Cool-Down Games for Kids

by Cindy Bross, PhD on Jun 20, 2013

Since many schools no longer offer physical education, a lot of fitness professionals are volunteering their time before and after school. This is a great (and needed) community service, but unless you have experience working with kids aged 7–11, you may not be fully prepared for the challenge of corralling them for a cool-down. When kids are having fun, they don’t want to stop, listen and be quiet. The transition from a workout to a cool-down can be tough. That’s why you need a plan.

The following activities offer many creative ways to rein in kids.

Stretching Circuit

This is a great way to teach the names of muscles and how to stretch them. Create stations, and post a card at each one with the name and picture of a muscle and a description of how to stretch it. Kids perform the movement on the card. Rotate every 20 seconds.

Copycat Circuit

Position at least two students at each station. The imperative is to design an exercise or a stretch. When the circuit begins, partners perform their move while watching the station to their right. After 20–30 seconds, each pair moves one station to the right and performs the move the previous pair was doing.

Instant Replay

This is a “follow-the-leader” activity with a twist! You, the instructor, perform an exercise or a stretch. The class watches, and when you change to a second move, the class performs the first one. When you change to a third option, the class performs the second one, etc.

Muscle Mix

Place students in pairs, in a scattered formation. Call out various directions: “Touch biceps to biceps, touch patella to patella,” etc. Each pair performs the movements. When you call out, “Muscle mix,” the partners split and form new pairs. You also find a partner, and the child without a partner is the new leader. (If there is an odd number of students, pair with the student who’s left and perform the moves as you call out directions; when partners change, choose another leader.)

Draw Two

Create two piles of cards. One pile lists an exercise or a stretch on each card, and the second pile indicates repetition or time. A student draws a card from each pile. For example, the exercise card might say “sit-up,” and the number card might indicate “10.” Everyone performs 10 sit-ups.

Shoe Pass

This is a great activity for strengthening abdominals. Kids sit in a circle with their left shoes in their right hands. Start in a crunch position, knees bent, feet on the floor. Give the following challenges:

  • Tap the shoe on the floor next to your right foot.
  • Lie down and tap the shoe on the floor over your head.
  • Curl up and tap your shoe by the right foot again.
  • Move the shoe to your left hand. Tap next to the left foot.
  • Lie down and tap on the floor over your head.
  • Curl up and tap your shoe by the left foot again.
  • Pass the shoe under your legs to the child on the right.
  • Repeat until you get the shoe back.

Variation: Do the same thing while in a plank position.

For more games, please see “Corral the Kids” in the online IDEA Library or in the May 2013 issue of IDEA Fitness Journal.

IDEA Fit Tips, Volume 11, Issue 7

© 2013 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Cindy Bross, PhD IDEA Author/Presenter

0 Comments

Trending Articles

How to Teach HIIT to Everyone

High-intensity interval training has been riding a wave of popularity, and it seems everyone wants to give it a try. However, intense interval training is nothing new. Group fitness instructors have b...

20 IDEA World-Renowned Presenters Share Advice on Success and Happiness

We asked some of this year’s most influential and motivating IDEA World Fitness Convention™ presenters to share the single piece of advice they would give another fitness/health pro to hel...

Mindful Walking

Walking can be more than just moving physically from one location to another. It can be a metaphor for your larger life journey. Things you&...

Nuts and Peanuts Reduce Cardiovascular Risk and Prolong Lifespan

While there have been numerous studies in recent years touting the health benefits of nuts and peanuts, new research published online March ...

Yes, You CAN Develop Better Eating Habits

Analogous to laying out your exercise gear so it’s the first visual reminder you have of your commitment to exercise each day, imagine...

Cut Risk of Alzheimer’s with MIND Diet

Conservative adherence to a new diet, appropriately known by the acronym MIND, could significantly lower a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a paper published o...

Smooth Move: Creative Additions to Consider for Smoothies

When looking for a quick breakfast or post-workout nourishment, almost nothing beats a smoothie. Whirl in the right ingredients and the blen...

7 Ways to Help a Client Boost Adherence

Once a client has decided to make nutritional changes to support weight loss, you can play a key role in developing an action plan that is m...

Rice-Cooking Technique Cuts Calorie Absorption in Half

In a molecular gastronomy-meets-lab-science moment, researchers at the College of Chemical Sciences in Colombo, Sri Lanka, have discovered a...

Low Intensity vs. High Intensity: Which Is Best for Obese Adults?

The debate continues regarding the most effective exercise measures for reducing abdominal obesity and improving glucose measures.

Show More