Animal Body Movements

Today I’ve got another great movement activity for you to do with a group of participants! I learned this activity at a theater convention a few years ago but I think that it works nicely as a way to get a group up and moving, especially as a warm up. This is a perfect activity for people who claim that they can’t act or dance. By letting the phrases guide their imagination and allowing that to guide their movements, participants are not held to a specific ideal. Also since the group engages in the activity together there is less stage anxiety.

For this activity all you need is a empty playing space where participants can move freely. Start by having the participants walk around the space. Not in a circle though, just randomly throughout the area. Tell them as they walk around to think about being happy. After giving them about 20 seconds, have them think about being sad. Give them another 20 seconds, then have them think of a twinkle in their eye.

The second part of the activity involves the participants using their bodies to show each phrase. For each phrase you give them, make sure they have at least 20-30 seconds to try to show the movement. For example, the first phrase is “spiders in you fingers”. A participant might wiggle their fingers or move their hands up and down. Make sure that participants continue to walk around the room as they show the different phrases with their bodies. The phrases I have used include the following:

Spiders in your fingers
Giraffes in your arms
Lizards in your shoulders
Monkeys in your head and neck
Snakes in your spine
Rhinos in your hips
Gazelles in your legs
Crocodiles in your feet

You can add or subtract your own phrases as you see fit! Try it out and see what you think!

Animal Body Movements Activity Notes

Ages: 6 and up

Materials: Open space

Therapeutic Value:
Major Motor Skills Developmet

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