Children are playing with hulahoop

Why do we warm up?


Before each physical activity, it is necessary to warm up to avoid injuries and maximize the effect of exercise. Warm-up activities are very important for children and adults. Children should be introduced to the importance of warm-up games because that is how they build responsibility towards their bodies. Through conversation, pictures, videos, the human body, structure, and the way it functions (blood vessels, muscles …) should be presented. Every game, activity has characteristic injuries that are often the result of poorly prepared muscles, which can be very dangerous. Any higher load can lead to an accident, so it is best to plan your body warm-up and stretching in advance. In children, warm-up exercises can be in the form of games and there can be various forms of exercises with or without props.“The primary purpose of the use of warm-ups is to minimize the chance of injury. Warm-ups also serve to enhance the physiological and physiological preparedness for the activity.” (Byl, J. 2004)


A positive warm-up should:

  • Gradually enlarge HR and blood circulation.
  • Increase physique temperature.
  • Improves effectivity of muscular actions.
  • Prepares the joints & associated muscle mass to characteristic to their full.
  • Range of Movement (ROM)
  • Adds psychological coaching for undertaking to follow.


What you ought to ask children all through the warm-up:

  • Why do we warm up?
  • How are you feeling – hot, sweaty, out of breath?
  • Why do we sweat?
  • If you touch your skin, how does it feel?
  • Heart rate, is it quick or slow? Blood pumping spherical your body getting you ready to take part in sport/games.
  • Where can you experience your heartbeat (pulse) – chest, neck, wrist
  • Are you ready?!
  • Length of Warm Up
  • Should not exceed 10 to 15 minutes


Things to consider:
The recommendation is for no static stretching throughout warm-ups. Stretches must be dynamic, e.g. high knees, heel flicks, arm swings, touching the ground while walking/running. Introduce factors of the major undertaking in warm-up where appropriate, e.g. fingers and shoulders if throwing involved; build up walking speed if sprints are involved. Involve all youngsters in the complete warm-up.

Cups and Saucers
(Agility, Balance, Coordination)

Split the team into two groups (depending on numbers). Have each crew stand at both give up of the hall. In the middle of the hall, spread out cones, some sitting the right way to make ‘saucers’, and others upside down to make ‘cups’. When the leader shouts “GO” the kids should run into the core of the hall. One group will be turning the cups into saucers, and the different crew will be turning saucers into cups. Give the crew 20 seconds or so to see how many cones they were in a position to turn. The team who turns the most cones win.

Coaching Points:
Encourage to stay on their feet. Ensure children pass around and don’t stay in one region turning over identical cones.


Cups and Saucers ,photo credit PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Cups and Saucers ,photo credit PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Line Tig / Pac-Man
(Running, Agility, Balance)

Using the traces of a badminton court, the teach selects one baby to be a catcher or Pac Man/Girl. They need to then attempt and seize the other kids – however they all must observe the strains of the court. If a toddler is caught 3 instances they block the route at the factor they have been caught, and sit on the line maintaining onto their knees as a ‘roadblock’. This is a fast tempo walking activity.

Rock Paper Scissor
(Running, Agility)

Select two teams. Have them go through each other in a line around 5 feet apart. As a team they pick either rock, paper, or scissor. Once each group has selected their item, they return to the line and face one another. They then maintain out solely one hand and make a fist. Both teams then say together “1, 2, 3” and both teams exhibit their selected item. The team who wins ought to then chase the other team and attempt to seize them before they move their safety line which is located at the back of the roughly 10 paces away. If caught, they join a different team.


Rock Paper Scissor
Rock Paper Scissor

Shark Attack
(Running, Coordination)

Spread countless hoops around the hallway, which are islands. Running children (swimming/surfing/water skiing) around the gym and the hoops. The shark also swims in a circle, with its hands on its head, in the shape of a fin. When the coach shouts “Shark Attack!”, The swimmers must arrive on the island before the sharks leave. If you catch any swimmer, they become sharks. You can also limit the number of children on the island as an additional challenge, and you can select islands and then throw down after shouting “shark attack” so that children do not gather around the hoop.


