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Healthy Bodies and Healthy Minds Activities

This resource provides a starting point for teachers to install activities that stimulate the brain through physical activity. Many of the activities only take a few minutes to complete. There are 10-15 minute segments, one minute "brain breaks" and combinations to provide short physical activity breaks during the school day. Research tells us this will increase brain power which in turn:

The Utah Department of Health and the Utah State Board of Education have partnered to help increase physical activity throughout Utah by modeling a Davis School Districts physical activity program "Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds" establishing a strong Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) foundation in the school setting.

To Infinity and Beyond

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Write the following solar system vocabulary words and corresponding physical activities on the board:
    • Constellation - shake
    • Telescope - squat
    • Sun - twist
    • Galaxy - jog in place
  • Read a statement that describing one of the vocabulary words.
  • Students determine which vocabulary word is being described and performs the corresponding activity.
As If

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Teacher reads to class:
    • Jog in place as if a big scary bear is chasing you.
    • Walk forward as if you're walking through mud.
    • Jump in place as if you are popcorn popping.
    • Reach up as if grabbing balloons in the air.
    • March in place as if you are in a marching band.
    • Paint as if the brush is attached to your head.
    • Move your feet on the floor as if you are ice skating.
    • Shake your body as if you are a wet dog.
  • Students act out each sentence for 30 seconds.
  • Students can create their own sentences for additional activities.
Travel the Globe

Equipment: Number cards, map of Utah/United States/World overheads.

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • On an overhead show an unlabeled map of Utah, number the counties.
  • Identify five students as taggers. These students are "it" and try to gently tag the others. All other students travel around using a locomotor movement trying not to get tagged.
  • When someone is tagged, the tagger calls out "county" and the person tagged chooses a number of a county and answers with the city located in that county.
  • For example, the person chooses number four, which is Box Elder County on the map the answer could Tremonton, Brigham City, Perry, etc.
  • If the answer is correct, the tagged student is now a tagger and the one who tagged them joins the group moving around trying not to be tagged.
  • If the answer is incorrect, the tagged student goes back to moving around, trying not to be tagged.

Variation: Adapt the map for other topics, such as countries of the world, state capitals, etc.

Pass It On

Equipment: UNO cards

Formation: Circle

How to play:

  • Teacher hands out one card to each student.
  • Students identify color on card & perform activity that corresponds to that color for 10-15 seconds:
    • Blue: jump to the sky
    • Red: squats
    • Yellow: twist
    • Green: swim
  • When teacher says "Pass it On", students will pass the card to the person on their right and complete the activity that corresponds to their new card.
Go Bananas

Equipment: Barrel of Monkeys

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Teacher empties barrel of monkeys and picks up one monkey.
  • Students jump as high as they can jump one time and teacher says GO BANANAS!
  • Students GO BANANAS by wiggling their body
  • Repeat and continue until the chain of monkeys breaks and start over.
  • Integration: Teacher reads the book, The Day the Teacher Went Bananas. Students discuss bananas and how unique they are: color, peel, shape, nutritional value, where they grow, and/or snack ideas.

Variation: Use building blocks, hangers, or your own creative ideas.

Over, Under, Around & Through

Equipment: None

Formation: Around perimeter of room.

How to play:

  • Teacher decides on a pattern where students go over, under, around and through imaginary or real objects.
  • Lead the line of students around the room, following the pattern.
    • Example 1: Over a sea of sticky peanut butter, under a cherry tree, around an ice cream cone, and through a sea of Jell-O.
    • Example 2: Over a turtle, under a big dog, around the elephant and through a giraffe's legs.
      • Over - Jump
      • Under - Army crawl
      • Around - Lateral moves
      • Through - Swimming
Rock Paper Scissors Tokens

Equipment: Several small tokens per student.

Music (Optional): Jump by Van Halen

Formation: Partners

How to Play:

  • Jump feet together three times, on final land follow these cues to play.
  • Land feet together = rock
  • Land feet in straddle position = paper
  • Land one foot in front, one foot in back = scissor
  • If you win the round collect a token from your partner and move on to another player. If you lose, give a token to your partner and find another player. If you run out of tokens, keep playing for a chance to win. Other players must play any challenge, even if the player has run out of tokens.

Variation:

  • Add tokens, ask students if they have odd or even amount
  • Add tokens; multiply by various numbers, chart students information in tables, graphs.
  • Box and Whisker Plots can be formed with student data.
Rock, Paper, Scissor Jumps

Equipment: None

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • Teacher asks students questions and students respond by jumping into the correct position
    • Choice A - feet together
    • Choice B - feet apart in a straddle position
    • Choice C - one foot in front of the other
  • Students jump three times on the forth jump they should land in the position that corresponds to the correct answer choice
Rock, Paper, Scissors Olympics

Equipment: Olympic Music

Formation: Start in Partners, if one person is left out they will play in the round that follows, minimal wait time.

How to play:

  • On the start signal, class begins to play each other in rock, paper, scissors. If you are the victor, your partner places his/her hand on your shoulder and they become your team cheerleader.
  • You then find a new person to play.
  • If you win again, the team you won hooks on to your teams shoulders and you continue to play.
  • If you lose, you become the cheerleading teammates of the person who won your round.
  • Ultimately, the class will have two teams in a head to head Olympic play off match.
Circuit Training with a Partner

Equipment: You will need to acquire some fitness circuit cards. Use circuit cards which represent the 5 components of fitness.

Formation: Small Groups of 4-6, Place a few fitness cards at each station.

Music: Something with a beat or 30 second interval.

