Say Warm Up Game and children will only hear the word “Game.” It immediately triggers interest and excitement. It always sounds so much more fun than “Let’s get your body’s ready for some exercise”. This is why having an extensive knowledge of ‘warm up games’ is very handy for any primary teacher.
A warm up aims to:
What I love about warm up games is how easily you can turn a warm up game into exercise and learning at the same time.
Warm Up Games are For Teachers Too!
A similar game is “Clusters”. On a cue a number and body part are called out; eg. “Six…hands”. (3 fingers, 2 ears, 19 big toes…) Children have to quickly form a group that ensures 6 hands are touching.
All at once children are learning maths, group socialising, exercising leadership strategies and learning their body parts.
Warm up Games As Academic Breaks
Warm ups games are also a great way of moving on to a new topic. When your lesson schedule and content says above we need to ‘prepare the mind for the following activity’. Some warm up games are also a great academic brain break; during phases of academic lessons where movement improves blood flow and improves creativity and cognition.
Some children fidget when they become unsettled or frustrated in an academic lesson. The perfect solution to this is “Snail the Whale”. Tell the child the tale of poor old snail the whale.
“There once was a snail named whale
Who couldn’t find the end of his tail
Three spins to the left
Three spins to the right
Never failed to help Whale find his tail”
Now make a game of it.
Get up out of your seats and look for your own tail. Spin slowly three times to the left, then slowly three times to the right. Once children have found their tail the best way to not lose it again is sit down!
The fidgeting is out of their system and they can now go back to concentrating on
Ryan Williamson is a gymnastics and movement expert.