Healthy Schools

You don’t have to wait for recess to de-stress. Add some of these fun classroom activities to your lesson plan, and help your students stay active during the school day.

Chair-obics. Kids can use their chairs for leg lifts and stretches. Have them sit straight up and extend their legs out to a 180-degree angle for 20 seconds.

Walkabout. Every half hour, allow students to walk around the classroom. It will help them unwind and relax.

Dance Off. Play a lively, school-appropriate song and allow kids to bust a move. Keep the movements appropriate with classics like the Twist, Mashed Potatoes or hopping.

Playing Cards. Using a standard deck of playing cards, hand out one card to each student. Assign a 30-second activity for each suit, like jumping jacks for hearts, running in place for clubs, etc.

Action Words. Read a story aloud. Every time a verb comes up, have the students act it out.

Stretch It Out. Lead students in stretches to keep things loose. Have students reach for the sky, touch their toes, etc., and hold those positions for 15-20 seconds.

Workout Videos. A typical workout video can be pretty long, but most are broken up into shorter sections. You can work through a video in class over the course of a week by breaking it up into daily sections.

Sky Writing. Using your index finger, knee or elbow as a pencil, write your name in huge cursive in the air. For extra fun, make it a guessing game and see if other students can guess what you’re writing.

Scenic Route. Before your next class change, stop class three minutes early and take students the long way to their next room.

Animal Crackers. Have a student call out an animal, and have everyone mimic how that animal moves. Give every student a turn to call out an animal.

One-Minute Workout. Pick a simple activity, like jogging in place or hopping on one foot, and have students do it for one minute.

Conga Line! Have students line up, placing their hands on the shoulders of the student in front of them. Start some music and lead the line around the classroom.

Walk and Talk. Split students into groups, assign a topic related to your lesson and have them discuss it while taking a 5-minute walk. Have them report their discussion back to the class.

Sports Center. Have students act out various sports. Throw an imaginary football around the room, kick an imaginary soccer ball, practice dribbling and shooting, etc.

Mime Time. Split students into pairs, and have them mirror each other’s actions without talking. Specify who will be the leader first, and tell them to switch after one minute.

Create Your Own Activity! Be creative. Let your students be creative. The best activities are the ones you make up yourselves!