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Front to Front
Children stand in pairs. The teacher calls out "front to front" and the children have to get into a pair and stand 'front to front', i.e. face each other.
After about 5 different instructions, the teacher shouts "change" and the children have to quickly find a new partner and stand in the manner of the teacher's last instruction.
Other instructions will be: back to back, elbow to elbow, side to side, toe to toe, finger to finger, knee to knee, hand to hand, shoulder to shoulder. Mix them up too, e.g. finger to shoulder, knee to hip, front to back etc.
The Teacher Says...
This game is adapted from the 'Simon says' game and encourages: balancing, stretching, cardio vascular exercise, and listening skills. It's better to keep the game fast-paced to engage children and to playfully 'catch them out'.
The teacher calls out a command e.g. "Miss Smith says do 5 star jumps" (to encourage cardio vascular exercise). The teacher can model the move correctly but sometimes perform the 'wrong' move, e.g. tuck jumps. or "Miss Smith says stretch as high as you can on one foot" (to encourage balancing skill) but teacher curls up in a ball.
If the game is kept pacy, children will find themselves incorrectly copying the teacher's movement instead of the verbal command!
This game can be adapted for a cool down activity as well: warm down stretches etc.
It can also be used for classroom practise if there are a few minutes to spare, and is also a good calming down and behaviour management technique. For example: the teacher can stand at the front of the class and begin the game by wiggling their fingers (a signal my class have learnt which immediately grabs their attention). The teacher then says "Miss Smith says touch your nose" while the teacher touches her ear, or, "Miss Smith says pat your head" while the teacher pats her stomach. To get the class to be calm, a good final command is "Miss Smith says fold your arms" and model correct command.
I have found that whispering commands and modelling calm, slow movements encourages further relaxation and calmness of the class.
I first tried this with children in Key Stage 2, but it also works with reception-aged children with a liitle patience. The children love it.
Split the class into two / three teams. Their aim is to reach the opposite side of the hall.
Each team stands in a line at one side of the hall with their legs spread apart. The person at the back then crawls underneath all of the pairs of legs and then becomes the person at the front. Once they have reached the front of the line, the child then has to shout next, so the person at the back knows when to start. Slow but surely the line starts to move forward!
Here's a tip: make the children stand really close together as its a little easier.
The first team to the opposite end of the hall is the winner.