Babies Walkers to 2 2s to 3s 3s to 4s

Overview and benefit

Children learn to express themselves using music. The exercise encourages the children to think about the way each of the animals moves and to try to reproduce this using their bodies. This encourages creativity, an understanding of the movement of each animal and also helps to develop an understanding of how their own bodies move in space.

Equipment required

  • Animal masks or dressing up props
  • Music track for the relevant animal (all available on i-tunes)

Duration

  • Two to three weeks

How it works

Provide children with different masks/dressing up props and ask them to move like the animal to a music track. The instructor could wear the mask instead of the children. The children should collect associated objects around the room as they are moving to the music. Possible animals and objects could include::

  • Bee – honey pots
  • Elephant – peanuts
  • Fish – shells/pebbles
  • Rabbits – Easter eggs/flowers/carrots
  • Cats – mice

What to do in the class

Introduce the activity, by telling them which animal they are going to be today. Perhaps show them a picture of the animal or have a stuffed toy version to show, e.g. ‘We are going to be bees today’, ‘How do you think a bee moves?’ Discuss with the class how that animal moves and why – what might they be doing when they move like that? Demonstrate some of the animal moves and get the children to join in the moves, e.g for a bee buzzing around, landing on a flower, eating honey (use your artistic licence!). Make the whole thing a bit of magical experience and supplement with props and costumes where you can to add interest and engagement.

If possible have children collect something during the dance, so that they are moving as their animal to complete a task. Use the table below for ideas on which animals to be, which music to use and which props the children could collect.

 

Animal Music Moves Possible Props
 Bee Eric Chapelle – Bee Beat Waggle dance – to tell the other bees where the flowers are. If the flowers are near they walk in a circle, if far then the waggle their abdomen and indicate direction by walking then turning • Wear deely boppers – link• Use inflatable flowers around the room, and the children have to buzz around and find the honey pots (laminated pictures) you have hidden and bring them back to the Queen Bee (the instructor).• Bee masks – link
 Fish Eric Chapelle – Whales  Swimming around, making fish mouth movements, darting in and out of rocks  • Masks – (Pack of 30 sealife Masks – £14.50 link)• Blue and green coloured scarves and ribbons to wave• Green door curtain to ‘swim through’ – link • You could also tie green and blue ribbons onto a long pole for this.

• Cut out shells or pebbles for the children to collect from around the room.

 Elephant Carnival of the animals – elephant  Stomping around, waving trunks, flapping ears, drinking with trunk. • Elephant masks –link  – 80p each• Cut out peanuts to collect with the elephants trunks from around the room
 Rabbit  Bunny Hop – Easter Bunny  Jumping around, eating carrots, digging burrows, jumping from side to side, sniffing air • Rabbit masks link  or link • Bunny Ears on a headband – link • Cut out carrots to collect or silk flowers
Cat The Jellicle Ball – Cats the Musical soundtrack Slinking and weaving around legs, chasing string, washing, drinking milk, creeping up on mice, leaping • Cat masks – link  – 80p each• Skipping ropes to chase the string• Small toy mice link 

Training Video

Animal Masks-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.

Adaptation for older/younger children

This activity is best suited to children over two.

What to do in a nursery setting

Instructor, wears and mask and moves like a particular animal. The children have to guess which animal the instructor is and then join in with the moments. After a few repeats, the instructor could see if any of the children want to pretend to be an animal while the other children guess what it is then join in.

Tips

Great selection of masks from Blue Frog Toys

More animal masks and dress up from A2Z Kids