How to Play:

  • Once cards are placed around the room, students perform the activity at their station until the music stops.
  • Students then move to the next activity.
  • Have a couple of cards at each station to provide student choice.
    • Card suggestions:
      • Flexibility - Toe touches
      • Strength - Squat jumps, wall sits, push ups
      • Cardiovascular - Air jump rope
  • 5 components of fitness
    • Cardiovascular
    • Muscular strength
    • Muscular endurance
    • Flexibility
    • Body Composition
Cabeza, Hombros, Rodillas, y Pies

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Teach the students how to do Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes in Spanish.
    • Cabeza, hombros, rodillas, y pies, rodillas y pies
    • Cabeza, hombros, rodillas, y pies, rodillas y pies
    • Ojos, orejas, boca, y nariz
    • Cabeza, hombros, rodillas, y pies, rodillas y pies
  • Cabeza (cah-bay-zah)
  • Hombros (oh-m-broh-z)
  • Rodilla (roh-dee-ah-s)
  • Pies (pee-ay-s)
  • Ojos (oh-ho-s)
  • Orejas (oh-ray-hah-s)
  • Boca (b-oh-cah)
  • Nariz (nah-ree-s)
  • Y (ee)
I See

Equipment: None

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • Students are scattered throughout the room.
  • Teacher says, "I see…" and the students respond, "What do you see?"
  • The teacher then specifies a movement task and the students must respond by performing that task until the teacher says, "I see…" again.
    • "I see all students walking in any direction without touching anyone."
  • Use different locomotor movements, shapes, speeds, stretches, or animal movements.
Animal Walks

Grade: K-2

Equipment: None

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • Students move throughout the room performing different animal movements.
  • The teacher specifies the animal and the students move like that animal for 15 seconds before a new animal is given.
  • Suggestions: kangaroo, zebra, giraffe, elephant, pig, dog, cat, armadillo, lion, dog, lame dog, monkey, rabbit, turtle, inchworm, snake, etc.
Simon Says

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • One student is selected to be Simon and stands in front of the class.
  • Simon gives a variety of commands (stand up, clap your hands, turn around, etc.) and may or may not precede a command with the words "Simon says."
  • No one is to perform any of the commands unless the command is preceded by "Simon says."
  • Those who move at the wrong time must turn and face away from Simon but continue to play the game.
  • Simon gives commands rapidly, changing to different movements.
  • To confuse the class, Simon may do the movements even if the commands was not preceded with "Simon says."
  • After 30 seconds pick a new leader.
Yakety Sax

Equipment: Student activity sheet (See Below)

Music: Yakety Sax or other fast paced music

Formation: Small groups

How to play:

  • When music starts, students perform the tasks on the Activity Sheet in order from 1-6.
  • If group finishes they should start back at the beginning These could be written on the white board or copied off onto individual group sheets.
  • Activity Sheet Ideas:
    • Punch the air 6 times.
    • Do 7 skier jumps.
    • Stand on one foot for 10 seconds; switch to other foot.
    • Pretend to throw a football 5 times.
    • Do 8 jumping jacks.
    • Touch "head, shoulders, knees, toes" 4 times.
Popcorn

Equipment: None

Music: Optional the popcorn song

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • Divide class into two groups.
  • One group starts as the popcorn; the other as poppers.
  • Students who are popcorn spread around the room and ball up in a crouched position.
  • Students who are poppers circle around individual popcorns.
  • When a popcorn is circled by a popper, the popcorn must jump up and then go back to the crouched position.
  • Switch roles after 2 minutes.
Take A Seat

Equipment: Chairs

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Have students stand up and pull their chairs away from their desks.
  • They should stand in front of their chair (seat facing out).
  • Have students quickly sit, then stand, sit then stand 8-10 times.
  • Next, quickly repeat sitting halfway down and standing, repeating 8-10 times.
  • Last, have students barely sit (just touching the chair) and stand quickly repeating 8-10 times.
Rainstorm

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Have a rainstorm in your classroom
  • Students will do the following:
    • Lightly rub hands together.
    • Lightly snap.
    • Slap their thighs.
    • Slap their thighs and stomp their feet (the rainstorm is at its peak!). Stop stomping their feet and just slap their thighs.
    • Return to lightly snapping.
    • Lightly rub their hands and stop.
    • Do each action for 20 seconds.
Catch Me If You Can

Equipment: None

Formation: General area with student partners.

How to play:

  • Give the students the "track" that they will all follow.
  • One of the two partners will start jogging along the perimeter.
  • The other partner will walk along the perimeter.
  • Eventually the jogger will catch the walker.
  • Once this occurs, the partners switch tasks.
  • The walker becomes the jogger and the jogger becomes the walker.

Variation:

  • Have one of the students start running that the other student start jogging.
  • Have one of the students walk and the other student run. This is a great interval training technique.
My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • 1st time everyone begins by sitting. 2nd time everyone begins by standing. 3rd time students perform without teacher.
  • Sing the song by standing up or sitting down each time a word is said that begins with "B".
  • End in the same position in which you started (sitting or standing). My Bonnie lies over the ocean My Bonnie lies over the sea My Bonnie lies over the ocean Oh bring back my Bonnie to me Bring back, bring back Oh bring back my Bonnie to me – to me! Bring back, bring back Oh bring back my Bonnie to me
Grab the Bean Bag

Equipment: Bean Bag or small item for each pair, two items if group of three.

Music:Rhythm or beat to follow.

Formation: Pairs or group of three.

How to play: Place bean bag between the two players who are sitting across from each other on the floor. Players clap knees alternately to the music. When the music stops, players reach out and try to be the first one to grab the beanbag.

Variations: Tap shoulders, clap knees then hands, create own rhythm. Change positions such as plank hold etc.

