Music and Movement Activities

“Yankee Doodle can go to town in other ways besides riding on a pony It can be called slideroni, skiparoni, walkaroni, hoparoni,tiptoearoni—-

Yankee Doodle went to town

Riding on a pony

He stuck a feather in his hat

And called it Skiparoni

Yankee Doodle skipped to town

Skipped to town so dandy

Mind the music and the step

And with the kids be handy

This is a song/movement activity that a friend of mine shared with me. I use it in my classroom when we talk about the letter J and it is a great way to get the wiggles out before sitting down at the tables for project or snack time.

First, you need to make a bowl by sitting the children in a circle on the floor. One child at a time comes into the center of the circle and wiggles and dances however they would like while the other children sing this song:

Jello in the Bowl (tune: “The Farmer in the Dell”)

Jello in the bowl, jello in the bowl,

Weeble, wobble, weeble, wooble,

Jello in the bowl!

Continue to move around the circle until everyone has had a turn.

This kind of jello is certain to fall off your spoon! Enjoy!!

Give each child their own sheet of bubble wrap to place on the floor in front of them. Explain to the children that they are going to pop the bubbles however they cannot use their hands to pop them. turn on the music and let them pop their bubbles using any body part except their hands. elbows, knees toes, bottoms etc. are used. let them stomp the bubbles with their shoes on and with bare feet. This was inspired by my handicapped sister who doesn’t have the manual dexterity to use her fingers to pop the bubbles but found lots of other ways to pop the bubbles and enjoyed every minute of the activity as do the children of my class!!! Have fun and pop some bubble wrap along with the kids NO HANDS

With Your Partner (sung to Skip to My Lou) Children are in pairs

With your partner… shake their hand,

(repeat 2 more times)

Shake their hand my darling.

Other verses: turn around, stamp your feet, stand and bend, shake your hands, nod your head, march in place, etc., (and finish) GIVE A HUG.

Paper Plate Dancing

Give each child a paper plate. Play different types of music and have the children keep the beat by:

Tapping the plate on their head

Tapping the plate on their tummy

Tapping the plate on their foot

Tapping the plate on their knee


Once the children are used to tapping the paper plate on different body parts, ask them where they should tap the plate next.

Scarf Dancing

Ask your parents to donate old scarves or go to a thrift store and buy them. You will need once scarf per child.

Play many different types of music. Have the children move their scarves to the beat of the music. Talk about the music……. Is it fast, slow, happy, sad, etc

I have never had an original idea in 37 years, but I can take someone else’s idea and run with it. This idea was from a workshop and I tried it and the children loved it. At the time I was working with toddlers 1-2 years old, but in outside play, the older children were all lined up for their turn.

Record Beethoven’s 5th symphony. Give punch balls to children. (they are very inexpensive at Walmart, 4 for $1.00.) With the older children, I talked about the loud and soft parts of the music, and the fast and slow parts(so they had to listen). Please try it. If we don’t play classical music for the children, who will?

Music and Movement

Increasing a child’s vocabulary is one of the many benefits of music and movement activities. Words that describe movement are a fundamental part of language.

Arm Dancing


Sidewalk Chalk

Cassette Player

Various types of music: Classical, rock, reggae, country, slow, fast, etc………….

One day, take your class outside where there is a large amount of cement. Let each child choose a piece of chalk. Tell your class that you will be playing different types of music and they can move their arms to the beat of the music to create chalk designs. While doing the activity, talk about the music. Is it fast or slow? Does it make you feel sad or happy, etc….

We utilize the Listen and Move Song from Music and Movement in the Classroom a book and tape set I got once at the Chalkboard. I will look at the publisher and see where it can be ordered… it is also a great resource! There are different kinds of music for different kinds of movement, so I just adapted the movements to the way different zoo animals move for example:

Walk like an elephant

Gallop like a zebra

Waddle like a penguin

Run like a cheetah

Slither like a snake

Jump like a kangaroo