The shark swims ,Photo credit Merio
The shark swims ,Photo credit Merio

Pirate Ships
(Agility, Balance, Running)

Assign each wall as either N,S,W,E. When the coach shout out a direction ie North, children must run to that wall as quickly as possible. You can introduce the following actions to make it a little harder as they have to remember a number of actions! If the hall is too big, mark a square out with cones.
Scrub the Decks – Children fall to their knees and pretend to scrub the floor.
Climb the Rails – Children pretend to climb rails
Captains Wife – Children put their hand on their hips and move in a circular motion while saying – whoot whoo
Captains Cook – Children pretend to be sick
Captains Coming – Children salute and say “Aye Aye Captain”
Walk the Plank – Children have to walk in a perfect straight line one foot exactly in front of the other with arms outstretched to the sides
Peg Leg Jim – children hop on one leg

*For lower primary pupils, instead of using N,S,E,W, place a colour cone at each wall, and call the colour.

Pirate Ships
Pirate Ships

(Running, Coordination)

Split the kids into four groups and have each group take a seat in a straight line, one behind the other. Number every person in the team from 1 – 5 for example. Make a square with 4 cones (like No. four on dice). Each team sits behind a cone with a hoop in front of them, facing the focus of the square. In the center of the square, place some other hoop, stuffed with bean bags. When ready, call out a range at random. That number, from each team, will then run to the middle of the rectangular and acquire ONE bean bag. They then run again to their hoop and region (NOT THROW) it into the crew hoop. The same variety keeps going until a crew gets 3 beanbags first. On the second attempt, name some other number at random (or you can call out sums, ie 2+2, therefore number four would run). This time they can take from the middle hoop, and steal from other teams hoops to forestall them from getting three before anybody else. Ensure these sitting hold their arms away from the hoop.

Farmers & Rabbits
(Running, Coordination)

Select two catchers (farmers). They goal to seize the different kids who are rabbits. The rabbits tuck a bib into the top of their t-shirt or at the pinnacle of their shorts. The farmers then have to catch the rabbits by pulling out their tails. If a rabbit tail is stolen, the farmer offers it back to the rabbit. Tell the kids a story about rabbits that have been cheeky how they have been stealing the farmer’s carrots. This always makes them giggle! Farmers can also accumulate the bibs in the course of the closing sport instead of returning them. This is a precise way of tidying up. You may want to additionally get the farmers to acquire the bibs and region them into a hoop in the nook of the room each time they catch a ‘tail’. You can then make this into a project and see if any different farmers can beat the file made by using the preceding farmers.

(Running, Coordination)

All kids tie a small braid/bib (the tail) into the aspect or again of their shorts, or at the top of their t-shirts. The object of the game is for the kid to attempt and now not lose their tail, but at the same time strive and seize anyone else’s tail. If a kid loses their tail, the catcher returns it to them in their arms (to make certain nobody slips on a bib on the floor). To end the game, alternate the rule so that this time if their tail is stolen, they sit down & the game will elevate on till the quit when we discover out who has the most tails.
*We would only make children sit down or go ‘out’ during a game at the end of a game / session to ensure all pupils are included and active.

Late for School

This is a fun warm-up activity. Tell the children to imitation all your actions. Pretend you are asleep and unexpectedly wake up and are late for school. Everything you do is finished on the spot but in a hurry. Brush your teeth, wash your face, put your garments on, run downstairs, run again up (forgot to put trousers/skirt on), back downstairs, eat breakfast, pick out up your bag, open the front door, shut door, run down the street, bouncing over a hedge, seem both ways, move the road, etc. Finally arrive at school slowing down panting and puffing then suddenly quit at the closed gates. Its Saturday!!
You must supply a strolling commentary while doing the movements and you can make it as assorted & fascinating as you like. It is exciting and handy to comply with pulse-raiser. A comparable cool-down pastime is referred to as “Getting geared up for bed”. This involves a lot of stretching as we mime doing away with clothes, hugging teddy bears, etc. It ends with youngsters lying on the floor ‘asleep’.


Girl ride a bicycle to school, photo credit Skitterphoto
Girl ride a bicycle to school, photo credit Skitterphoto

Fruit Basket
(Running, Agility)

Divide the class into four groups and have them go into every corner of the area. Give each of the crew a fruit title such as apples, oranges, bananas, and watermelons. Call two of the fruit names and these groups have to run and change places. They preserve the same title during the game. When you call “Fruit Basket” all of the kids run and sit in the core of the area. You can also exchange the movement as you go ie. Hopping, skipping, bunny hopping.
*Encourage children to keep their heads up to avoid collision


Fruit Basket
Fruit Basket

Run Around the Tepees
(Running, Agility, Balance)

This is a fun, companion game/warm-up undertaking that can be played with the total class. Kids locate a companion & then the entire crew makes a circle. One partner is the ‘Indian’ and sits on the ground on the inner of the circle, cross-legged. The difference is the ‘Teepee’ and stands facing their accomplice with their legs apart on the backyard of the circle. To play inform the children which way round the circle they will be running. Point the way as the game starts. The leader shouts ‘Indians’ or ‘Teepees’. On ‘Indians’ they have to go into their teepees (through their partner’s legs) and run as quickly as they can around the outside of the circle back to their tepee and enter through their partner’s legs again and take a seat down cross-legged. No one is allowed to push and overtaking has to be around the backyard of different runners. On ‘Teepees’ they should run around the circle and get returned to their positions as rapidly as possible.


