Add some fun and creativity to your PE class warm-ups with this animal warm-up. It is perfect for your youngest students!
At the beginning of each class, I have my students do a small warm up. This helps them get their bodies moving while I take role or get things set up for our activity.
Doing the same thing over and over gets old, so I like coming up with different ways to have them stretch. That’s how I came up with this animal warm-up!
How to do this Animal Warm-up activity
To set up for animal warm-up, put 4 or more cones around the perimeter of your space. As children enter, instruct them to choose a cone and sit next to it. Choose an animal for the students to imitate.
The animals can be anything that you choose, it just helps if they have a distinct movement that the kids can imitate for the activity.
For example, I started with a seal. I had the students lay on their bellies and stretch their “flippers” behind their back. Then they seal-walked by pulling themselves with their flippers to the next closest cone. We repeated with a new animal.
When moving them to the next cone I’ll something like this. “Stand up and stretch your quadricep. Now use your quadriceps to jump like a frog to the next cone.”
Once we had done 4 animals (or as many as you have cones set up) as a group, I placed a label on each cone that matched the animals we had just practiced. One cone was labeled “seal”, one was “frog”, “bear”, and “crab”.
I played music and starting at their current cone the students would move like that animal until they got to the next cone. They then read the label and switched their movement to a different animal. We continued for about 3 minutes in this fashion.
Total time equals about 8 minutes and the students were warmed up and ready to go. My students love to use their imagination with movement! I’m sure your students would feel the same way, so try this animal warm-up with them!