TIP SHEET: ENERGETIC ACTIVITIES-Horizons For Homeless Children
Espacio de juego


Shake, Shake, Shake—OPENING GAME

  • Set Up- Have the children stand in a circle. If your space is too small for a circle, you can still do this activity with children standing randomly around the room.
  • How to Play– Children are each asked which part of their bodies they would like to shake and wake. If a child suggests hands, the whole group shakes their hands while chanting, “Shake , shake…shake,  shake…shake, shake and STOP!”  If the next child suggests shoulders, the whole group shakes their shoulders using the same chant.  The game continues until each children has had a chance to suggest a type of “shake.”  After each turn, we thank the child for their great suggestion.
  • Outs-If a child does not want to suggest a shake, they can just say “pass”.

Freeze Dance—ACTIVE PLAY

  • Set Up- Have the children stand around the room with space between them. Have a CD of some upbeat children’s tunes in a CD player cued up to start.
  • How to Play– The PAL will tell the children they are going to dance to the music. They can dance or move their bodies how ever they like. They should make sure not to hit or touch any other child or thing in the room.  They will only dance when music is playing, once it stops they need to freeze.  Once the music begins again, they can dance again.
  • Outs- If a child does not want to dance they can help with the CD player.


  • Set Up– This dance allows children to explore different ways of moving together and alone. Children stand in a circle and hold hands.  A song is used to help music be  a part of the game.
  • How to Play-Once the music begins, the group marches and sings along to the chorus, “Shoo Fly, don’t bother me (3 times)…I’ll show you what I want to be!” At this point everyone yells “Hands are down!” and places their hands at their sides. Children are then invited to separate and find a space in the room to “wiggle like a worm, swim like a fish, jump like a kangaroo, crawl like a spider, or tip-toe like a mouse,” following the directions in the song.  In between each animal movement the children transition back to the circle singing, “Come find our circle, ready-here we go!” then repeat the “Shoo Fly” chorus and circle march.  After the final chorus that proceeds the “tip toe quiet as a mouse” verse “Hands are down” is replaced with “Now sit down” signaling the dancers to sit.


  • Set Up-Children can stand in a circle or anywhere around the room.
  • How to Play-The PAL will ask the children if they can do an action. For example, “Can you jump like a kangaroo?” or “Can you flap your wings like a bird?”  This will go on for some time.  Every once in a while, through in a “Can you Twizzle?”  To twizzle, the children must jump up in the air and rotate 360 degrees.  This will result in laughing and giggles all around.

What Time is it Mr. Wolf?

One player becomes the wolf and he/she will stand with his/her back turned to the others about 15 feet from the others. The others call out, “What  time is it Mr. Wolf?” and the wolf turns to face the others and shouts out a time. Eg: “9 o’clock”. The others would then take 9 steps toward the wolf. The group will take the same amount of steps toward the wolf as the amount of hours in the wolf’s time. eg, 4 o’clock = 4 steps, 6 o’clock = 6 steps etc. etc. The wolf will then turn his back to the group again for them to yell “What time is it Mr. Wolf….” (He looks at the group only when he shouts the time at the group).  When the group comes close to the wolf the next time the group yells “what time is it Mr. Wolf?” the wolf will say ‘It’s DINNER TIME” and run after the group who are running back to the start line, and hopefully catch one of the group who will then be the wolf.  If he does not catch someone then he gets to be the wolf again.

Hula Hoop Bean Bag Toss

Place the “hula hoop” target on the ground about 15 feet away with a Frisbee in the middle (or smaller circle of paper if you don’t have one. The children can stand in a line and take turns lobbing their bean bags toward the target. You can demonstrate tossing the beanbag underhand. You get 1 point for each bag that lands inside the hula hoop, 3 points if their bag is on or touching the Frisbee. The goal of the game is to get 21 points wins.

A, B, C Hop Scotch

Find an open area in the Playspace and, using masking tape, create a hopscotch game.  Instead of using numbers in each square, use letters.  Have each child take a turn throwing a bean bag onto a letter on the hopscotch board.  Whatever square it lands on the child must hop there and then say a word that begins with that letter before picking up the bean bag.  Younger children can just name the letter.