Run Around the Tepees
Run Around the Tepees

Golden River
(Running, Agility)

One kid is chosen to be a catcher or ‘fish’. The catcher stands in the center of a badminton court. Children say together “Fishy fishy, can also we move your golden river?” The fish then replies with “only if you’re carrying (a color, a t-shirt, hair color, etc).” All these who have that specific item are then accredited to cross the golden river safely. Once they cross, the leader then offers the group a 3-second count down to get equipped to cross, and they then want to cross the river without being caught with the aid of the fish. If they are caught they turn out to be a fish with the unique catcher. This continues until there is only one kid left.

Traffic Lights

(Jumping, Running, Agility, Balance)

Using different cones children pretend to be cars. Call out various instructions.
Red – Stop
Amber – Jogging on the spot
Green – jogging
Motorway – short sprint
When the leader shouts Red – The children must Stop and stand still.
When the leader shouts Amber – The children jog on the spot and get ready to take off.
When the leader shouts Green – The children drive off in their car.
The game continues with the leader adding further actions.
Flat Tyre – Children must hop on one leg.
Raining – Children use their arms like window wipers.
Car Horn – Children make the sound of a horn.

1 Puncture (Hop)
2 Punctures (Bunny Hop).
Roundabout (Pupils form 1 big circle)
Speed Bump (2 footed jump & carry on)
Traffic Jam (Slow Walk / Light Jog)
You can introduce gears to try & regulate & get them to think about speed.
(Ie. 1st Gear = Walking, 2nd Gear = Jogging, 3rd Gear = Running, 4th Gear = Sprinting)

Traffic roles
Traffic roles

Clock in the Tower

Children stand in a circle and one child stands in the middle. Number the players off in 3s (depending on numbers). Once all the adolescents have their number, they all say together, “the clock in the tower strikes the hour”. The child in the center then claps their fingers to let them know the time is three claps equals three o’clock. All those numbered three then have to run around the outdoor of the circle, returned through their area, and in the middle where the clock is. The first character to touch the clock wins and then they grow to be the clock.


The child points to the clock
The child points to the clock

Funky Seaweed
(Running, Agility, Balance)

The child or catcher is the Octopus. Children have to try and get to the other facet of the room besides being caught by way of the octopus. The chief will give a 3-second count down for youngsters to get ready to cross. If they are caught whilst trying to run throughout they stand the place they are caught and emerge as a bit of ‘funky seaweed.’ Funky seaweed has to NOT move their feet however can capture others with their arms as they strive and move the river. If they are caught while trying to run across they stand where they are caught and become a bit of ‘funky seaweed.’ The object of the game is to try and cross without being caught.

Beat the Ball

(Running, Agility Coordination, Catching)

Children stand/sit down closely in a circle with one ball. The person who starts with the ball passes it to the person on their right, and continue to pass round the circle. Once the first player passes they also have to run round the outside of the circle and back to their space before the ball reaches.
*The ball can travel one way and the child the other. Teacher can call out a direction, they must run in that direction, or try opposites – Left = Right!


Children are throwing the ball, Photo credit Dad Day Out
Children are throwing the ball, Photo credit Dad Day Out

Dragons’ Tails
(Running, Coordination)

In groups of 3 children stand in a line, one behind the other, with their arms on the person in front’s shoulders. The person at the front will be catcher, and the person at the end is the tail. The tail of the dragon places a bib in the shorts or tee shirt to create a tail. In their threes the front two can try and steal the person at the backs tail. Alternatively the team of 3 can work together to steal other dragon’s tails (other teams) whilst protecting their own tail. This game highlights the importance of team work!


Source: Active Schools Na H-Eileanan an Iar

Written by

Irena Canji

I am a teacher in kindergarten. I have been working with children aged from three to seven since 2000. Also, I am a mother of two kids. My son is a teenager and my daughter is going to kindergarten. My main goal through the website is to show that the process is more important than the product. In childhood, kids need to play, have fun, learn through their experience.

The content of this website is an interesting activity for children. You don't need special skills, lots of money or too much preparing.

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