Active Learning Strategies: 25 Games and Activities to Get Kids Moving and Learning! - The Inspired Treehouse (2022)

At The Inspired Treehouse, we’rebig advocates of active learningfor kids. These awesome active learning strategies, games, and activities are the perfect way to get kids moving and learning!

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As kids come off of long summer breaks with days filled from with continuous movement from dawn to dusk, it can be hard for them to sit still and pay attentionto learning activities for any stretch of time. We’re pretty sure that it’s hard for teachers to sit still all day too!

To us, nothing is more important, especially during the transition from summer to school, than getting kids up out of those chairs and inspiring them to move while they learn!

What the Research Says…

Research has shown that there are 10 critical reasons that active learning strategies should be used to enhance education. Here are a few of those reasons:

-whole body movement makes learning more efficient

-it allows for implicit learning

-children are able to refocus their attention

-movement improves brain function, reduces stress and improves circulation.

*(Lengel, T & Kuczala, M (2010): The Kinesthetic Classroom Teaching and Learning Through Movement)

This time of year, teachers, parents, and therapists everywhere are looking for new active learning strategies to support kids in the classroom, the therapy room, and at home and we’re here to help! Here are 25 awesome ideas for learning through movement! These ideas would be perfect for a therapist to use when offering push-in servicesin the classroom setting.

25 Active Learning Games and Activities

1 || Name and Fitness activity from 730 Sage Street

This activity is a hit with all ages! Be creative! You can also use this with spelling lists and other important words you want your kids to learn to spell. Educational and good for healthy bodies, this activity really a win-win.

2 || ABCs of Movement

These cards correspond to each letter of the alphabet and target a huge array of developmental skills and are perfect for any age.

3 || Don’t Drop the Cookies

Tools to Grow features this fun game that helps children improve their fine motor coordination, upper extremity control, motor planning, visual perception, and early math skills.

4 || Moving and Learning on the Balance Beam

Use a balance beam or make one out of found objects then use it to teach number recognition and sequencing as well as directional terms like forward and backward.

5 || Rhyming Reindeer

Can you spy a great language activity from miles away? We can! This one works on positional concept terms, receptive identification of body parts, colors, pictures, objects, phonological awareness (rhyming), fine motor skills, visual perceptual skills, and cognitive skills. Whew! Who knew you could get so much out of moving to learn! Tuck this one away for the holiday season!

6 || Special Delivery

We did this activity with a Valentine’s Day theme, but you could substitute the hearts and pink paper with Christmas trees cut out of holiday-themed paper, or you could make the cutouts look like letters in envelopes for a fun “mailman” activity with preschoolers during a Community Helpers unit.

(Video) Super Simple Movement Activities With String

7 || I Spy with a Twist

“I spy something that begins with the letter A”! A classic game that every kid loves that can be changed up a bit to target all kinds of academic and preacademic skills. Add a movement component like “skip to the letter A and show me where it is” and you’ve got a double whammy!!

8 || Personalized Caterpillars

This fun little name craft for kids can be played with again and again so kids can get some repetition along with a great fine motor strengthening boost! Once you make the craft, place clothespins on either side of a balance beam and have kids squat or bend while balancing to retrieve them and complete their caterpillar!

9 || Spell Your Name Hopscotch

This Spell Your Name Hopscotch Gameis designed to help them learn how to spell their names through movement by playing a hopscotch-like activity!

10 || Alphabet Yoga

Learning the alphabet doesn’t have to be boring! Try this alphabet yoga activity to get kids moving and learning.

11 || Giant Alphabet

Find a vertical surfaceand get kids moving up and down to create giant letters with window markers, chalk or paint!

12 || Sight Word Mix-up

Combine reading sight words with various movements and students will have tons of fun while being physically active.

13 || Learning Numbers at the Beach

Just say the word beach and I can think of a million ways to get kids moving and learning. This activity couples homemade dice with movement in a follow the leader style game.

14 || Fun Ways to Teach a Child Their Phone Number

These 3 fun ideas are a great way for teaching kids their phone numbers through movement. Working with manipulatives during hands on activities creates an awesome mind-body connection to solidify learning and memory.

Check out all of our most creative and engaging learning activities in our book, Playful Learning Lab for Kids! This awesome resource contains tons of fun movement-based and multi-sensory learning activities targeting academic concepts in every subject from math to music and beyond! Grab your copy today!

Active Learning Strategies: 25 Games and Activities to Get Kids Moving and Learning! - The Inspired Treehouse (3)

Active Learning Strategies: 25 Games and Activities to Get Kids Moving and Learning! - The Inspired Treehouse (5)

15 || Shapes Yoga

A very cool series of yoga poses to get your child to recognize shapes through body movements.

16 || Move and Groove Letter Game

This is a super simple alphabet game that gets kids moving and grooving while they learn their letters.

17 || Build with Letters

Blocks and tape are all you need for this fun word building, letter recognition activity!

18 || Find and Rhyme Gross Motor Game

You could adapt this easily for different levels using upper and lowercase as pairs to match, sight words or word families in addition to the rhyming word game!

