Activity Plan 2-3: Dance Streamers
Floating and flying, gliding and shaking - magically moving!
- Grades: PreK–K
- plastic coffee-can lids
- scissors (for adult use)
- colorful ribbon or crepe paper
- cassette tapes or CDs with selections of music offering a variety of tempos and styles
- a cassette or CD player
Objective: Children will use gross-motor skills to invent their own creative movements to music.
To Prepare: Let children choose the colors they would like and then cut the ribbon or crepe paper into three-foot strips. Cut the centers out of the coffee-can lids and tie several streamers to each lid. The plastic circles will give children a handle to use as they move with the streamers. Make enough streamers so that each child has two.
Warm-up: Gather children together to listen to several very short selections of music. Help children notice the fast and slow beats, the loud and soft instruments. Encourage those who would like to move in ways that go with the different musical styles.
1 Invite children to choose a streamer or two and encourage them to explore moving in different ways. Together, do big movements, little ones, fast and slow ones.
2 After children have had fun moving with the streamers without music, turn on a cassette player and invite them to listen to the music and then move to it, creating movements with their bodies and the streamers. Play a variety of selections and suggest that children listen to the tempos and perhaps vary their movements according to how the music makes them feel.
3 Next, suggest that children find one or two other children to move with. They might even try creating a dance together! If children are interested, demonstrate what it means to mirror someone else's movements as you dance.
Remember: Musical props often help children who are shy about dancing and creative movement feel comfortable participating.
Tip: Create a movement area that has lots of space so children feel they can move about freely.
- Use masking tape to create an individual dance spot for each child. Play music and encourage children to find as many ways as they can to move to the music while remaining attached to that spot in some way.
- Make a masking-tape trail on the floor that winds throughout your room. Invite children to tiptoe, hop, or dance to music along the trail.
Look for toddler movement ideas in these books.
Boom, Baby, Boom, Boom! by Margaret Mahy (Viking Press)
Hop Jump by Ellen Stoll Walsh (Harcourt Brace)
Dance by Ward Shumaker (Harcourt Brace)