Sports Moves

Equipment: None

Music:Any

Formation: Stand away from desks or in open space in the classroom.

How to play:

  • Teacher calls out sport move while students perform the action.
    • Examples:
      • Baseball - Hit a home run, bunt the ball.
      • Volleyball - Bump the ball; spike the ball.
      • Golf - Putt the ball, hit a line drive.
      • Basketball - Dribble and shoot.
      • Dance - Twirl; move side to side; boogie down.
      • Run - Run through tires.
      • Downhill skiing - Demonstrate jumps and moguls.
      • Football - Pass a football; touchdown dance.
      • Archery - Shoot an arrow.
      • Tennis - Serve a tennis ball.
      • Swim- Demonstrate various strokes.
Scatter Square Dance

Equipment: None

Music:Square dance music

Formation: Students find open space in the classroom to begin the dance.

How to play:

  • Students scatter throughout the open space in the classroom
  • Teacher calls out the various formation calls.
  • Keep Time to the Music: Clap, slap, slap, move any part of the body to the beat of the music while standing in one place.
  • Hit the Lonesome Trail: Walk around the room.
  • Lasso: Stomp in place and pretend to swing a lasso
  • Turn One Alone: Turn around in place.
  • Tumbleweed: Drop to the ground and spin in a circle
  • Horse and Jockey Promenade: Everyone line up behind a designated person in horse and jockey fashion. The leader then snakes through the room.
  • Circle Up All: Everyone forms a circle and joins hands.
  • Cyclone: Turn around while walking, do this two times and then continue walking forward.
Dead Bugs

Equipment: None

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • Students move like the bug that you name.
  • When you call "dead bugs" students must lie on their backs with arms and legs straight up in the air until you call another bug.
  • Ideas: ladybug, earthworm, spider, butterfly, praying mantis, stick bug, inchworm, beetle, grasshopper, potato, mosquito, fly, ant, etc.
Take-A-Card, Any Card - Small Group

Equipment: Deck of Cards with face cards removed

Formation: Whole Class – personal space area

How to play:

  • Teacher assigns each suit a fitness activity.
    • Example:
      • Hearts = Forward lunges
      • Spades = Sit Ups
      • Clubs =Push ups
      • Diamonds = Jumping Jacks
  • Student selects a card from the deck and the class then performs that activity equal to the number on the selected card.
    • Example: 4 of hearts = 4 forward lunges
Take-A-Card, Any Card - Entire Class

Equipment: Deck of Cards with face cards removed.

Formation: Whole class – personal space area

How to play:

  • Teacher places small previously made poster of Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs, Spades with fitness activity in the four corners of the room.
  • The deck of cards is placed near center of the room, more than one deck of cards can be placed to spread out students.
  • One person from each group goes to the deck of cards and "takes-a-card".
  • They return to the group and travel by a locomotor movement assigned by the teacher to the poster area of the card they picked.
  • The student performs that activity, then send another student to gather another card.
  • Repeat as many times as possible.
  • The small groups try to collect as many cards as possible before time is up.
Pick-A-Hand Road Rally

Equipment: Small token to hide in hand.

Formation: Partners at tables or on perimeter of room area, one partner holds the token.

How to play:

  • Partner with the token puts hands behind his/her back then brings both hands in front and says' "Pick a hand".
  • The partner than gently taps the hand he/she thinks is holding the token.
  • If the student guesses correctly, they take the token and holds a balance pose selected by the teacher, while the partner skips around the perimeter of the room.
  • The partner holding the pose, then hides the token and the activity is repeated.
  • Possible poses: stork pose, plank, tree pose, crab dip, yoga tree pose.
  • Locomotor skill around Perimeter can be changed to side-slide, hop, walk, gallop, etc.
Line Up

Equipment: None

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • As a class students are challenged to form lines.
  • Specify where the lines start and end.
    • Alphabetical order by first name
    • Alphabetical order by last name
    • Birthday month
    • Number of siblings
  • Increase the challenge by asking them not to speak, touch, or use gestures (one or all of these).
Who's The Boss

Equipment: Deck of Cards with face cards removed.

Formation: Students travel in open spaces throughout the classroom.

How to play:

  • Give each student one card from a deck of cards/UNO cards.
  • Have the students begin walking in the area. Each time a student walks by another student they exchange cards.
  • After about 15-20 seconds, call "Who's the Boss".
  • The students now quickly sort themselves into the four suits/ colors.
  • The student with the highest card is the "Boss" and leads his/her group in a fitness activity.
  • Repeat.
Double This, Double That

Equipment: None

Formation: Group double circle or in partners.

How to play:

  • Students form two circles, facing each other.
  • Students go through one round of the chant and accompanying hand claps with the person opposite of them.
  • The outer circle steps to the right repeating the chant and clapping movements with a new partner.
    • Double, double (Touch fists together twice)
    • This, this (Touch palms together twice)
    • Double, double (Touch fists twice)
    • That, that (Touch backs of hands together twice)
    • Double (Touch fists once)
    • This (Touch palms once)
    • Double (Touch fists once)
    • That (Touch backs of hands once)
    • Double, double (Touch fists twice)
    • This, that (Touch palms and then backs of hands)

Variation: For additional challenge, speed up the pace of the chant with each new partner. Instead of touching fists, participants clap their own hands on the "double" lines.

If/Have You Ever

Equipment: Poly spots

Formation: Group forms a circle, or stands on individual poly spots.

How to play:

  • Leader calls out an "if "or "have you ever" statement.
  • Anyone in the group fitting that statement must switch places with someone else.
  • The leader tries to acquire one of the open spots, giving the group a new leader.

