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Movement Activities for First Grade & Elementary

The school day can be tough on young students. There are long stretches of time when they must be still and quiet. It’s important that we give them opportunities to move throughout the day! Being able to stand and move, even for a few seconds, can improve focus, creativity, and stamina. Today, I have three movement activities that you can work into your elementary classroom this year.


If you haven’t used GoNoodle in your classroom before, get ready to fall in love! GoNoodle’s library of quick videos get students up, moving, and laughing. They are great movement activities for breaks throughout the day, to use as indoor recess on a rainy day, or any other time you want your students moving. A couple of my favorite videos are below.

Related Reading: Best Math Videos & Channels on YouTube

Sticky Hands

‘Sticky Hands’ is a great exit slip activity that gets students moving at the end of any lesson! Simply ask students to stand and raise one hand. When you tell them to go, they move silently around the classroom, hands raised. When you call out ‘sticky hands!’, students freeze and high-five the person closest to them. When everyone has a partner, you give them the exit prompt for the lesson! This can be used in any subject, making it an easy way to get students up and moving at any point!

math centers in a snap logo | Lucky Learning with Molly Lynch

Brain Break Movement Activities

Having a stack of brain break cards makes it easy for students to get up and moving at a moment’s notice! These movement activities are printed on cards, so all you need to do is grab one to give your students a quick break.

I like to keep these printed and right near my whole group teaching area. This way, it’s easy for me to grab a card to get students up and stretching before we start a new lesson! You can grab my brain break cards here!

You can choose to either print out the cards and select one or project the brain break on your smartboard!

Recap of Movement Activities for Elementary Students

Using these movement activities, your students will get the movement they need, without disrupting your day! Happy teaching, everyone!

What are some of your 1st or 2nd graders’ favorite movement activities? Tell me in the comments!

Related Reading: First Day of First Grade

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