25 movement activities for elementary school students

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Physical activity is a great way to break up the day and help students move their bodies! Movement has many benefits and movement in the classroom can help lighten the mood with all the rigorous everyday academic demands for young learners. Structuring your day to allow for bursts of movement will definitely add positivity to your day! Check out these 25 movement ideas for your elementary students!

1. Motion hide and seek digital game

This game is fun and allows for lots of movement! Find the number in the room as if you were playing hide and seek. The twist is that students will find numbers and do the move associated with them. It is in digital format and can be personalized to your liking.

Learn more: Rhody Girl Resources

2. Quick Search Scavenger Hunt

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Hide the clues around the room and let the students find them to practice their skills. You can do this with first sounds, letter names and sounds or other literacy or math skills. These could be adapted for use with other content areas, such as science or social studies.

Learn more: Rhody Girl Resources

3. Move and Spell Sight Word Game

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This is a great academic movement activity that will help toddlers learn their sight words. This activity allows children to practice their sight words while moving their bodies. Toddlers love to move, so this one is a double winner!

Learn more: Rhody Girl Resources

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Movement ideas while playing hopscotch can have a wide variety. You can practice number or letter identification or even visual word recognition. The impact of movement while learning is a fantastic combination.

Learn more: Care.com

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This activity cube allows for some creativity. This could be fun for transition times or if a brain break is needed in class. You can use it for indoor playtime or add it to your morning movement time.

Find out more: A little family fun

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Incorporating movement into any learning time is a great way to improve engagement with students. This move card game is a fun way to allow choice of moves. You can also choose a move leader to do the move and everyone mimics the leader.

Learn more: Amazon

7. Ball and Bean Bag Toss

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Fun games like this ball and beanbag toss are a great way to break up the day. Perfect for indoor recreation play ideas, this toss is a hit with students! It’s a fun exercise but it’s also great practice for motor skills. Super easy to make and store, this one requires most of the items you already have at home or in your classroom.

Read more: Frog Snails and Puppy Tails

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Charades is a movement game that also requires intellectual skills. Students will need to think about how to convey meaning without speaking. It’s fun for the whole class to play or split the students into teams and let them play against each other.

Find out more: Mission Atlas

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Obstacle courses can be fun for the teacher and the students. Add fun and challenging obstacle courses to your school day and have fun watching students try to figure out how to pass correctly. Students could also take turns designing obstacle courses.

Read more: What moms love

10. Gross Motor Strip Games

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Movement ideas can be simple! Place tape on the floor to show shapes or letters and allow students to move creatively towards the object. This builds in motion with recognition of shapes and letters or numbers. Let children channel their most intimate animals and their movements.

Read more: What moms love

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Similar to an egg and spoon relay, this game is another good option for motor skills. Students can put foam hearts in a spoon and go to another place to scoop them out. Race it to see who can get there first!

Find out more: A little family fun

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Ball games, like this penguin waddle, are a great way to incorporate movement into play or learning. Include this fun little activity to see who can waddle first to the finish line!

Read more: What moms love

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A good old fashioned hula hoop contest is another great way to get the bodies moving! Change it up and have them use their arms or neck for a bit more of a challenge!

Learn more: Autonomous parents

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Similar to the Simon Says game, this movement activity allows a leader to choose and do the movement. The rest of the class will follow along, copying the leader’s movements.

Find out more: Mrs. Miracle’s Music Room

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Elementary music lessons like this can also be used for movement activities in the classroom. Spend some time in your school day singing and dancing or following movement prompts, like stomp!

Find out more: Mrs. Miracle’s Music Room

16. Syllable Clap and Stomp

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Another music and movement activity, this one also features clapping and toe tapping. Snapping syllables or mashing syllables or patterns is a great way to practice pre-literacy skills!

Read more: Proud to be Primary

17. Roll the dice movement activity

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Roll the dice to see which movement activity you get! You can design it however you want and include the movement activities you want to include. You could even let students vote on which moves to include.

Read more: Teaching the little ones

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This game works with almost all content areas. Ask a question and watch students rush to the nearest corner to voice their opinions or choose answers. You can even let students choose which questions or statements to include.

Read more: Ciera Harris Teaching

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Graffiti walls are great ways to boost engagement and add movement to learning. Students can add their thoughts and opinions to the graffiti walls. Other students can also respond to what their peers offer.

Read more: Ciera Harris Teaching

20. Pass The Plate Rhythm Game

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This game can be fun for older or younger elementary students. Tap the beat and pass the plate, letting the next person add to the previous beat. Each student can put their own spin and add their own movement and chain beat!

Read more: Yellow Brick Road

21. Color Run Donut Game

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Singing this cute little song is a great way to practice colors. You can add the moves and let the students take turns running “home” when their color is called. You can also practice color names on donuts.

Learn more: Pinterest

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This shape game is a great fun song and dance activity to get students moving and helping them learn their shapes! This is a great chant to use to help them remember shapes and their attributes.

Find out more: Miss Kindergarten

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Pair a cute book, like the bear hunting book or another animal book, with this animal walking activity. Let students practice walking like these animals and pretending to be them. They could also add their own sound effects!

Read more: Lime Adventures

24. LEGO Block Spoon Race

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Richard V. Johnson