Variation:

  • Use a variety of locomotor movements when switching places.
  • The person calling out the if statement can simply add a movement activity to the call.
    • Example:
      • If you have a brother, do five jumping jacks.
      • If you have a pet, jump in the air.
      • Have you ever gone fishing.
      • Move to open spot in circle or open poly spot.
Classroom Cleanup

Equipment: Messy classroom

Formation: Entire classroom

How to play:

  • Spread the desired materials throughout the classroom i.e. fluff balls, cards, bean bags, etc. or use items that are already around the room.
  • On signal, students must crab walk to pick up the different materials.
  • Materials should be placed on their desks when they have been picked up.
  • Once the room has been cleaned, have the students mess it up again and clean it one more time.
Walkie-talkie

Equipment: None

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • Give students 10 seconds to find a partner.
  • Students will walk and talk around the room.
  • Students will tell their partner things about themselves that their partner does not already know.
  • After 3 or 4 minutes, have students return to their desks and share some things that they learned about their classmates.
  • You can also switch partners after a few minutes to help students get to know more classmates.
Quick Draw

Equipment: None

Formation: Partners

How to play:

  • Students face partner, on teacher signal, students hold out hands showing any number of fingers and thumb.
  • First person to add up the total wins.

Variation:

  • One handed
    • Total from one hand, then multiply that number by a given number.
  • Two handed
    • You can multiply digits of partner 1 by partner 2.
    • You can add up both partners hands and then multiply by a given number.
    • You can add the left hand and right hand digits of both partners and then multiply.
Factor It In

Equipment: Four pieces of scrap paper labeled 2,3,4 and 5

Formation: Students are divided into four groups. Each group is sent to a corner of the room.

How to play:

  • Teacher labels each corner of the room with one of the pieces of scrap paper.
  • Teacher calls out a number that is a multiple of 2, 3, 4, or 5.
  • Students who are in a corner that is a factor of that number will move to another corner.
  • Movements include:
    • Jumping
    • Skipping
    • Walking
    • Hopping on one foot
    • Marching
      • Example - If teacher calls out 6, students in corners labeled 2 and 3 will move to another corner.

Variation: Have students move to a corner labeled with a factor of the number called. If a prime number is called, have students move to center of room.

Morning Routine

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desk

How to play:

  • Perform each of the following movement activities, followed by the corresponding stretch.
  • Hold stretches for 20 seconds.
    • Jumping Jacks Reach for the sky
    • Knee lifts Runner's stretch
    • Flap arms Butterfly stretch
    • Hopping Rotate ankles
    • Scissors Scratch your back
Jumpers & Joggers

Equipment: Two items to hide

Formation: Classroom

How to play:

  • Divide the class into 2 teams – jumpers and joggers.
  • Choose 2 items to hide.
  • Ask one person from each team to leave the room while their teams hide the items.
  • Once the items are hidden, students return to the classroom and try to find them.
  • They take "hot" and "cold" cues from their teammates as their teammates jump or jog faster when they are closer to the item and slower when they move away.
Stop 'n Sport

Equipment: None

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • Students choose partners and then walk around the room, away from their partners.
  • When the teacher calls out a sport, students must quickly find their partners and freeze in a pose depicting that sport.
  • Students stay frozen until told to walk again. Partners may not do the same pose.
  • For example, if "basketball" is called, both partners may not be shooting a basket (one might freeze in a defense position).
  • Repeat with a new sport. Some sports that could be used: soccer, volleyball, baseball, track & field, gymnastics, swimming, ballet, cheerleader, football, lacrosse, etc.
Stop, Drop & Scribble

Equipment: Music and an assignment to complete

Music:Any

Formation: Classroom open space will be utilized, student desks with worksheets.

How to play:

  • Turn on age appropriate music.
  • Decide on a locomotor movement for your class to perform while music is going.
  • When music stops hold up an age appropriate math problem.
  • Students write their answers on paper or white board.
  • Restart the music and perform a new locomotor movement.

Variation:

  • Use alphabet cars and have kids repeat sound.
  • Spelling words
  • Call out a definition and have students write the vocabulary word.
Mirroring

Equipment: None

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • Students face a partner and mirror the partner's movements.
  • After 2 minutes, switch roles so that each partner leads and follows.
  • Faster movements are harder to mirror. Students should try to use their whole bodies, not just their hands.
  • Mix it up and make it really difficult by having the follower do the opposite of the leader.
24 Silent Handshake

Equipment: None

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • Each students choose a number from 1-5.
  • The object of the game is to find everyone who has chosen that number.
  • Students do this by moving around the classroom using variable locomotor movements and shaking hands – no talking.
  • Students should shake the number that they have chosen and when they find someone with the same number, move with that person to find others with the same number.
  • When groups have been formed and shaking has stopped, ask students to freeze and then ask each group what their number is.
  • To add an extra challenge, ask groups to state what number another group is, rather than stating their own numbers.
12 Days of Fitness

Equipment: None

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • Act out the following movement tasks to the tune of The 12 Days of Christmas.
  • "On the ___ day of fitness my trainer gave to me…"
    • A stork standing on one leg (single leg balance)
    • 2 scissor jumps (feet apart, cross in front, apart, cross in back)
    • 3 muscle poses
    • 4 jumping ropes (invisible jump rope)
    • 5 hula hoops (invisible hula hoops)
    • 6 small kicks (in front of body)
    • 7 jabs or punches
    • 8 jogs in place
    • 9 toe raises
    • 10 knee lifts
    • 11 raise the roofs
    • 12 jumping jacks
Automobile

Grade: 3-6

Equipment: 1 plastic hoop per person, cones

Formation: Scattered within general space.

