How to play Up, Down, Stop, Go!

Extreme heat has kept some students inside recently. Though it’s best get outside with sunscreen, drink a lot of water and play in the shade, the heat can become too much. Even with shorter recesses, children may not be as active and need some active indoor play to get their heart rates up and blood pumping to their brains. Try this Game of the Week both indoors and out: Up, Down, Stop, Go!

Group Size: 

 Large group (10 or more)

Age Group: 

 Pre K/K

 Grades 1-2

 Grades 3-5

Length of Activity: 

 Under 10 minutes

Developmental Goal: 

 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.


  • For younger players: 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.


Find more new and exciting games in our games database!




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