Take a brain break and challenge your students to a few rounds of Up, Down, Stop, Go. This is a great game to refocus your students’ minds and refresh their bodies after periods of sitting at their desk. Simple commands translate into simple movements. Challenge your students’ minds further by having them do the opposite of your commands and see who can hang on the longest.
Up, Down, Stop, Go
Under 10 minutes
To develop students’ concentration and listening skills.
Before You Start
- Have players stand up either by their seats or spread around the room/play area.
- Demonstrate the appropriate actions for “up”, “down”, “stop”, or “go”.
- On “Up”, players should squat down.
- On “Down”, players should jump, or stretch up as high as they can.
- On “Stop”, players should move around the play area in a specific movement (such as walking, jogging, running, skipping, hopping, etc.) or, if players cannot move around the play area, they should run in place.
- On “Go”, players should freeze.
- Players not doing the correct movement can complete a task (such as jumping jacks, give the leader a high five, etc.) before returning to the game.
- Do a practice round first so that all players understand the commands and movements that go with them, and understand what to do if they get the movements mixed up.
How to Play
- Call out the commands “up”, “down”, “stop”, or “go” one at a time.
- For the first few minutes, watch the group and stop when players do the wrong movement and prompt them to complete the designated task (jumping jacks, etc.)
- After the first few minutes, call out the commands without stopping for those who make a mistake. They can just quickly do the task and get back in the game.
Pre-K Variation: Use literal commands (up means up, down means down, etc). Start out just doing up and down. Then do stop and go. Then mix up all four commands.
Here’s the instructions for playing Up, Down, Stop, Go without opposites: