5 Simple Warm-Up Games for Under 5s

Warm-ups are a great way to prepare and introduce young children to rehearsals or drama sessions. They encourage children to warm their bodies and voices and introduce them to group dynamics. Here are five fun and simple warm-up games that children can do at the start of their drama lesson. You don’t need any materials for these games, just make sure you have enough space to move around!

How exciting!
  1. Beans

This is a quick paced and high-energy game to get children’s bodies warmed up and will get everyone focussed as well. Get the children to all stand in a space and shout out types of beans to which the children will perform a particular action (examples below). You can think of your own types of beans as well!

  • Broad bean- Stand wide and broad like a star shape
  • String bean- Stand up tall like you are growing towards the sky
  • Runner bean- Jog on the spot
  • Baked bean- Wipe your forehead as if it’s really hot
  • French bean- Say “Oo la la” and flap your wrist
  • Mexican bean- Say “Arriba arriba”
  • Jelly beans- Wiggle your body around like jelly
  • Beans on toast- Lie down on the floor


French beans ‘Oo la la!’
  1. Shark attack

This game gets everyone focussed but also encourages creativity. Number the four corners of the room 1-4 and then choose a sea creature –  you can ask the children for fun ideas! Get the children to move around the room acting out that particular sea creature. Make a point of closing your eyes so that you cant see the students and shout ‘shark attack!’. The children have to run to a corner of their choice. You choose a number 1-4 and the children in that corner are eaten by the shark and are out!

  1. Boat

This is similar to the bean game in that you shout out a subject and the children act out this. In this case all the actions are nautical themed.

  • Climb the ladder- Pretend to climb a ladder
  • Scrub the deck- Pretend to scrub the floor
  • Captain’s coming- Stand to attention and shout “aye aye captain”
  • Life boat- The children get into pairs hold hands to make a boat shape
  • Shark- Make and fin above your head and hum the ‘Jaws’ theme
  • Port- Run to one side of the room
  • Starboard- Run to the other side
  • Pirate- Jump on one leg as if you have one leg and cover one eye like you have an eye patch and say “Pieces of eight, pieces of eight!”
  1. Magic rock

This is a simple game which introduces children to improvisation. Get the children to crouch down into rock shapes on the floor. Choose an animal and tell the children to get up out of the rock shape, move around the room and act out that animal. Shout ‘Magic rock’ again and the children crouch down and make the rock shape again.

What animal is this?
  1. Secret leader

This is a good team-building game that gets the children to concentrate. Ask the students to stand in a circle and ask one child to turn around or go out the room so that they can’t see what is going on in the room. This is ‘The Guesser’. Choose another student to be ‘The Leader’ who will do actions which the other children will try to mirror. For example, they could be patting their head then could sit down. The children must try not to make it obvious who ‘The Leader’ is. Call ‘The Guesser’ into the circle and get them to guess who ‘The Leader’ is!

Prague Youth Theatre offers such warm-up games at ‘PYT Tots’ which is a weekly theatre course for native and non-native English speakers aged from 3-5 years old. Click here to find out more!

Also, check out our vlog where Alex caught up with the tots to find out about their upcoming revue!

Tots getting crafty

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