Ten Super Fun Activities That Get Kids Moving AND Learning

engaging games gross motor movement movement-based learning

Reserving physical activity for the playground or when kids are in physical education is no longer standard practice. Research shows that connecting physical activity with learning improves student comprehension and retention of information. Incorporating movement with learning each day also builds a strong classroom community that supports learners at all levels.

Here are Ten super fun activities that get kids moving and learning that you can easily incorporate into your classroom. *Be sure to check out the bonus activity and freebie download at the end of this post!

  1. Invisible Whiteboards
    When you cannot take out whiteboards and markers, you can use invisible whiteboards to incorporate movement while practicing a skill. Students write CVC words, numbers, or letters in the air or on a black surface using their fingers or entire arm. Encourage students to use big or small movements to produce a word or number.  Save time and have students practice writing in a fun way.
  2. Reading Action Activities
    Students love to be the star of the show. With Action Activities, they have the opportunity to show their best acting abilities. Reading Action Activities are a way for students to physically represent words and stories. Use this with sight words, too! Have students show the action each time they read or hear a specific word. Students act out their favorite story part for read-aloud or writer's workshop share time. Combining action with language arts allows students to visualize what they are reading for better comprehension.
  3. Math and ELA Roll, Read and Move No Prep Game Boards

    Get your students moving with these engaging movement games! Students can practice CVC words, sight words, letter identification, number identification, subitizing, and counting while playing these easy, roll, read and move games. Your students will forget they’re practicing math and ELA skills with these movement games!
  4. Jump and Count
    This is a fun activity to pair movement with counting. As students count, they can jump, skip, or hop. Having them add a movement to advance from one number to the next helps improve basic number sense. Use this activity when counting to one hundred or by twos, fives, or tens to add some excitement to counting.
  5. Finger Play and Action Rhymes
    Kids love nursery rhymes. Nursery rhymes in the classroom are a way to connect what they know from home to learning at school. Adding whole body or finger movements engages children in the songs and helps to build their understanding of the message. When singing 10 Little Monkeys or 5 Little Ducks, use fingers to represent the number of characters being removed. Students can also represent the characters in a nursery rhyme like Jack Be Nimble or The Wheels on the Bus.
  6. Create Shapes with Movement
    Shapes can be easy to recognize on paper and fun to recreate with movement. Students can create shapes with movement when they learn the basics of shapes, like sides and corners. One way is for students to form the shape with their arms. This can be done individually or in a collaborative group. Another way is to move around the classroom and ‘draw’ the shape with the steps. Students run in a circle to create a circle or walk in three connected lines for a triangle.
  7. Multi-sensory Phonics Activities for Kindergarten

    This BIG bundle of Multi-sensory Phonics Activities for Kindergarten is the perfect resource for incorporating movement-based learning into your classroom. Your students will love using these multi-sensory phonics activities because of the fun, playful, and active nature of each resource! Enhance your students’ learning by utilizing multiple pathways for practice.

  8. Science Action Activities
    Learning new science concepts can be fun and engaging when combined with physical movement. Science Action Activities are an opportunity for students to show their understanding of animals, the food chain, and most other elementary science concepts. Have students imitate movement and sound when learning about new animals. Students can represent each part of the food chain with movement and sound as well.
  9. Ball Toss Activities
    Add a ball or soft object to toss from one student to another when sharing as a whole class or while working together in small groups. This activity encourages students to pay attention and teaches the concept of one at a time. Students build better relationships and community through this activity. They provide each other space to speak and allow other students to feel heard.
  10. Movement Patterns
    There are a variety of ways to incorporate movement into math. Working movement into patterns is a favorite among students. When learning patterns, students can represent each part of the pattern with a movement. For example, ABAB patterns the first student hops, the next student spins, and the movement pattern repeats.

Combining movement with learning not only improves student engagement but it also helps students to understand concepts better. Being intentional when planning physical movement leads to students retaining more information. Students will feel their physical, mental, and emotional needs are being met, building more confidence in the classroom.

Bonus Movement-Based Learning Activity

Are you still looking for a way to incorporate Movement-Based Learning into your classroom but not sure where to start?! I've got you! Here is a bonus freebie activity to use with your students and get them moving and learning at the same time!

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