Our most Popular Pep Rally Ideas

black light pep rally
Southwest High School (Photo Courtesy of Christina Cruz Photography)

Keeping hundreds of kids excited, engaged and pumped up can seem like a daunting task. If you’re planning a pep rally we’ve got some fun ideas that are sure to win over even the most cynical of students. 

Most schools try to aim for three to four pep rallies per year. The most popular times of year are Homecoming/Welcome back to School, Winter/Christmas, Spring/Spirit Week, and End of School/Summer.

Remember that pep rallies don’t have to be just about sports! You could hold them on days when your dance team is holding a recital and have them come in early to preview their performance, or invite the drama team in to do a mini-skit. Involve everyone, not just the school leadership/student counsel but a variety of individuals, especially those who might not have the chance to shine normally. This is an excellent chance to celebrate all your school accomplishments, from chess to wrestling, from academic achievements to musical awards.

One great idea to get everyone on the same page is to give the rally a theme and have all the skits & entertainment revolve around the theme.

Download a PDF form of our Pep Rally Ideas

Pep Rally Theme Ideas

Back to School, Last Day of School, Homecoming/School Pride, Seasons (winter, fall, spring), Game Show, a Talk Show, Throwback/Vintage, Holiday themes – Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, Christmas & Easter, State Test, Upperclassmen vs Underclassmen Competitions, Teachers vs Students etc.

Pep Rally Activity Ideas

Sports Battle: Have a battle of the sports where sports players of teams switch places with another team. For example, field hockey has to try wrestling and the wrestling team has to play field hockey.

King and Queen: Have students vote for their favorite teachers (this is especially great to do for homecoming). Then announce and crown the Queen and King teacher.

White Ice Theme: Decorate with white fairy lights for your Winter Rally and have the cheerleaders/dancers perform to white lights for a cool visual effect.

black light glow party pep rally theme
Southwest High School (Photo Courtesy of Christina Cruz Photography)

Glow Party: Also a great idea to do during your winter rally, give out glow stick necklaces to your student body. The visuals from the blacklight will be sure to stay with your students!

Fine Arts Pep Rally: Ask Bands, choirs, drama, and clubs how they want to be recognized and use the ideas that they give you. Coaches sit down with the teams beforehand, saying “they cheer for you all year, for one hour you can cheer for them.” Put the spotlight on your arts department for the day!

Black Out Rally: Tell your students to dress in white and surprise them by having the entire pep rally (or just portions) in black light. You can also give glow sticks to your students to join in on the fun.

Kiss and Tell Surprise: Have each player sit in a chair and tell them that they will be blindfolded, and an anonymous cheerleader (or member of the opposite sex sports team) will kiss them on the cheek. Their mission is to guess which cheerleader or team member kissed them. After they are blindfolded, quietly bring out each of their mothers and have them give their sons a peck. The crowd will love it, even if the players don’t.

Pink Out October: In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, hold a “Pink” themed pep rally, you can also raise money for breast cancer research.

Audience Art Competition: Select teams of four people from the audience. Give each team a box of materials (crepe streamer, crayons, balloons, markers, stickers, cardboard, etc.) and five minutes to create the best spirit display. The crowd response selects the winning team, whose members get a small reward like a ticket to the next game, snack vouchers, etc.

Scavenger Hunt: Have a pep rally being held on the football field? Scatter two packages of balloon weights over the field. Select five people from the crowd and make them race to see who can gather up the most balloon weights in an allotted time. If you have more than one prize to give away, mark one of the balloon weights with permanent marker. The holder of that balloon weight gets an additional prize!

Yearbook Reveal: Get your yearbook team involved in rally by revealing the yearbook in a dramatic manner. Example: have the band play trumpets as the yearbook staff parades the yearbook out atop a velvet pillow.

TP Teacher Challenge: You’ll need one teacher per grade level plus the class president (or another representative) for each grade. The student rep is given a roll of toilet paper and when the whistle blows, he or she has to wrap the TP around the teacher as fast as possible. The first one done wins the game for their class.

Three Top Prizes Giveaway: Have everyone drop their names into a bucket on the way into school. During the rally, pick three names for great prizes like game tickets and schools shirts. You must be present at the rally to win- this will help encourage students to attend the rally!

Many team building activities can also be modified and used for pep rallies. Download our Pep Rally Ideas Handbook so you can share with your team.

If you have any other ideas, let us know in the comments below! Also, if you try any of the above and want to share photos, feel free to tag us on social media, we would love to see you!


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