Kids were made for movement. Keep them contained too long and you will pay for it. Take some of the frustration out of your day by building movement breaks for the kids into it. All too often today, our kids are sedentary, sitting in the classroom or at home. Encourage movement (and brain breaks!) throughout the day with engaging foot games, circle time movement activities, and yoga time.
Fun Balloon Feet Games
1. Balloon Blast Off
For a fun indoor game, have students lie on the floor. Countdown to launch their balloons. Challenge them to keep the balloon in the air using only their feet while lying on their backs.
Learn more: Hands On As We Grow
2. Balloon Pair Stomp
Pair students up with their inside legs tied together. The goal is to stomp as many balloons as possible. Alternately, you can assign each pair a certain color balloon. The first pair to stomp out all their balloons wins.
Learn more: The Game Gal
3. Balloon Stomp Free-for-all
Although similar to the foot game above, this one needs to be spread out over a wider area. Secure balloons to each player and have them try to pop their opponents' balloons. Make sure to set game rules clearly such as no shoving to increase safety.
Learn more: Fatherly
4. Balloon Volleyball
In this classic balloon activity, children hit the ball back and forth with each. Your students get to practice hand-eye coordination and refine their motor skills while playing an awesome game.
Learn more: The Inspired Treehouse
5. Balloon Pattern Activities
Work on rhythm, timing, and coordination in this balloon game. Give each student a balloon. Then, give them a simple pattern like ABAB (hold the balloon out kick touch with toe, stretch the balloon overhead then repeat sequence). The complexity of the pattern can be differentiated based on skill level or age.
Learn more: Carly's PE Games
Circle Time Feet Activities
6. Head, Shoulder, Knees, and Toes
Add some movement to circle time to get the wiggles out. This classic activity has a song to which students match their actions. You can add more actions to it as well. For example, before they touch their head have them stomp their feet or hop up and down.
Learn more: Your Therapy Source
7. Stomping Game
Create a variation of the clapping game during circle time by having students stomp out a rhythm in order with one student starting and the next child repeating. Have a different pattern when you change directions. Students get a brain break and are more focused when they return to academic learning.
8. Freeze Dance
Play student-friendly music. Students get to have happy feet and move to the beats. Your kids have to freeze in place when the music stops. This is a fun game to do on rainy days or for a day before a holiday when energy is high and attention is low.
Learn more: 20 Creative and Fun Preschool Circle Time Activities
9. 5 Minute Foot Stretch
Turn down the lights, put on some quiet music, and have students sit comfortably with space between them on the floor. Guide them through a quick foot stretch. This activity helps students to focus and learn how to regulate themselves. The side benefit is they are also stretching and working their muscles.
Learn more: The OT Toolbox
10. All Aboard
Place rug pieces or taped spots on the floor. Divide students with each group having their own color spots upon which to stand. As the game progresses, you take away a spot each cycle. Then, see if they are still able to all stand on spots.
Learn more: Owlcation
Physical Feet Activities
11. Yoga Poses
Build body awareness by teaching your students yoga poses. Additionally, you are helping to hone their focusing skills. Have students take off their shoes. Practice the Tree Pose. Direct their attention to their feet, encouraging them to feel as if their feet are tree roots stretching into the ground.
Learn more: Awake & Mindful
12. Flying Feet
Have students lie on their backs with their stocking feet up in the air. Place a stuffed animal or small pillow on a student's feet. The object of this game is for the children to pass the object around the circle while only using their feet.
Learn more: The Inspired Treehouse
13. Foot Drills
Use foot drills to help build balance. For example, have students practice walking on their toes with their hands above their heads. You can also do toe work in place by having them squeeze their legs together, stand on their tip toes and then go back to the floor with their whole foot.
Learn more: Kid Skills
14. Foot Paths
Create a footpath in your classroom or the hallway outside of it. Students can hop on one foot three times, then walk on their heels for five, duck walk for four and crawl like a bear to the end. The key is in the different movements which help to build motor skills.
Learn more: Kid Skills
15. Follow the Leader
Take your kids on a walk around the playground or down the hallway with you as the leader. Mix up the movements as you tour the area. Have your students skip, scissor walk, or jog. For extra movement, add in arm motions. For example, have students lunge walk while raising alternating arms.
Learn more: Early Impact
Messy Feet Games
16. Check Your Stride
Get a few tubs and fill them with water. Have students wet their feet. Ask them to walk, run, jog or hop. Give them clipboards with an observation sheet on them. Have them observe what happens to their footprints as they engage in different types of movement.
Learn more: Fun with Feet
17. Cartoon Foot Prints
Put a large piece of paper n the floor. Next, let students trace their feet. Give them markers, crayons, or colored pencils. Task them with turning their footprint into a cartoon or holiday character.
Learn more: Penn State Extension
18. Foot Print Penguins and More
Using construction paper, scissors, and glue, students will turn their traced footprints into fun winter penguins. You can do similar activities that create unicorns, rockets, and lions. Other options include creating a footprint garden or monsters made from kids' feet.
19. Sensory Walk
Using foot bathtubs, create a sensory activity by filling each tub with different materials. You can use bubbles, shaving cream, mud, sand, crumbled paper, and much more. Add a rinse bucket in between the really messy tubs to keep them from getting mixed together.
Learn more: Messy Little Monster
20. Foot Painting
A fun, messy activity for outside or a tiled floor area, foot painting can also be linked to other concepts you are teaching. For example, have students dip their feet in paint and walk to each other on long strips of white paper. Then, have them compare each other's footprints.
Learn more: Our Little House in the Country