Follow the leader is a familiar children’s game. And, who doesn’t love being the leader! We have made this favorite children’s activity more educational by adding movement to develop gross motor skills and the alphabet to enhance language development in preschoolers. This kinesthetic learning activity also teaches children how to follow directions and take turns. All this in one game? Absolutely!
The only thing this lesson requires is the ABC’s of Movement® activity cards. Not familiar with them? The front of the cards contain a full color photograph of a child demonstrating each letter movement. The back of the cards have instructions for phonological awareness, sky writing, a rhyming sentence, an alliteration sentence, performance instructions, and modifications for children with special needs. See our “What’s on the ABC’s of Movement Activity Cards” post to learn more. Our activity cards are also available to download online as a pdf.
This lesson takes about 10 minutes and can be done indoor or as a fun outdoor activity for preschoolers. First, you select a few of the alphabet cards. You can select any cards you wish based on your learning objectives. If improving locomotor skills is your focus, then the ABC’s of Movement letters G, L, M, and S work well. If you are focusing on teaching the alphabet, research shows us that children learn the initial letter of their own first name before any other letter in the alphabet. While there are many different opinions when it comes to deciding which letters to teach first, studies show Enhanced Alphabet Knowledge (EAK) instruction to be one of the most sound research-based alternative.
Now, on to the game! After you select four or five cards, spread them in the middle of the area. While taking turns, children pick up a card, identify the letter (if they are able) and hand the card to you. After the movement is identified, the child who chose the card, leads the group as they all perform the movement at the same time. The card is returned to the pile and the activity is repeated until each child has been the leader. To further enhance the lesson, you could include the early literacy resources on the backs of the cards or this alphabet activity can be combined with our music we designed to go along with the cards!
Follow the Leader is one of the many movement exploration activities also featured on OPENPhysed.org Not only are all the activities aligned to Early Childhood Standards, they are FREE! Originally created for P.E. teachers, this site recently expanded to include Early Childhood (EC) Movement Exploration lessons. With the motto of #teachershelpingteachers, these FREE activity plans and ideas are possible as a public service through www.USGames.com. Purchases made through US Games help keep OPEN resources fresh and FREE for everybody to use. Other activities from OPENPhysed.org include ABC Obstacle course and Yoga ABC’s.