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Great Warm-ups

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Matt Dykstra from Omaha, Nebraska submitted these great warm-ups for grades 3-5.

Background: Here are two great warm-up activities for your consideration. The first one is a fun parachute fitness activity. Along with a great way to warm-up, it helps the students to be a little more independent as the students have to read and then perform the exercises.

The second is a volleyball warm-up activity using five different stations. These stations work well because they are simple and interesting for the students. We have found it useful to include some of the current skills we have been working on during our daily stretching and exercising routines.

Parachute Fitness

Equipment:
- Parachute
- Exercise Cards
- Dice
- Music

Set-Up: Place one exercise card on each section of the parachute. Assign one or more students to a section of the parachute to start the activity.

How We Do It: Explain that the students will be performing the exercise or stretch located on the card. Some cards may be similar, depending upon how many activities the students can perform independently. We also illustrate the cards, so that the younger students can see what they should do.

After the first card, stop the music and roll the dice. Have each student move that number of spaces to the left (or right). The card at that spot indicates the second stretch or exercise. Repeat until the desired number of cards have been completed or a designated time has elapsed. This has been a tremendous hit with our students as they love doing their warm-ups independently.
Volleyball Warm-Up Stations

Equipment:
- 2 large buckets
- 1 large beach ball
- 6-7 balloons
- Volleyball net and standards
- 2 7-day pocket charts with cards

Set-Up: Have a sign for each station. Create a list of locomotor movements for station #5, create cards illustrating upper body stretches for station #4, and create cards of lower body stretches for station #1.

How We Do It: These stations work well because the students get a taste of stretching muscle groups, exercising cardiovascularly, and reviewing some volleyball skills simultaneously.

Station #1 Students perform lower body stretches.
Station #2 Students practice individually with a balloon their volleyball bumping.
Station #3 Students circle up and attempt to pass the ball as a team while keeping it off the floor.
Station #4 Students perform upper body stretches.
Station #5 Students “locomotor” around the volleyball standards with a list that you provide. Skills may include sliding, jogging, sprinting, back pedaling, galloping, etc.

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