Are you looking for an easy game to incorporate into a classroom lesson? Does your family need a break from their homework or a screen-time swap? A quick game break could be the key! According to Dr. Kristen Ford, an expert in physical education and health at Concordia College, incorporating physical activity through play into kids’ daily routines can have various benefits, including:
- Improved focus
- Increased oxygen levels in the body
- Lowered stress levels
Ready to get moving? You don’t need an extravagant plan or fancy equipment to try out some of our favorite quick activities!
What Smells? This is one of our favorite simple breathing exercises that kids love! How does a breathing technique become a game? Easy! Follow along with these instructions to get started:
- Take a deep breath through your nose and pretend that you’re smelling a flower.
- Breathe out through your mouth. Repeat this pattern 3 times.
- Game-ify it! Choose a specific type of flower or scent and describe it as the kids breathe. See if they can guess the flower or scent that you’re thinking of.
Get your yoga on. Who said yoga required equipment? All you need is the digital device you’ve got right next to you—no cards, mats, or clean up necessary. Where do you start?
- Pull fitFlow up on your device and spend the next three minutes stretching and relaxing. All you need to do is press “Let’s Go!” to get started. You’ll get four randomized yoga poses to do as a yoga flow.
- Game-ify it! Pull a yoga pose from our deck of Single Pose Yoga Cards and challenge the kiddos to learn that pose and then show it to the group.
Nose Names! Test the group’s skills and challenge them to write their names in the air with their noses. Too easy? Try writing their names with their elbows or chins next!
Have a dance party! Thanks to social media, we’ve all seen how popular quick, fun dances can be. Play any song the kids like and get your groove on! If you’re looking for some fun, family-friendly songs, check out our fit Music Playlist! Our songs are catchy, upbeat, and full of positive messaging for kids.
- Game-ify it! A dance party is the perfect opportunity for a dance-off! Encourage the kids to do their favorite dance move or come up with a new one and teach it to the group.
Try a round of Simon Says. This is a great option that can be easily modified to fit any setting or situation.
- Need to get the kids moving? Simon says, “Do five jumping jacks!”
- Trying to settle them down before bed? Simon says, “Put on your pajamas.”
I Spy, but with a twist. I Spy is a classic game that many are familiar with, so shake it up. Pick something a little more difficult, like an item that’s hidden in plain sight or something that has a unique shape or color, and have the kids make their guesses as a whole group.
- For each correct answer, encourage them to compliment the person on their right.
- For each incorrect answer, challenge kids to touch their toes or do side bends.
It’s a great way to get some movement in and practice teamwork.
Memory Moves. This pattern recognition, call-and-response game is a great way to encourage physical activity and test the kids’ memory skills at the same time. Show a pattern to the group and have them repeat it back to you. Starter patterns can be as simple as different clapping rhythms, stomping and clapping patterns, or making sounds. Add movement with patterns like:
- Making animal noises and movements at the same time.
- Doing different stretches like side stretches and toe touches.
Set up a distance challenge. Pick a starting point and put kids into pairs, then stand in a space that’s 15 feet away. As they alternate turns, challenge the kids to see who can reach you first, moving only one step at a time.
- Game-ify it! Encourage kids to get goofy! Will they take lots of small steps or are they going to take giant steps? Are they going to dance while they move? It’s all up to them!
If the group is feeling creative, get them involved and come up with a new game! Who knows, maybe they’ll come up with the new group favorite.
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