Move and Make Friends
Introduce these dance activities as a fun way for children to get to know their new friends.
- Grades: PreK–K
Children clap, dance, and have the chance to make friends.
- develop gross motor skills
- develop listening skills
- develop social awareness
- recorded music
Dance and Freeze
Divide children into pairs so that each has a partner. Explain that you will turn on music and each pair will dance together at the same time. Inform children that when you stop the music they will “freeze,” holding a position. Practice freezing before you begin. Invite them to “dance and freeze” with the same partner for a few rounds. Next, call out “change partners” and suggest children choose another dance partner. Do this several times so that everyone gets to dance with a few different friends.
Moving Down the Line
Divide children into two lines. Explain that the two children at the head of each line will take turns moving down the inside of the line while their classmates clap their hands. Inform them that they can dance, skip, hop, jump, or even wiggle. When children reach the end of the line they will stand behind the last person. The next two children at the head of the line will move down the line until everyone has a turn. Play some lively recorded music and let the moving begin.
Be flexible with children who are not comfortable engaging in dancing activities, or who just need time to warm up to an activity.
Dancing Words. Send a list of movement words home and ask families to play music while creating a dance with their child based on the movement words. Encourage them to include the whole family in this activity.
Curriculum Connection: Literarcy
Moving Words. Find a variety of pictures in books and magazines that show people or animals moving. Create a list of words with children that describe the different movements like running, hopping, peddling, lifting, bending, or dancing. Then, set out art materials, ask them to draw pictures that illustrate one of the movements listed, and include the “movement word” below the pictures. Find an area in the room to display their work.
- Barnyard Boogie by Jim Post (Accord, 2002)
- Hilda Must Be Dancing by Karma Wilson (Simon & Schuster, 2004)
- Rap a Tap Tap by Leo & Diane Dillon (Scholastic, 2002)