How to play:

  • Students use plastic hoop as an automobile.
  • Students hold the hoop at waist height, and buckle up.
  • On signal students travel around activity area avoiding other traffic.
  • Give verbal commands while students move:
    • City street - Jog
    • Highway/freeway - Run
    • School zone - Walk
    • Gravel road - Gallop
    • Bumpy road - Skip
    • One way - Move clockwise
    • Emergency vehicles - Move to side of area
    • Reverse - Move backwards
    • Icy road - Slide
    • Pot hole - Leap
    • Flat tire - Hop
    • Traffic jam - Jog in Place
    • Tunnel - Duck down
  • Students not following commands goes to jail and performs 5 jumping jacks,community service.
  • Automobiles that collide report to the "body shop". Students stop and put their hoops down and performs 10 jumping jacks, and shakes hands saying "I'm sorry, please drive safely".

Variation: Use paper plates and switch to steering wheels.

Topsy Turvy

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Write the following solar system vocabulary words and corresponding physical activities on the board:
    • Constellation - shake
    • Telescope - squat
    • Sun - twist
    • Galaxy - jog in place
  • Read a statement that describes one of the vocabulary words.
  • Students determine which vocabulary word is being described and performs the corresponding activity.
Invisible Jump Rope

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • The objective of this activity is to recall basic counting, addition, and subtraction facts while jumping rope.
  • Each student pretends to have an invisible jump rope and begins to jump.
  • Class continues until 10 minutes of physical activity have been completed.
Ahoy, Matey!

Equipment: None

Formation: Students move around in open space.

How to play: Teacher calls out various pirate moves and the students perform the actions while moving carefully throughout the room.

  • Swab the Deck – Mop, Clean the floors.
  • Heave away – Bring up the anchor.
  • Look Lively - Shake a leg .
  • Walk the Plank – Walk 3 steps, then jump into the ocean waters.
  • Climb the Riggin' – Pretend to climb.
  • Shark Attack – Swim like a shark.
  • Rats on Board – Walk around and jump over rats.
  • Row Boats – Students sit in partners with feet touching and row.
  • Mutiny- Find a partner and sword fight.
  • Sardines- Everyone walks close together, huddle up.
  • Torpedo – Clap hands out in front of you and run carefully around the room.
European Vacation

Equipment: None

Formation: Students in lines in desk rows.

How to play:

  • Lead students through Europe on a vacation.
  • Students mimic the actions at each stop on vacation.
    • Play tennis at Wimbledon.
    • Golf at St. Andrews.
    • Swim the English Channel.
    • Ski the Swiss Alps.
    • Play soccer at Wembley Stadium.
    • Climb the Eiffel Tower.
    • Ride the Tour De France.
    • Run with the bulls in Spain.
    • Paddle the gondola in Venice.
    • Do the German Polka.
Tour De Utah

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Lead students through Utah.
  • Students mimic the actions at each stop.
    • Snow ski at Alta.
    • Race at the Bonneville Raceway.
    • Hike Delicate Arch.
    • Kayak down the Weber River.
    • Bicycle the Slick Rock Trail.
    • Run the Wasatch Back Mountains.
    • Speed skate at the Olympic Oval.
    • Horseback ride in Kanab.
    • Swim across Lake Powell.
Utah Professional Sports Teams

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Lead students to demonstrate sports skills with the following Utah professional teams.
    • Basketball skills with the Utah Jazz Team.
    • Soccer skills with Real Salt Lake or Salt Lake City Sparta.
    • Baseball skills with the Salt Lake Bees.
    • Hockey skills with the Utah Grizzlies.
    • Football skills with the Utah Argos or Utah Blitz.
    • Ultimate disc (Frisbee) with the Salt Lake Lions.
Utah University Mascots

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Lead students to demonstrate sports that are highlighted at one of the following Utah Universities while pretending they are the mascot.
    • Red Storm - Dixie State University
    • Waldo the wildcat - Weber State University
    • Big Blue - Utah State University
    • Cosmo -Brigham Young University
    • Wolverines - Utah Valley University
    • Swoop - University of Utah
    • Thunderbirds - Southern Utah University Variations:
  • Elementary school mascot
  • Local high school mascot
Yoga-cize

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Students stand up and get an arms-length distance from their neighbor.
  • Place hands on hips and position the sole of their foot resting on the inside of the opposite leg (above the knee as they advance).
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  • Then, have them slowly move their arms straight out to their sides while bending forward and extending their foot behind them to land in "airplane" position.
  • Have them hold for as long as possible.
  • Teach the class to engage (tighten) their abdominal muscles and focus on a spot on the floor to help them balance.
  • Repeat on the other side.
Air Spelling

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play: Student spells words using arm, leg, head, elbow knee, etc.

Feel the Beat

Equipment: Envelopes and/or white-board

Music:Any

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • Student partner with a classmate and sit cross legged on the floor facing their partner 2-3 feet away.
  • Place an object between them.
  • Turn on some music and have students perform the following actions to the beat of the music:
    • Tap knees
    • Tap shoulders
    • Clap
    • Tap knees, shoulders, clap
    • Clap partners hands (both, right-right, left-left)
  • When the music stops, students try to be the first to grab the object.
Physical Activity Jeopardy

Equipment: Envelopes and/or white-board

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Tape a variety of envelopes with one physical activity listed inside each envelope on the board in the front of the classroom.
  • Write 10, 15, 20 and 25 on the outside of each envelope
  • Call on a student to pick one of the envelopes, and the class performs the physical activity inside it for the number of repetitions listed on the front of the envelope.
  • Activities could include:
    • Boxing jabs
    • Jumps
    • Push-ups
    • Triceps dips using their chair
    • Arm circles
    • Jumping jacks
    • Elbow to opposite knee touches
Random Dance Movements

