Active Classroom Activities

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The room was buzzing with energy, enthusiasm and eagerness.....

 

Let’s Get Active in the Classroom!

 

These activities are quick, energetic and fun.  You can use them to get your students activated and ready to focus and learn first thing in the morning, straight after breaks, or at times when they need a bit of energising!

 

Students can do the majority of these activities at their desk, making them convenient to integrate into your day.  By being creative, you can incorporate many of the activities into your lesson plans.  For example, ‘Dynamic Numbers’ would be great in maths, ‘Active Alphabet’ awesome in english and ‘Electric Shock’ perfect for science.

 

The activities incorporate a whole range of physical and mental skills that are essential for childrens’ development, including balance, reflexes, hand eye coordination, fine motor control, self-esteem, confidence, listening and following instructions.  They’re also lots of active fun!

 

For you and your students to get the most out of these activities, choose 1 and use it in the classroom every for a week.  You’ll find over the 5 days, your students will adapt, improve and come up with different ways to play and progress the activity.  The next week, choose a different activity.  With over 20 activities, you can do something different each week of the semester.  Without a doubt, your students will be asking to do them again, so repeat them the following semester and see how much they have developed!

 

As with any game, there is a certain level of risk of accidents.  Please use your discretion and judgement to suit your class when planning, explaining and supervising the games

 

Eraser Catch

» Learn how to play

  • Everyone stands in their place with an eraser in their hands
  • Throw it into the air and catch
  • Throw it, spin around and catch
  • Throw it, clap as many times as you can and catch
  • Throw it, blink as many times as you can and catch
  • Place the eraser on your head, jump so it jumps off and catch
  • Fully flex your elbow so that your upper arm is straight out in front of you, then balance the eraser on your elbow and try to flick your hand down to catch it before it hits the ground

 


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Ruler Reflexes

» Learn how to play

  • Everyone needs a partner and a ruler
  • One person holds their pointer finger and thumb about 5cm open, as if they’re about to pinch something
  • The other person holds a ruler upright, so that the bottom of it is between their partner’s finger and thumb
  • Without any warning, the ruler is dropped and the person grabs it as fast as possible with their finger and thumb
  • See what number on the ruler the person grabbed, then try and do it quicker next time
  • For catching variations, hold your two hands apart and clap your hands together to catch the ruler; sit on a chair and use your knees; or sit on the ground and use your feet

 


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Funky Dance

» Learn how to play

  • Choose a fun, catchy song to play (try using some of the Captain Active songs), then lead the class doing repetitive dance actions such as:
    • Gardening – digging, starting a mower, pushing a mower, whipper snipping, turning on a tap, watering the garden
    • Making a pizza – Place ingredients in a bowl, mix the ingredients, knead the dough, roll the dough, chop the toppings, put the toppings on the pizza, put it in the oven, cut the pizza, eat the pizza
    • Cleaning the house – sweep the floor, vacuum the floor, mop the floor, fold the clothes, iron the clothes, wipe the benches, clean the toilet
    • Going fishing – start the outboard, drive the boat, throw the anchor, bait the hook, cast the line, reel in the fish
    • Playing cricket – bowl the ball, hit the ball, pick up the ball, throw the ball, catch the ball, polish the ball on your pants, jump to celebrate
    • Playing tennis – bounce the ball, serve the ball, forehand, backhand, overhead smash
    • Circus performance – tight rope walking, juggling, uni-cycling, make funny clown faces, shoot (jump) out of a cannon

 


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Active Alphabet

» Learn how to play

  • Use your body to create letters
  • Letters become active and can jump, spin, sway, squat, roll, balance, hop, tiptoe, dance, crawl etc.
  • Spell words by changing your body shape every couple of seconds
  • Make sentences using the whole class to spell out words

 


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Active Is

» Learn how to play

  • The teacher calls out an action, being as creative as they like
  • If that action is active, everyone does it together (eg jumping, dancing, swimming, eating an apple etc.)
  • If that action is lazy, everyone falls down (eg watching tv, eating chips, playing on screens)
  • To make the game competitive (if you choose), players who hesitate too long before doing the action, or do an incorect action are eliminated

 


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Let’s Get Limber

» Learn how to play

  • Stand at the front of the class and go through a sequence of stretches that the class follows
  • Stretch arms up high, lean side to side, touch the ground
  • Stand up tall, interlock fingers and stretch arms straight out in front rounding your shoulders forward
  • In the same position, twist to the left, then back to the right
  • Lift a foot up behind to touch your bottom
  • Place a foot on your desk, keep it straight and lean forward to touch your toes
  • Put your legs wide apart, keep one leg straight and bend the other knee to lean in that direction
  • Lift one knee up in front of your body and hug it with your arms

