Have a set of hoops scattered about the floor, with children moving about 'swimming'. The stroke can be changed with older children, e.g. front crawl / back stroke / running backwards.
When the teacher shouts "sharks", the children must get into hoops as quickly as possible (2 children to a hoop).
Remove one hoop each time you shout "sharks", and ask the children to help when they are out to still make them feel part of it.
When only two people are left make them touch the wall at each side of the hall on the way round the hoop to avoid cheating!
Natalie Still has suggested that this game can be linked to the film 'Finding Nemo'... the sharks can be called 'Bruce' and the fish are 'Nemo', 'Dory' or other characters from the film!
The Sharks are Coming!
Children walk around the room and when the teacher shouts "The Sharks are coming", the children shout "How many?".
The teacher then shouts out a number and the children must get into groups of the number shouted.
The children who are left out, are out!
You can try and catch the children out by shouting "1".
Choose two 'catchers', who link arms/hold hands. They chase the others (as in 'tig') and catch them.
If you are caught, you join the chain. When four people are in the chain, the chain splits into 2 sets of 2.
This goes on until you have a WINNER!!!
2 green balls, 2 red balls, 2 sashes of the same colour
6 children are chosen out of the class to be dinosaurs while the other children run around and try to avoid getting caught.
2 children of those children hold the green balls or “freeze balls” and 2 of the children hold the red balls or “dance balls”. The remaining 2 children are to wear sashes and it is their job to be officers and unfreeze the children that have been caught by the freeze and dance dinosaurs.
This means that whenever the freeze dinosaurs move towards the other children, those children have to freeze in order to prevent getting caught and whenever they see a dance dinosaur coming towards them they need to dance to prevent getting caught. If a child is caught, they need to freeze in a dinosaur pose until the officers come and unfreeze them.
(More dinosaurs can be added, if desired, and actions can be altered to suit individual needs)
If you have a small class, only elect one child per dinosaur.
In the hall / gym, split the children into two groups then number them. For example if there are 20 students in the class split them into groups of ten then number each student from 1-10.
Have them sit on opposites sides of the hall / gym, then call out a number i.e. 3
Both number threes will get up and run to the middle of the hall where a duster (preferable a soft one not one with a hard back) and two newspapers rolled up (the hockey sticks) are waiting. Each child takes a newspaper stick and tries to hit the duster into their goal.
If someone scores another number is called out and the next two will have a go. If no one scores after a few minutes to make sure everyone has a go call out another number and the ones playing must drop their "sticks" where they are and the next students have a go.
This can also be played in pairs when the teacher calls out two numbers etc.
Late for School!
This is a fun warm up activity. Tell the children to copy all your actions.
Pretend you are asleep and suddenly wake up and are late for school. Everything you do is done on the spot but in a hurry. Brush your teeth, wash your face, put your clothes on run downstairs, run back up (forgot to put trousers / skirt on) back down stairs, eat breakfast, pick up your bag, open front door, shut door, run down the street, jump over a hedge, look both ways, cross the road etc.
Finally arrive at school slowing down panting and puffing then suddenly stop at the closed gates.
You must provide a running commentary whilst doing the actions and you can make it as fun as you like with as many actions as necessary to warm up the children. It is a fun and easy to follow pulse-raiser.
A similar cool-down activity (contributed by a visitor) is called "Getting ready for bed". This involves a lot of stretching as we mime removing clothes, hugging teddy bears, etc. It ends with children lying on the floor 'asleep'.