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The PERFECT Elementary Indoor Recess Activity: Move Maker 

Do you remember playing Simon Says as a child? The one where you followed directions and tried not to get caught making a move without “Simon” giving permission? As a teacher, you’ve likely thought about those moments, realizing that the kids who got out early were the ones you needed the extra movement the most… that’s why you’ll love the game “Move Maker” for your classroom! It’s a whole-class movement activity created to infuse fun and movement into your school day without the stress of getting “out”. It’s the PERFECT activity for those dreaded indoor recess days!

The Importance of Movement in Learning

Before diving head first into how to play Move Maker, let’s chat about why incorporating movement into your classroom is so important. As an educator, you already know that if your kids don’t get ample opportunities to move throughout the day, teaching them is so much more difficult! 


Without specific chances to move, they will just find opportunities to make their own movement– whether they mean to or not! You’ll find them tapping their pencils on the desks, rocking their chairs back and forth on two legs, or getting up for many reasons to walk around the room. 


By anticipating this need for movement and infusing it throughout your day, ESPECIALLY on dreary days when indoor recess is a must, you can confidently set your students up for success! 


ADDED BONUS: research consistently shows that movement enhances cognitive functions and attention spans and sets your classroom up for a more positive environment!


With Move Maker, you’ll be encouraging movement while adding a whole bunch of fun!

How to Play Move Maker!

Getting started with Move Maker is a breeze (think TWO minutes!!), and the benefits last all year! 


For this game, replace ‘Simon” with the classroom Move Maker! It’s a whole class movement activity that everyone can do. Rather than sitting down, everyone is encouraged to keep moving and doing their best!

Play in 5 Easy Steps

  1. Prepare Materials

  • To get started, print the movement cards and the colored blocks. 
  • Choose 3 or 6 colored movement blocks depending on the age of your students.
  • Put the colored blocks and movement cards in a pocket chart. If you would rather play on a magnet board or chalkboard, add magnets to the back of your movement cards.

That’s it! You’re ready to play!

  1. Choose Your Move Maker

  • Select a student to be your Move Maker.
  • The Move Maker places a movement card in front of each colored block. 
  1. Engage in Whole-Class Movements

  • Once the cards are placed, the whole class will do the movements shown in order.  
  • Kids can stay in one spot so they can play by their desks or together on the carpet. 
  • Repeat the movements more than once if you want— think of it like a mini workout circuit!
  1. Pass the Torch

  • After you’ve done all the movements, the Move Maker will choose someone who was doing their best!  
  • That student will become the next Move Maker and come up and put in a new series of cards!
  1. Repeat and Enjoy!

  • Repeat this game as many times as you’d like. It really will never be the same!

When to Play Move Maker

Move Maker is an obvious choice for indoor recess when the wiggles are high and the need for lots of movement is even higher! It’s an easy choice for an unexpected rainy or snippy day when a trip to the playground just isn’t going to pan out– fun for your kids and super low prep or you!


Move Maker is also perfect for:


FREE Move Maker Activities!

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More About Move Maker

Move Maker isn’t just a fun option for indoor recess or to help extra wiggles, it’s a great option for boosting mental health and encouraging inclusivity within your classroom too! 


Unlike Simon Says where a child might feel left out when they get “out”, this whole-class activity ensures that everyone participates. Students will begin to feel a sense of community as they all work to complete the designated movements together. 

When students feel like they are a part of something more than themselves, you’ll feel the morale in your classroom skyrocket!

More Indoor Recess Movement Ideas

Beyond Move Maker, there are so many other fun ideas to get your kids moving when indoor recess is a must!

Four Corners

Your kids will love playing Four Corners


Hang a number sign in each corner of your classroom. Students choose a corner to stand. You pull out a picture card and the kids clap the syllables in word, such as all-i-ga-tor. 


“Alligator” has 4 syllables, so anyone who is standing in the 4 syllables corner is “out.”  Those students come to the rug to help clap the syllables in the next word. 


Keep playing until one student is left or you run out of time!


Playing FREEZE is easy, quick, and SO MUCH FUN! 


Pass out one card to each child. When you say go, kids begin to move around the room. 


While the kids are moving, they trade cards. They must tell what is on their cards to trade. 


For example, read the word, tell the sum, etc. 


Kids can trade as few or as many times as they like. They can’t argue if someone doesn’t want to trade– just ask someone else!


When the music stops, everyone must FREEZE! Pull a “Who Has” card and read it aloud.

The kid holding that card wins! Then just say “Go” and the game starts all over!

Your students will love trying Move Maker at your next indoor recess, and you will be thrilled to see how a little movement can make a big difference in your classroom!

Why stop the movement at indoor recess?! Read about even more movement games you can use in your classroom this year too!


Happy Moving!

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Emily Yerty

I’m a teacher who believes in creating a classroom kids love and activities that keep them engaged all day!

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