19 || Letters on the Go

An awesome idea for working on letter recognition, this fun activity keeps hands and minds busy. The simpleness of this activity makes it easily adjustable for all ages and levels.

20 || Word Family Slam

I think every child will love this idea for finding word families – ready, aim, fire!

21 || Twister with Blends

Turn an old Twister game into a learning experience full of balance and flexibility challenges that your kids won’t forget!

22 || Musical Sight Words

If your kids like to dance, hop, skip, crawl, move and play then this reading/sight word game is for them!

23 || Alphabet Sticker Match

Kids are active, learning, and having a blast every time they start playing this sticker game.

(Video) Count to 20 and Workout | Fun Counting Song for Kids | Count by 1's to 20 | Jack Hartmann

24 || Jump and Learn

Want a great way to spice up learning how to read and spelling practice? Try this jump and learn game!

25 || Jump Rope Games

“Peel a banana upside down; see if you can touch the ground. If you spell your name correct, you will get another chance.” I would say jumping rope and rhyming pack a huge learning punch!

Active Learning Strategies: 25 Games and Activities to Get Kids Moving and Learning! - The Inspired Treehouse (6)

More Resources About Learning Through Movement and Active Learning Strategies

Teaching with the Brain in Mind, 2nd Edition by Eric Jensen

Movement in the Classroom by Dr. Martha Eddy

Teaching Strategies: Learning Through Movement by Janelle Cox

Why Young Kids Learn Through Movement by Lara N. Dotson-Renta

The Kinesthetic Classroom: Teaching and Learning Through Movement

Active Learning Strategies: 25 Games and Activities to Get Kids Moving and Learning! - The Inspired Treehouse (7)

by Traci Lengel

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Active Learning Strategies: 25 Games and Activities to Get Kids Moving and Learning! - The Inspired Treehouse (9)

Lauren Drobnjak

Lauren Drobnjak is co-author of The Inspired Treehouse blog and a pediatric physical therapist who currently practices in the educational environment. She has been a physical therapist for 18 years, with 17 of those years specifically in pediatrics. Her drive to make a difference in the lives of kids has led her entrepreneurial spirit in the direction of creating opportunities for play-based wellness and child development. She is a busy mama of 3 who thrives on chaos. To come down from the stress, Lauren enjoys exercising like she’s still 20, yoga, chocolate, a great book, browsing Pinterest, and anything crafty!

Active Learning Strategies: 25 Games and Activities to Get Kids Moving and Learning! - The Inspired Treehouse (10)

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What are Active teaching Strategies and learning Activities? ›

Active learning engages students in learning, using activities such as reading, writing, discussion, or problem solving, which promote analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of class content. Active in-class learning also provides students with informal opportunities for feedback on how well they understood the material.

What is an example of active learning? ›

To be sure, there are many examples of classroom tasks that might be classified as “active learning.” Some of the most common examples include think-pair-share exercises, jigsaw discussions, and even simply pausing for clarification during a lecture.

How can Active learning Strategies can play important role in our teaching? ›

Active learning methods ask students to engage in their learning by thinking, discussing, investigating, and creating. In class, students practice skills, solve problems, struggle with complex questions, make decisions, propose solutions, and explain ideas in their own words through writing and discussion.

What is Active learning methods Strategies and application? ›

An active learning strategy is any type of activity during class (face-to-face, online, or outside of class) that engages learners in deep thought about the subject matter in your course.

What are the 5 types of active learning? ›

5 Types of Active Learning and How They're Beneficial
  • Take Notes.
  • Write About It.
  • Teach Someone Else.
  • Move Around.
  • Take Breaks.
  • Learning for Life.
8 Nov 2021

What is the most effective learning strategy? ›

The most effective strategy according to Dunlosky's research is practice testing. It consists of studying and reviewing by answering questions and actively bringing information back to mind. When this is done, information is reconsolidated, new connections are created, and memory and understanding are strengthened.

What are some fun class activities? ›

These top 10 classroom games provide fun ways to engage your students in academic learning, without them even realizing it!
  • Charades. ...
  • Hangman. ...
  • Scatter-gories. ...
  • Bingo. ...
  • Puzzles. ...
  • Draw swords. ...
  • Hot potato. ...
  • Pictionary.
2 Mar 2018

What are example of activities? ›

150 Examples of Activities
Playing Games / CardsPlays
Pool / BilliardsReading
Rock ClimbingSailing
70 more rows
7 Nov 2021

What are strategies in teaching and learning? ›

Teaching and learning strategies can include a range of whole class, group and individual activities to accommodate different abilities, skills, learning rates and styles that allow every student to participate and to achieve some degree of success.

What is the difference between teaching strategies and learning activities? ›

Strategies are broad concepts or approaches to achieve the project objectives while activities are actions that are undertaken within these strategies. For example, 'building the capacity of the community members' is a strategy your project has adopted.

What is the difference between teaching activities and learning activities? ›

Teaching and Learning Activities (TLAs)

As its name suggests, TLA include what the teacher does (teaching activities) and what the student does (learning activities). In learner-centered course, selecting teaching and learning activities should not be a random process.

What is an example of a learning strategy? ›

reading and comprehending text. studying and remembering information. writing and taking notes. improving assignment and test performance.


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