Variety of warm-ups and games for use in the class and beyond


pass the change

To encourage generating and abstracting movement. Stand in circle and call out one person’s name. That person starts with a small movement, it’s then passed around the circle with an instuction – exaggerated, added on to, do the opposite, etc… leaving the input open so it can be interpreted by each participant in different ways. Important – encourage fast responses, not thinking about it.

This game can be then referred to as a way for student to brainstorm/create movement in smaller groups. e.g. start with a gesture.

idioms and alternatives

Quickly introduce the idea of alternatives through the use of idioms or words that have more than a single meaning. Get students organised into small groups and give them a stimulus. Give them two minutes to come up with two alternative solutions to the stimulus and then show them. It could be still pictures or movements.

This is a great introduction to a lesson about trying different things to elicit creative behaviour. There is always more than one solution to a problem!

Some starting stimuli: Amazon; flat out; lying is not bad; ball is in your court; take a trip; far out; bear with me.


this is not a pen

Looking at things from a different perspective. Give the students a pen (can be any object) and somebody tells them “it’s not a pen it is a ________” the person holding the pen then has to interact with that object in that way. This encourages creative thinking habits by changing the way one looks and interacts with any given object.

this is not a story about a pen

Same idea as above but working in small groups. Someone starts with a pen (object) and says “this is not a pen it is ________” and passes it on for the next person to give another alternative. Pass the object round the group for 20secs and collect as many ideas as possible. Choose the most liked.

Repeat but this time the object is not “somewhere.” Go round the group for 20secs and brainstorm where the object is not. Choose the most liked.

Repeat again but this time the object is somewhere and not “doing something.” Choose the most liked.

The group have then brainstormed a scenario that they can then improvise with. For example: a pair of headphones that are in a field or sunflowers playing music.


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