Activities to Support Learning

Move it, Feel it, Learn it!

Scientists have proven that movement helps you learn.

Exercise helps to improve your classroom behavior and your academic performance. Kids who exercise are often times able to socialize more easily with their peers.
Not only does exercise and movement on a daily basis help you to become more physically fit, it also helps you to learn better, and it improves your attitude towards school and life in general.
  • Exercise allows learners to make mistakes without having to worry about embarrassing consequences.
  • our learning is enhanced because the movement stimulates the cerebellum of your brain, the place where most of the neurons in your brain are located.
  • You are better able to handle stress when you exercise regularly.
  • Exercise triggers the release of BDNF, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Kesslak, Patrick, Cotman, & Gomez-Pinilla, 1998). BDNF is a substance that your brain makes that helps to enhances your understanding of new learning by increasing your neurons’ ability to talk to each other.
  • It can enhance social skills, emotional intelligence, and conflict resolution ability.
  • Exercise helps to increase hormones in your brain that help to give you energy and help to balance your moods.

So what can you do to move more, feel more and learn more?

Here are some suggested activities...
  • Exercise play (aerobics, running, chasing, dance routines)
  • Rough-and-tumble play (soccer, football, wrestling)
  • Solitary play (doing puzzles, object manipulation)
  • Outdoor learning activities (digging, observing insects)
  • Stand and stretch activities (Tai Chi, yoga, Simon Says)
  • Group or team competitive games and activities (relays, cheerleading)
  • Constructive play (building with blocks, model building)
  • Exploratory play (hide and seek, scavenger hunts, make-believe)
  • Functional play (purposeful play, such as practicing a new skill)
  • Group noncompetitive games (earth ball)
  • Individual competitive games (marbles, track and field, hopscotch)
  • Adventure or confidence play (ropes, mazes, trust activities)
  • Group non-competitive activities (dance, drama)
  • Walking (outdoors, indoors)


Teaching with the Brain in Mind
Eric Jensen
Copyright © 2005 by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
Math & Movement