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Clap your hands.
  • Clap your hands (double time speed).
  • Stomp your feet at a soft noise level.
  • Stomp your feet at a medium noise level. • Stomp your feet at a loud noise level.
  • Cross your hands over each other with palms facing down (right over left, then left over right, etc.).
  • Hitchhiker to the left and right side (hand makes a fist and arm makes a "L", then raise/lower your fist,
  • Double semi-honks (both arms on each side).
  • Tae-Bo's (traveling call in basketball) left side, right side, high, low, etc.
  • Tae-Bo's while bending at the knees and then straightening legs.
  • Bring your knees up to touch your elbows (same side, opposite side).
  • 1/4 turn and jumps.
Quiz Me

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • While reviewing for a test ask the students a series of true or false questions.
  • If the question is true students should jump in place for 15 seconds.
  • If it is false they should touch their toes.
Stretch Wave

Equipment: None

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • Divide students into groups of six to eight and have them stand in a circle.
  • Have one student start by performing a stretch and holding it.
  • One at a time, moving in a clockwise direction, the other students perform the same stretch.
  • Once it has been passed around the circle, the student to the left of the first student performs a different stretch and the wave continues.
Over Under

Equipment: A small sturdy object for passing.

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • Have students stand in a row, one behind the other in groups of five or six.
  • Have the students pass the object down the line, alternating high over the head and low between the knees.
  • When the object gets to the end of the line, the last person runs to the front and starts passing it again.

Variation:

  • Have students say a letter of the alphabet as they pass the object. Students say a word that starts with each letter of the alphabet (e.g., first person says "apple," second person says "banana," third person says "cat," fourth person says "dog").
  • Another variation is saying a two-letter word and when the person runs to the front of the line, the group must say a three-letter word, then a four-letter word. Continue to the appropriate level of skill.
Alphabet Popcorn

Equipment: Cards with the letters of the alphabet.

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • Each student should have a letter of the alphabet. Letters can be written on index-sized cards.
  • Each student squats down.
  • Call out different letters of the alphabet.
  • When the letter on their index card (or a word that begins with their letter) is called, they "pop up" and then quickly squat down.
  • If the word alphabet is called, everyone pops up.

Variation:

  • Try spelling some words. Choose words that are presently being defined and applied in spelling, reading and writing assignments and from all subject areas.
  • Assign each student a number rather than a letter. Call our or write down equations, i.e., "3x2=?" and have the students "pop up" when their number is the answer to the equation. If "All Numbers" is called out, everyone pops up.
Story Starters

Equipment: Paper and pencils

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • Each student has a piece of paper and choose a theme related to a topic covered recently in class.
  • Students begin writing a story (the first few lines).
  • After one minute, stop the students and have them crumple up their paper and throw it to the other side of the room.
  • Students then move around the room, using a different locomotor movement each time, to find a new piece of paper.
  • On a signal, students pick up a paper that is close to them and read the story starter and continue writing the story for the next minute.
  • Continue this for several rounds, then have the students share their stories in groups.
One Minute Pop Up

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Explain to the students that the goal is to count to ten by working together as a class.
  • This must be done by students randomly standing and saying the next consecutive number from 1-10.
  • Students may not communicate with each other.
  • Two people cannot stand at the same time and say a number or the game starts over.
  • See if they can count to 10 in one minute.
Desk Wake Up

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Students sit comfortably and place their hands on their desks in line with their shoulders, fingers pointing slightly inward.
  • Students then rest their foreheads between their hands and inhale deeply, feeling their breath flowing into the body like a fountain of energy.
  • Students slowly lift the forehead first, then the neck and torso so that they are sitting in an upright position, keeping their shoulders and lower body relaxed.
  • Students then exhale while tucking in their chins to their chests to pull the head forward, lengthening the back of the neck.
  • Students relax and breathe deeply as their foreheads are brought back to rest on their desks.
Paper Play

Equipment: A crumpled piece of paper shaped into a ball or a beanbag for each student.

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Students toss and catch the paper ball with two hands and repeat 10 times. Toss the ball without making a sound. Toss the ball with one hand and catch it in two hands.
  • Students toss the ball up, clap once and catch it in two hands. Toss the ball up and clap two times. Toss and clap three times. Use the other hand to toss and repeat pattern.
  • Students toss and catch the ball with their right hands, then their left hands. Toss with one hand and catch with the other.
  • Students toss, touch their shoulders and catch. Toss, touch their knees and catch. Toss, turn around and catch.

Variation: Divide the teaching space in half and create two teams. Each student has two paper balls, one in each hand. At the command "GO," have students throw the balls to the other half of the activity area. After one minute, students freeze and the balls are counted. The team with the fewest paper balls on their side is declared the winner.

Tight Body Stretch

Equipment: None

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • Perform while lying down or sitting down.
  • Students make their whole body as tight and stiff as possible
  • Hold this for a count of five and release. Breathe in and out slowly. Tighten one body part at a time in the following order: one hand, both hands, one arm, both arms, one leg, both legs, buttocks, whole body.
  • Conclude this stretch by repeating the activity, this time releasing one body part at a time in the following reverse order: whole body, buttocks, both legs, one leg, both arms, one arm, both hands, one hand. Breathe in and out slowly through the nose.
No Stress Test

Equipment: None

Formation: General area

How to play: Make it a classroom tradition to have a 5 minute walking break before a test to help everyone unwind and relax.

