. Everyone who gets pinned joins the one in the center attempting to pin more of the students who are crawling back and forth.
Get a bunch of clothes pins (the one's with springs work best). Clip them onto strategic places on the gis of the students (end of sleeve, elbow, ankles, knees, lapel, back of neck, etc.) At "hajime" everybody tries to remove the pins at the same time.
Line students up facing a wall and have them put their hands against the wall. Time them on right and then left side pivot entries. They have to hit the wall with their hips to simulate the lifting as in Uki-Goshi. Time them in 15 second intervals. Mix it up between right only or left only or alternating and sometimes have them simulate the finish every third or fourth entry. Look for more than twenty entries in 15 seconds.
All the students stand on one leg and hold their foot behind them with both of their hands. If any student lets go of his foot with either hand or falls down they are out. They can hop around and try to knock the others down until the last one standing wins.
Two students get on their hands and knees. Another smaller student gets on their backs with one knee on each person. Then the team of three tries to knock the top person off all the other teams until only one team is left. If the person on top touches the mat then the entire team is out.
Create a circle and place two students in the circle. On command they try to push/pull the other out of the circle. Whichever one falls down or steps outside first loses as in sumo.
All the students get in the crab position (hands and feet on the ground, face up). Everyone tries to use their hands and feet to knock down the other players. Any person who touches the mat with any part of the body is out.
Two players hold hands and one leans back while the other one holds him/her off the ground. They lean back at about a 45 degree angle to start. Without warning, the first person lets go and drops the second. The second person must "turn-out" onto their stomach. The next time the person leans them down lower, then lower until the second person fails to turn-out.
One partner lies on his/her back defending with his/her legs (but without kicking). The standing partner runs around and tries to get past the legs into a hold. The partner on their back spins around to keep their legs in the way. As an alternative, the person on top can try to tap the bottom person's head. This forces the bottom person to keep the standing person further away in order to protect the head.
Students pair off on center line of mat. They both get a grip and then push or pull on the command of the coach. The objective is to try to switch fast so that you can use your opponent's push or pull to get your opponent off balance. It also demonstrates the power of pushing when the opponent is pulling and vice versa.
One person does forward uchikomi throws while a third person holds uke down by grabbing his/her belt or collar from the rear.
Uke jumps up and down while tori tries to sweep his/her feet out (as in okuri ashi harai) before he/she lands on the ground.
Freeze tag is a game where one person is selected to chase and tag the others. Once a person is tagged they must freeze and can't move until someone else comes to unfreeze them by throwing them. The game continues until everyone is frozen.
Relay races between teams of students who carry each other in throwing positions like kataguruma and seoinage. Can also be done hopping in an osotogari or uchimata position.
Pull the tail is a game that teaches kids not to give their backs to their opponents. They take off their gi tops and fold their belts in half and tuck them in their pants. On hajime, they run around pulling each others belts out and the last with a tale wins.
Uke starts kneelng. Tori pushes uke from behind and as uke starts to fall onto his/her hands, tori tries to apply a turnover (into a choke, arm bar, or pin) before uke's hands hit the ground.
Two students holding a folded obi with only one hand must hop on one foot and cause their opponent to topple over or put their raised foot down by pulling on the belt only.
You start by getting on your partner's back while he or she is standing up. Try to climb around your partner's body without touching the ground by ducking under his arms and shifting your legs. Return all the way to the back.
Balance game. Two students square off a few feet away from each other both feet on the mat knees slightly bent. Ends of a full length obi are held one for each opponent at waist level in one hand only (both use same hand, right-right or left-left), the belt is wound around their hips forming an S-shape between them, the first person to make the other step or fall without stepping themselves wins.
Make a square about a meter wide in the center of the mat using chalk, tape or belts. Begin at the edge of the mat and try to move your opponent into the square while avoiding his/her attmpts to move you into the square. It can also be done with a line down the center of the mats rather than a square, then try to get the opponent over the line. This drill will increase skill at maneuvering an opponent into a vulnerable position, while preventing your opponent from controlling your position on the mat.
Use Judo Flash Cards to drill your students, or as a home study aid for vocabulary and techniques.