By Craig Valency, MA, CSCS

We assume too much when working with kids. I have been guilty of assuming that they know the names of all their body parts and how to move them. This, of course, created frustration for them and me. I thought they weren’t listening, and they wondered what in the world I was talking about!

Body part call outs is a simple game that serves many purposes. First, it assures kids learn the names of the body parts and where they are, then it creates a physical association with that new knowledge, as they have to move or touch that body part. Total physical response, or TPR, in education has been shown to improve learning.

Next, we have the kids moving their body in all the planes of motion, which is just a great way to get them warmed up. As deceptively simple as it sounds, by having to respond to a command, then think of where the body part is and how to get there, kids are also priming their brain and nervous system.

Try out body part call outs. Once they get it, start to get creative, have them touch body parts to the ground or to each other, or have them move and identify more than one part at a time.

We’d love your feedback. Let us know what you did, and the challenges and outcomes you encountered.


Age: 5+

Total time: 1-2 minutes

Equipment: None

Group size: Any

Set up: None necessary

Fitness component: Awareness/Coordination

  1. Arrange children randomly in the space.
  2. Call out body parts, and have the children touch those part.
  3. For example: “Touch your arm. Touch your elbow. Touch your heel. Touch your shin.” Etc.
  4. This can also be done in a “Simon Says” format.


We'd love your feedback!