Jump Back into the School Year with Movement-Rich Getting-to-Know-You Activities

At Walkabouts, we know the importance of setting the classroom tone right from the start. As the new school year begins, teachers plan out the first, formative days of school, and gear up for a year full of learning, movement, and fun!

Jump back into the school year with these movement-rich getting-to-know-you activities!


Use this twist on the traditional first-day introductions. Ask students to stand in a large circle in the classroom or on the playground. Select a child to start the introductions, or introduce yourself first to model how to do the activity. Each student should say their name to help everyone learn the correct pronunciation and/or what they would like to be called (if, for example, a student prefers a shortened version of their name). Students should also complete a movement with their name. If desired, ask older students to come up with a movement that starts with the first letter or sound in their name. For example, James could jump and Danielle could dig. Then, everyone in the circle should repeat the child’s name and movement twice before the next student’s turn. After everyone has introduced themselves, have each child quickly repeat their name and movement (without repetitions from the group) for a recap. 


After introductions, allow students to learn more about each other and their experiences with Have You Ever? questions. While standing in a circle, instruct students to move inside the circle if they would answer “Yes” to the Have You Ever? query. Students who would answer “No” should remain in the circle. Reset the circle by gathering everyone back in place before the next question. 

Consider asking the following Have You Ever? questions or your own questions.

Played a sport Broken a bone
Performed on stage Had a pet
Played an instrument Seen a sunrise or a sunset
Gone to a different school Gone swimming
Ridden a horse Visited another state or another country
Gone camping Seen an eclipse
Entered a contest Lived in another state
Lost a tooth Seen a constellation in the night sky


This activity requires that students work together to line up in the correct order based on a guideline. The activity can be done as a whole class or with small groups. Ask students to line up in any of the following ways, or use your own ideas. 

Shortest to tallest Date of birthday within the month (1st to 31st)
Youngest to oldest First or last name alphabetical order
January to December birthdays Rainbow (ROYGBIV) order of clothing (shirt/top)

Variation: Have older students complete the activity without talking.


This isn’t your normal game of BINGO! Back to School BINGO gets students up and out of their seats as they engage with their classmates and learn what they have in common. 

Create BINGO cards with the suggested topics below, or use your own.

Went swimming Went to a cookout
Visited a library Went on a trip
Played a sport Helped with chores at home
Went to camp Put together a puzzle
Read a book Went to a concert
Rode a bike or scooter Colored outside with sidewalk chalk
Went on a hike Visited a museum
Volunteered Flew a kite
Helped to plant a garden or flowers Watched a movie
Rode on a boat Played on a playground
Visited friends or family Tried a new food
Visited a park Learned to do something new

Provide each student with a BINGO card and a pencil. Clipboards are optional. Students should circulate around the room to find classmates who participated in an activity listed on the BINGO card. After they find someone who completed an activity, the classmate should write their initials in the BINGO square to mark the spot. Each student can initial all of their classmate’s BINGO cards only one time. Tell students to ask you as well! 

Use a BINGO card with the appropriate number of spaces for your class. List summer activities that best fit the age and interests of your students. 

The goal of Back to School BINGO is more about students making connections with one another than getting BINGO. Encourage students to fill in as many spaces on their cards as they can in the time provided. 

These getting-to-know-you activities are sure to get your class up and moving! Walkabouts are on-demand adventures that transfer math, language arts, and reading content into short, movement-rich activities for pre-K to second grade students. Teachers report that Walkabouts help build students’ confidence, improve self-awareness, and enhance self-control. This evidenced-based online curriculum supplement makes it easy for teachers and parents to create kinesthetic learning activities – fun lessons that bring key concepts to life through active learning techniques. Find the Walkabouts subscription that’s right for you!