Play Animal Exercises

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See more activities in: Preschool, Group Games

Don’t you wish you had the same amount of energy as your preschooler? Young children need to practice their hopping, skipping, and other "gross motor" skills to improve their coordination. Why not make it fun by challenging them to move like their favorite animals until it’s time to freeze, when the music stops?

What You Need:

  • 1 CD of lively kids’ music
  • CD player
  • At least 3 players

What You Do:

This is a very silly and simple game. It’s sort of a cross between “Simon Says” and “Musical Chairs”. The rules are simple.

  1. When the music starts, the kids will walk around the room, listening for your directions.
  2. When you call out an animal exercise, such as “Hop like a rabbit!” all the kids need to follow your direction.
  3. Each time they hear another direction, they switch their motion.
  4. Play continues until the music stops, at which point all kids need to freeze in position. If you catch them moving, they’re “out”.
  5. The last kid standing wins the game.

Here are some suggested directions to use:

  • Run like a tiger
  • Skip like a kangaroo
  • Hop like a rabbit
  • Jump like a frog
  • Toss like a monkey (when inside, use something soft for this, like a small pillow)
  • Stretch like a giraffe

This is a great way to help your little animal get some exercise while practicing his gross motor skills!

Mary Anne Edwards is a freelance writer with teaching experience in Preschool, First, and Fourth Grades. She has also taught Second Grade Title One reading groups.

Updated on May 19, 2010
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