Don't Just Sit There

Kids practice recognizing feelings and emotions that set their moods and affect their choices. Then, a game helps them manage their moods through activity.

Group of children having a discussion with an adult leader
Group of kids sitting together writing on paper
Group of kids listening to an adult leader
Smiling girls showing strong arms
Group of kids playing on grassy field outside
Group of kids standing and stretching in a gym

Activity Purpose

Kids will practice recognizing the many different feelings and emotions that set their moods, then play a game to learn more about strategies that help them manage their moods.


  • Recognize that your mood can influence your motivation to be active.
  • Recognize self-talk as encouraging oneself, either aloud or silently. 
  • Practice using self-talk to turn a mood around—from "I won't move," to "I will move."


  • Talk Time: Kids sit and stretch or stand and march in place. Be sure they are a safe distance (arm’s length) apart.
  • Activity: Have Mood Activity Cards ready. Kids form a large circle. 
  • Wrap Up: Kids sit in a circle for discussion.

Talk Time


Movement boosts the feel-good chemicals in your brain. Moving for as little as 5 minutes can help you feel better when you are stressed. Let's talk about some of the important things to know about move:

  • Your mood influences your desire to move.
  • Sometimes you need to motivate your mood and talk yourself into moving.
  • You can decide to turn your “I won't move” around to “I will move.”
  • When moving is fun, it is easier to talk yourself into moving.

Q: Which statement would you use to talk yourself into moving?
A: (Kids choose 1 or more statements)

  • Moving boosts my energy.
  • I have fun when I move.
  • Moving is a fit choice. 

This activity will help you learn more about how your feelings and emotions influence how often you move throughout each day. 

Do The Activity

Activity Instructions
  1. Kids continue to stand in a circle and march in place. 
  2. Draw a Mood Activity Card and show the kids. 
  3. Ask, "Would it be easy for you to move if you are feeling _______ ?" (state feeling or emotion on the card).
    • If the answer is yes, shout out a move (run in place, jumping jacks, reach high, etc.) for the kids to do while you count to 5.
    • If the answer is no: The kids shout, “I need to turn my ‘I won't move’ around to ‘I will move!” as each person jumps and turns in a circle to reface the leader. 
  4. Continue activity for the time allotted.

Wrap Up


Q: You're tired and a sugary snack with your tablet sounds perfect. What is a fit choice you can make?
A: Decide to motivate your mood. Get up and move! Stand up and stretch, hop, skip, jump, play a game, exercise, play outside, take a walk, dance, or whatever you choose! Mood influences your desire to move.


Motivate your mood tonight. If you find yourself sitting on the couch, get up and use positive self-talk to turn your “I won't move” around to “I will move.”

Time: 5 Minutes

What You'll Need


  • Timer

Helpful Tips
  • Review feeling and emotion vocabulary words on the Mood Activity Cards before beginning the activity.

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