 


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Finger Trap

» Learn how to play

  • Everyone needs to be standing with someone on both sides of them
  • Each person puts their left hand out to the side, with their palm facing up
  • They then place their right pointer finger in the palm of the person to their right so that it is just touching
  • Everyone in the class should have a finger touching their left palm and their right finger touching someone else’s palm
  • When the teacher calls out go, everyone needs to try and grab the finger in their palm whilst also trying to pull their own finger away so it’s not grabbed
  • After a couple of goes, swap places so everyone is next to someone different
  • The game can also be a knockout competition, with players eliminated from the game when their finger is grabbed. The number of players reduces until there’s two, then one left

 


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Dance and Freeze

» Learn how to play

  • You can either play a song or sing your own song
  • When the music/singing is on, everyone dances
  • When it stops, everyone needs to freeze
  • Continue to play and stop the music/singing
  • The game can also become a competition, with players who move being eliminated

 


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Book Balance

» Learn how to play

  • Everyone needs an exercise book
  • Balance it on your head, whilst standing still, standing on one leg, spinning around, walking around or jumping
  • Balance the book on other parts of your body, such as your palm, foot, nose, back, chest, knee or elbow, whilst performing different types of movement

 


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Horizontal Ruler Drop

» Learn how to play

  • Everyone needs a partner and a ruler
  • One person holds the ruler horizontally between their two pointer fingers
  • The other person holds their hand about 5cm about the ruler
  • Without any warning, the ruler is dropped and the person tries to grab it with their outstretched hand before it touches the ground
  • For variations, create distractions in the room whilst players are trying to catch the pencil, or ask them questions while they’re waiting for the ruler to be dropped

 


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Flamingo Touch

» Learn how to play

  • Everyone stands on one leg without holding onto anything, like a flamingo
  • See who can stand there the longest without falling over
  • Whilst standing on one leg, make it more challenging by:
    • Closing your eyes
    • Standing on an uneven surface
    • Bending down to touch your toes
    • Bending down to touch the ground in front, behind and to both sides of your foot
    • Writing a sentence
    • Picking up an eraser, throwing it in the air and catching it
    • Packing away your desk
    • Giving the person next to you a high 5
    • Having a drink of water from a water bottle

 

 

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Pencil Case Zoo

» Learn how to play

  • Everyone will use their pencil case to pretend to be an animal
  • Kangaroo – hold the pencil case between your knees and jump around
  • Snake – slice around the floor while the pencil case balances on your back
  • Pelican – Hold the pencil case between your chin and chest, so that it points forward like a pelican’s beak, then flap your arms to fly around
  • Seal – balance the pencil case on your nose, then clap your hands together and bark like a seal
  • Shark – lean forward and hold the pencil case upright on your back like a shark’s dorsal fin, then swim around menacingly
  • Crocodile – hold the pencil case between your hands with your arms out straight in front of you like the jaws of a crocodile, then throw it up and catch it in your jaws

 


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Dynamic Numbers

» Learn how to play

  • Use your body to create numbers
  • Numbers become dynamic and can jump, spin, sway, squat, roll, balance, hop, tiptoe, dance, crawl etc.
  • Create large numbers by changing your body shape every couple of seconds
  • Do mathematical problems using the whole class to create numbers

 


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Beat Box

» Learn how to play

  • Everyone except the teacher closes their eyes
  • The teacher drums a short beat with their hands, which the class then repeats
  • The beat can progressively get more complex, using different parts of your body (eg hitting your thighs, chest or cheeks), desks, chairs and the ground, ensuring the students are in reach of these things so they can replicate the sounds
  • Watch which students are able to determine the correct sounds and keep the beat
  • Add in some other noises, like a raspberry, whistle, click or kiss

 


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Shake your Tail Feather

» Learn how to play

  • The teacher calls out a part of the body and everyone has to shake it
  • Use the correct anatomical names of bones and muscles, to help teach students what they’re called and where they’re located, for example:
    • Humorous – upper arm
    • Coccyx – tail bone
    • Mandible – jaw
    • Tibia – shin
    • Carpals – fingers
    • Gluteals – bottom

 

 

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Balloon Task

» Learn how to play

  • Everyone needs a blown up balloon
  • Tap the balloon in the air, keeping it off the ground whilst:
    • Hopping from one leg to another
    • Spinning around
    • Writing a sentence
    • Cleaning up your desk
    • Completing a maths problem
    • Throwing an eraser in the air and catching it
    • Drawing a picture

 

 

