Skills: Children will develop their sense of rhythm and exercise both gross-motor and social skills as they have fun chanting and moving in different ways.
1 Gather with children in a comfortable spot on your outdoor play space. Repeat this simple chant several times, using a singsong rhythm. Encourage children to join in.
Around we go, around we go,
Then all-fall- down!
2 Next, ask children to stand up and hold hands. Help them form a circle. Together, walk around the circle slowly, chanting the new chant together and moving to its rhythm. When you reach the last line, fall down! Then all stand up and try the game again. Repeat the game several times so children become familiar with it and then continue as long as you are all having fun.
3 Later, on another day, try the game a new way. First, sing the chant one more time. Then, in place of the line "walking, walking," say another movement word and encourage everyone to act it out. For example, you might say, "tiptoe, tiptoe," and walk on your toes around the circle. Exaggerate your movements to engage children and make the game more fun. Then, try other movement words such as marching or sliding. As you move, continue to follow the rhythm of the chant. Invite children to suggest ways to move as well, using words or actions to make their suggestions.
Remember: The main purposes of this activity are to practice rhythm and have fun moving together in different ways. It isn't necessary for young children to form perfect circles or chant the words just right.
For younger children: Give children the opportunity to suggest movements they want to try while you chant a simple rhythm and move in a circle.
For older children: Try a simple series of three movements as you move in a circle together. For example, you might chant: "Around we go, around we go, walking, tiptoeing, hopping, then all-fall-down!"
Observations: Do some children have difficulty performing the movements you call out? Do some children seem distracted/uninterested?
Use chalk to draw a large triangle on the pavement. Ask children to move to the chants along the lines of the triangle shape. Later, create a square, rectangular, and oval shape on the pavement. Encourage children to notice the "shape of their movements!"
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