Textbook Aerobics

Equipment: Hardcover books

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • Students take out textbooks and use them to do the following exercises:
    • Bicep curls: Hold the book in one hand and bend at the elbow to raise the book toward the shoulder.
    • Triceps dips: Hold the book in one hand and lean forward over the desk with the other hand holding the desk. Hold the arm with the book parallel to the body, bend the elbow to 90° and raise and lower the book extending backward up to shoulder level.
    • Overhead lifts: Hold the book in one or two hands and lift it above the head in one smooth motion.
    • Twists: Hold the book to the chest with both hands and twist slowly from side to side.
Memory Match

Equipment: Cards or paper plates

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • Write rhyming words, synonyms, vocabulary & definitions, equivalent numbers or operations, or other pairs of words/ phrases on the bottom of paper plates or cards and divide students into groups of two.
  • Scatter half the paper plates or cards turned upside down around one side of the classroom.
  • The matching paper plates or cards are scattered on the other side of the playing space.
  • Have each group start at a different spot and, using a specific locomotor pattern.
  • Move to one side to pick a paper plate or card. Then they move, using the same locomotor pattern, to the other side of the playing area to find their matching word.
  • If they turn over a card that matches, they bring it back.
  • If it doesn't, they place it back on the floor upside down for the other teams to find. Partners must stay together and can only turn over one card at a time.
High-Knee Drill

Equipment: Masking tape or ruler

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Student put a ruler (a piece of masking tape can be used here, too) on the floor between their feet.
  • Have them move like a football player and "high-knee" it as fast as they can for one minute without moving the ruler between their feet.
  • Rest for 10 seconds.
  • Now stand facing the ruler with feet together, hop over and back for one minute.
  • Rest for 10 seconds.
  • Stand parallel to the ruler and hop side-to-side.
Toss and Catch

Equipment: Soft object to throw

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • Use a spelling list and partners pick a word.
  • Spell while tossing an object back and forth.
  • 1st student says first letter and tosses the object to their partner.
  • 2 student says the second letter and tosses the object back.
  • Continue until the word is complete.
Weight-Less

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Isometric routines require no equipment; just make sure you remind the students to fully engage (tighten) their muscles to get the maximum benefit.
  • Have students stand.
  • Engage the biceps by making a tight fist and do 20 biceps curls.
  • Next, have them raise their arms straight out to the sides at shoulder level, engage their shoulder area, and lower arms on a 3-count, then lift them back up to shoulder level on a 3-count. Do 20.
  • Have students tighten their abs and alternate touching right elbow to left knee and right knee to left elbow for 30 lifts.
  • Repeat the entire routine.
Stand and Go

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Starting on the left foot, begin walking in place.
  • Each time the left foot touches the ground, say a letter number as directed (see below). If the students complete the entire set (listed below) twice, they will have gone about 1/3 of a mile.
  • March A to Z
  • Jog A to Z
  • March 1 to 50
  • Jog 1 to 50
  • March A to Z
  • March 1 to 50
  • Jog A to Z
  • Jog 1 to 50
  • March A to Z

Variation: Students could also spell their spelling words or recite addition/multiplication tables.

Quick Hands

Equipment: None

Formation: General area

How to play:

  • Have the students form pairs and stand across from each other.
  • Give each pair a soft object such as an eraser, ball or beanbag.
  • Explain to the students that when you say "go," the pairs will try to pass the object back and forth as many times as possible until you say stop.
  • Rotate partners.
Tic-Tac-Toe

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Have students play Tic-Tac-Toe with a partner.
  • The students or teacher designates a physical activity for each square on the Tic-Tac-Toe sheet.
  • Have the students perform the specific activity before placing an "X" or "O" in the box.
Patterns and Pathways

Equipment: None

Formation: General area

How to play: Students move around the room in different patterns specified by the teacher.

  • Examples:
    • Skip in a zigzag pattern
    • Walk and make a square
    • Jump and make a triangle
    • Slowly jog in a curvy line
    • Hop in a straight line
    • Gallop in a figure-eight pattern
Pop Quiz

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Design 5 multiple choice questions related to a classroom lesson. Each answer choice has a different activity associated with the corresponding letter.
    • For example: * A=arm circles * B=marching in place * C=toe touches * D=trunk twists. Each
  • Student performs the activity associated with the answer that is correct.
    • For example, if the student thinks the correct answer is 'A' he/she will do arm circles.
  • Allow 20 seconds for the students to perform the activity and then announce the correct answer.
Word of the Day

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Assign a 'word of the day' that is related to the lesson and a physical activity.
  • Every time the teacher says the 'word of the day' the students jog in place for 30 seconds.

Variation: Vary the word of the day and activity daily.

Fighting Fatigue

Equipment: Paper and pencils

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Perform the following activities for one minute each:
    • Bounce around in place like a boxer.
    • Punch straight up in the air with both arms.
    • Punch out straight in front at a steady pace, alternating left and right arms.
    • Kick straight in front at a steady pace, alternating left and right legs.
  • Make sure students are spaced at least an arms-length apart.
Numbers

Equipment: None

Formation: Circle

How to play:

  • Students to stand in a circle.
  • Everyone begins to count in turn around the circle.
  • Each time the number three or a multiple of three is reached, that person jumps up instead of saying the number.
  • Each time the number five or a multiple of five is reached, that person turns around once instead of saying the number.
  • If someone makes a mistake, he/she drops out of the circle to power walk around the room and the next person begins counting from one again.
  • The dropped out student power walks until another person makes a mistake and takes her/his place power walking around the room.
  • The first student out returns to the circle to begin the count.

Variation:

  • Any mathematic problem could be used.
  • Use spelling words and do movements with vowels.
Inches, Feet, and Yards, Oh My!

Equipment: None

Formation: Students line up around the perimeter of the room.

