Cool Down activities are important after an intense PE activity or lesson. Cool downs allow your heart rate to reduce back to normal gradually, this helps to reduce light-headedness. Most cool downs last for 3-10 minutes and include slower, more gentle movement with stretching exercises. It's important to remember to include a cool down after each PE lesson, if you're looking for some inspiration, continue reading for some fun cool down activities!
Use the beat of the music or the clap of your hands to indicate to children the speed at which these cool down actions should be attempted
- Kick It/Punch it – Stretch out with either feet or hands.
- Twist it – Keeping feet flat on the ground, turn the top half of the body from side-to-side.
- Spin it – Jump up and, whilst in the air, turn all the way around as quickly as possible.
- Pull it – Reach arms up to the sky for a full body stretch.
- Bop it – Make up an action here, and change it every time ‘Bop It’ is shouted out. Why not get the class to crouch down to the ground, or perform star jumps.
Shout out different types of pasta, and have children make the appropriate cool down and stretching actions.
- Spaghetti – Walk around tall and thin, stretching arms up over the head.
- Pasta Twists – Walk in a straight line then quickly spin and walk the other way.
- Lasagne – Lie as flat as possible on the floor, stretching arms and legs.
- Tagliatelle – Everyone walks around wiggling and waving.
- Pasta Shapes or Spaghetti Hoops – In groups, join hands to make the correct shape.
Into The Jungle
Adapt this cool down activity to tie in with current class themes, or just keep it as a typical muscle stretching expedition through the jungle!
- Stretch and lunge forward to push through the bushes.
- Tiptoe around the snake and run away from the tiger.
- Duck under branches, and step over logs.
- Swim across the river.
- Reach up to climb the trees.
- High knee stretches to get out of the quicksand.
- Knee kickbacks to flick off the bugs.
- Position the whole class into one large circle.
- Choose someone to stand in the center.
- The child in the middle then shouts out the name of someone in the class and then throws the ball to them.
- The receiver must clap their hands before they catch the ball.
- A foul is given if the receiver doesn’t clap, drops the ball, or the wrong person claps.
- 1st foul = kneel on one leg
- 2nd foul = kneel on two legs
- 3rd foul = sit on bum
- 4th foul = lie on tummy, out of the game
Children start off walking around the room, as you shout out poses they have to freeze in them for 3 seconds. For example, you could shout:
- Balance on one foot
- Crouch on hands and knees
- Sit on bottoms
- Freeze like a soldier and stand up straight
- Pretend to be asleep – this is a perfect pose to finish on!
Miming stretches provide a great final activity for cooling down and stretching off, whilst still keeping the class entertained. Suggest mimes like:
- Reaching for the top of the cupboard
- Bending down to tie a shoelace
- Picking up a heavy box
- Waking up and putting clothes on
Climbing into bed – a great, calm way to finish any KS1 P.E. lesson.
Try these cool down activities after your PE lessons and get children to understand the importance of cooling down.
Once you have tried all of the above, try making your own cool down games!