Why should we incorporate more movement activities in school and at home?
Research consistently indicates the benefits of physical activity for children.
Regular movement can lead to improvements in coordination, body strength, confidence, focus, and behavior.
We can use fun movement activities in the classroom to improve focus during seated times, and to add a sense of excitement to the classroom day.
We can also incorporate learning into movement as you will see in the Monster Workout Game (number 7 below).
Additionally, there is a level of bonding that comes from working out together, which will likely improve the overall classroom climate.
The exercises in this article are great for working out at home too.
Try these activities with your children. I would love to know how they liked completing these short workouts.
7 Short Movement Activities for Kids
1. Balance on one foot for less than 30 seconds.
Hold onto something with your hand, like a chair or table, if it helps you.
2. Ten Soft Furniture Crash Landings
Stand three to five feet away from your couch, chair, bed, etc. Run and jump onto the furniture. Then repeat. Make sure you have your parents’ permission.
If you are in a classroom, students can jog in place and then jump up into the air.
3. Ten Airplane Twists
Put your arms out like airplane wings and twist side to side. Your feet should be flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. This exercise gives you a good back stretch.
Imagine you are an airplane soaring through the sky. What do you see on your flight?
4. Ten Dancing Jumps
Jump up to the left and throw your hands up in the air. If you don’t think you have the move exactly right, that’s okay. You don’t have to. Just jump and put your arms up to the best of your ability.
TAKE A BREAK WHEN YOU NEED TO (Drink Water)
5. 30-Second Freeze Dance
Dance by yourself or with other people. Follow directions by freezing when the animals tell you to! What animals do you see in this video? Did you see any animals more than once?
6. Ten Side-to-Side Twists
To make this feel like a dance move. Try to lift your heels, or stand on your toes, each time you twist to one side.
7. The Monster Workout Game
Move like a monster for less than a minute in this fun workout game.
While you are doing the Monster Workout, can you find the animal hiding behind the angel? Can you count the monster heads?
I hope you enjoy these fun workouts for kids as much as I enjoyed making them!
Remember – Exercise helps kids, and it helps you too (body, mind, and spirit).
If you want to do all the workouts in a row, here is the playlist. Just hit play on the first video, and each one will automatically play after the one before it is finished.
Movement Activities for Kids Playlist
If you are a school staff member, can you try some of these activities with a child at recess who does not have other children to play with?
Education and Behavior – Keeping Adults on the Same Page for Kids.
Rachel Wise is the author and founder of Education and Behavior. Rachel created Education and Behavior in 2014 for adults to have an easy way to access research-based information to support children in the areas of learning, behavior, and social-emotional development. As a survivor of abuse, neglect, and bullying, Rachel slipped through the cracks of her school and community. Education and Behavior hopes to play a role in preventing that from happening to other children. Rachel is also the author of Building Confidence and Improving Behavior in Children: A Guide for Parents and Teachers.
“Children do best when there is consistency within and across settings (i.e., home, school, community). Education and Behavior allows us to maintain that consistency.”