How to play:

  • Students start with feet side by side and move one set of toes ahead of the other set of toes to represent inches or "small".
  • Students place one foot in front of the other to represent feet or "medium".
  • Students take one giant step forward or backward to represent yards or "large".
  • Call out different measurements:
    • Example—Move forward 2 feet, back 5 inches, sideways 1 yard.
  • Students move in the same direction.
  • Students jump, twist, and stretch between measurements for at least 30 seconds.

Variation:

  • Add directions (right, left, forward, back).
  • Use the metric system.
Who's Leading?

Equipment: None

Formation: Circle

How to play:

  • Students stand in one large circle.
  • One student is chosen to be the guesser and leaves the room.
  • Another student is then chosen to be the leader who leads the rest of the circle in a variety of movements of his/her choice.
  • Bring the guesser back into the room to guess which student in the circle is leading.
  • When the correct leader has been identified, repeat with a new guesser and leader.
Heart Smart

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Teacher will discuss the heart:
    • Where is it located? Left side of the chest.
    • What size is it? Size of a fist.
    • Function? Deliver blood to the body.
    • What strengthens the heart? Jumping, swimming, etc. (Students will act out each activity).
    • What weakens the heart? Inactivity, smoking, unhealthy diet.
  • Call out a habit that strengthens or weakens the heart.
  • If the habit strengthens the heart, students will respond by jumping for 15 seconds.
  • If the habit weakens the heart, students will respond by squatting for 5 seconds.
    • Riding a bike - jump
    • Eating 4 pepperoni pizzas - squat
Heart Smart (Continued)
    • Walking your dog - jump
    • Smoking cigarettes – squat
    • Watching TV all the time –squat
    • Dancing with your friends – jump
    • Skating – jump
    • Eating potato chips and soda – squat
    • Never eating fruits/vegetables – squat
    • Riding a scooter – jump
    • Shooting baskets – jump
    • Playing on a tablet – squat
    • Eating fast food – squat
    • Raking the leaves - jump
    • Washing the car – jump
    • Taking the stairs – jump
    • Taking the elevator – squat
    • Swimming – jump
Shuffle Foot

Equipment: None

Formation: General Area

How to play:

  • Students are standing in pairs about three feet apart facing each other.
  • One person is the "same," the other is "different."
  • Both partners run in place 30 steps.
  • On the 30th step, each player puts a food forward.
  • If the feet are the "same" (right, right or left, left), the student designated the "same" earns a point.
  • If the feet are "different," the other player earns a point.
  • The game continues to a set number of points.

Variation:

  • Have students do other activities (jumping jacks, jump in place, arm circles, etc.) before they put a foot forward.
  • Vary the number of steps, jumps, jumping jacks that students perform before they put a foot forward.
Paper Skate

Equipment: 2 pieces of paper for each student.

Music:Optional

Formation: General Area

How to play:

  • Students stand on pieces of paper, these are their "ice skates".
  • Students practice sliding their feet on the paper.
  • Begin the music and have everyone follow you in a dance sequence.
  • Movement Ideas:
    • Pivot in a circle (one foot, and then the other).
    • Slide and close to the side.
    • Twist
    • Move forward.
    • Move backward.
Vocabulary Tag Grade: 4-6

Equipment: None

Formation: Beside desks

How to play:

  • Vocabulary list with corresponding activities should be posted:
    • Chromosome - jumping jack
    • DNA - Lunging to the right
    • Dominant - toe touches
    • Recessive - twist
  • Students march in place.
  • Teacher calls a students name and he/she will define the vocabulary word or concept.
  • Students will then perform activity for 10 seconds.
Corner to Corner

Equipment: Four classroom books, stuffed animals or word cards.

Formation: Divide class into small groups. Each group will start at a different corner location, so they are not all starting at the same spot.

How to play:

  • Select four books from your classroom library, place one book at each corner of the room.
  • Example Books:
    • Brown Bear, Brown Bear
    • Frog and Toad are Friends
    • Alligator Baby
    • Miss Spider's Wedding
    • The Tale of Peter Rabbit
  • Show the students the animal on the cover that you want them to imitate.
  • Students demonstrate the animal as they move around the room to the next corner.

Variations:

  • Use stuffed animals; a crab, monkey, dragon, bear as the corner markers.
  • Use word cards to indicate the movement.
Plastic Bag/Scarves

Equipment: None

Music:Circus music i.e. The Can Can

Formation: Plastic bags or scarves per student.

How to play:

  • Students will explore tossing and catching their plastic bag/ scarves.
  • Toss the bag into the air and catch it before it touches the ground.
  • Toss the bag into the air and clap your hands one time before catching the bag.
  • Toss the bag into the air and clap your hands twice, than catch the bag.
  • Toss the bag into the air and turn around and then catch your bag.
  • Continue with catches on their head, toe, elbow, etc.
Guess Who the Leader Is?

Equipment: None

Formation: Perimeter of the room.

How to play:

  • One person is asked to leave the room.
  • The teacher selects a person to be the leader.
  • The leader begins by clapping hands, snapping fingers, stomping on one foot, etc.
  • Everyone follows the leader.
  • The person who left re-enters the room and tries to guess who the leader is.
  • Hint: Try not to look at the leader.
Alley Cat

Equipment: None

Music:Alley Cat

Formation: Students scatter to an open space in the classroom

How to play: Teach steps, perform to the music.

Pizza Box Stretching

Equipment: Pizza box, book or paper

Formation: In partners

How to play:

  • Students stand back to back and pass the box in the following ways:
    • Over and under
    • Reverse over and under
    • Side to side
    • Reverse side to side
    • Figure 8 (extended side to side)
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