My Favorite Counseling Lesson Warm Up Activity

Sometimes when I get ready to start a classroom guidance lesson, I can just feel the energy in the room operating at a 10. The kids are excited, moving around, maybe chatting a little bit. I know I need to bring the energy level down just a bit to get students focused and ready for my lesson or activities. I wanted to share a counseling lesson warm up activity that I use to get kids focused that’s great for students of any age!

Looking for a fun counseling lesson warm up activity? You'll love this movement-based activity to get kids focused and ready to learn!

Counseling Lesson Warm Up Activity

To start, I have all of the students sit in a circle away from desks or anything they could pick up or touch. I want the circle to be as distraction-free as possible. I start the activity with a simple hand pattern. I’ll tap my lap with both hands and then clap. Tap, clap, tap, clap. I ask students to follow this pattern with me. Some students take this as a challenge for a race and go at lightning speed, so I have to remind them to go at my pace.

When everyone has the pattern down and is moving at the same pace, I ask a student to add one step to the pattern. It might be tap, clap, snap. Tap, clap, snap. All of the students add this step on to the pattern, and we do just this until everyone has it. Then, I ask another student to add on to the pattern.

We keep moving in this way until we have a longer pattern and everyone has the pace. For each additional step, we do need longer to practice, and that’s fine! Depending on the age of the students, this can be a 4-10 step pattern (maybe even more if your group is really on it!).

Why I Love This Counseling Lesson Warm Up Activity

To perform this task, students absolutely have to get focused. They have to attend to the pattern, they have to let go of other thoughts, and they have to clue in to their bodies. This requires a lot of body awareness! They also have to tune out distractions from peers because if someone misses a step in the pattern, it can get them off pace too. This activity is great for

  • focus
  • body awareness
  • mindful attention

When I Use This Activity

Most recently, I did this activity as a warm up with my Mindful Mornings group. It was the perfect way to bring down the energy level first thing in the morning so that we could focus on our mindfulness exercises for the day. I have also done this to kick off a classroom guidance lesson with younger students. It’s a great way to start any classroom guidance lesson or small group activity, especially when students seem to enter the room distracted!


What activities do you love to get kids focused right away in your counseling lessons or small group sessions? Let me know below!

Looking for a fun counseling lesson warm up activity? You'll love this movement-based activity to get kids focused and ready to learn! This is perfect for elementary school counseling classroom guidance lessons, middle school counseling lessons, or small group counseling activities. -Counselor Keri

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