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Moving Markers

» Learn how to play

  • Everyone needs a marker in their writing hand and a notepad on their desk
  • The teacher will nominate a word and an action involving the marker
  • The students need to complete the action in between writing each letter of the word on their notepad
  • Actions can be:
    • Passing the marker around their body
    • Placing the marker on their head and tilting forward so it rolls off, then catch it
    • Passing the marker between their legs
    • Rolling the marker under their chair from one side to the other
    • Passing the marker from over their head and from one hand to the other behind their back
    • Placing the pencil on their foot, then lifting their foot up to drop the pencil on their desk

 

 

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Pencil Flick Racing Cars

» Learn how to play

  • In groups of 2 or 3, draw a wiggly racetrack around a piece of A4 paper
  • Click here to download Captain Active’s Pencil Flick Circuit
  • The road should be 2-3cm wide around the whole racetrack
  • Each student has a different coloured pencil
  • The first student stands their pencil up straight on the starting line with a finger on top of it
  • They push down on the pencil so that it flicks forward and falls over, drawing a small line along the track
  • The other students in the group do the same with their own pencil, alternating turns in order
  • Start your next turn from where your line finished or where it went off the edge of the track
  • Lines can’t cut corners, if it hits the edge of the track, that’s where your next turn starts from
  • The first one to get their pencil line back to the start wins

 


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Electric Current

» Learn how to play

  • Divide the class into two equal teams
  • Each team creates a line by holding hands
  • The start of each line needs to be at the same spot, which is where the teacher will be
  • A ‘prize’ is placed an equal distance from the end of each line
  • Everyone closes their eyes, except for the teacher and two students at the start of the line
  • The teacher tosses a coin so the two students with their eyes open can see
  • If it’s heads, they squeeze the hand of the person they’re holding hands with, who in turn squeezes the next person’s hand and so on down the line
  • If the last person in line feels their hand squeezed they need to run out to grab the prize
  • The first team to reach the prize gets a point
  • If the coin toss reveals tails, no hands should be squeezed, so no one grabs the prize
  • If a hand is incorrectly squeezed and a team grabs the prize when they weren’t supposed to, they lose a point
  • After each time heads is thrown, shuffle everyone along the line, so everyone gets a go at the start and end of the line
  • Keep a tally of points to see who has the most when everyone’s had a go in each position in line

 


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Jump the Bridge

» Learn how to play

  • Everyone needs to place their ruler on the ground, so that it points to the front and back of the room – this is now a bridge
  • Stand on one side of the bridge and follow the teacher’s movements, trying to go as quick as possible:
    • Jump side to side or forwards and backwards over the bridge
    • Jump from one side of the bridge to the other, doing a 180o or 360o spin whilst in the air
    • Fast feet, with two steps on one side of the river, then two steps on the other etc, going sideways over the bridge, or forwards and backwards, or forwards each time (meaning a spin is required to turn around)
    • Hopping side to side or forwards and backwards over the bridge
    • Place your right foot on the left side of the bridge, then your left on the right side etc
    • Crisscross your feet over the bridge, then jump, crisscrossing them in the opposite direction
    • Jump as high as you can side to side or forwards and backwards over the bridge
    • Squat down and hold your ankles with your hands, then jump side to side or forwards and backwards over the bridge
    • Jump side to side over the bridge, but when you’re on the left, touch the bottom of your right foot with your left hand and when you’re on the right, touch the bottom of your left foot with your right hand

 

 

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Like You’re

» Learn how to play

  • The teacher stands at the front of the room and reads out sentences, which all the students need to act:
    • Run like you’re being chased by a zombie
    • Walk like you’re sinking up to your knees in mud
    • Jump like you’re on the moon
    • Reach like you’re picking mangoes from high up in a tree
    • March like you’re playing in a marching band
    • Paint like you’re holding a really, really heavy paint brush
    • Swim like you’re in a pool filled with cockroaches, spiders and centipedes
    • Move like you’re a robot
    • Shake like you’re a wet dog drying off
    • Dance like you’re the lead singer of a rock band
    • Hop like you’re walking across hot sand
    • Spin like you’re caught in a whirly wind
    • Stretch like you’re waking from a huge sleep
  • Task students with making up a list of things everyone can be like, then take turns at everyone leading the class

 


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Desk Top Towers

» Learn how to play

  • All students need an eraser, ruler, pencil sharpener, pencil and whiteboard marker on their desk
  • The teacher reads out these five objects in a specific order, then says go
  • On go, the students need to balance the objects on top of each other in the order the teacher specified
  • The teacher will also start a 30 second countdown
  • The aim of the game is to have your tower balancing and in the correct order when the buzzer goes off at the end of 30 seconds
  • Change the order of the objects around to change the level of difficulty

 


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