|Babies||Walkers to 2||2s to 3s||3s to 4s|
Overview and benefit
Develop movement patterns, increase motor skills and interpret music to an energetic song. Teaches them to start and finish together, keep to a steady pulse and develops the child’s character and personality, musically.
- CD – examples “Birdie song”, “Ketchup song”, “Agadoo”, “Superman”
- Dance notes – simple and repetitive
How it works
It is advisable to use the same dance routine for at least 6 weeks. The children will hopefully be familiar with the song after 3 weeks and will be able to add their own style and confidence to the song for the following 3 weeks. The routine will be simple to teach and for the children to follow
What to do in the class
To start teaching the dance routine it would be best to teach them the chorus only first. The children should be familiar with the song so it will give them confidence and reassurance, so only teaching the chorus over and over will enable them to feel like they have achieved something. The following weeks you can add on more choreography to enable them by week three to have a fab and energetic dance routine.
Start with listening to the chorus of the song you have chosen. It is always good to use a well known song with pre-choreographed dance moves that you already know or that a friend can teach you (e.g. with the birdie song etc). The adults will be reminiscing and should pick it up easily which will in turn help the children. The actions to the chorus will be repeated each time it appears to give the children the repetition.
For the rest of the song think of easy dance moves e.g.
- Twisting on the spot
- Twisting turning and going up and down
- Coming in and out of a circle (walking, jumping, hopping)
- Dance freely on the spot
- Swaying side to side and low and high
- Clapping single beats, doubles etc
- Turn then 2 claps/ turn then 1 clap
- Striking poses
- Leg kicks
Try and link the movement to something they may relate to, like pulling on wellies or picking apples from trees etc.
Could be used with two to fours
- Hot Potato
- Hey Mickey
- Zorba’s dance (Greek plate smashing)
- Wake me up before you Go-go (Wham)
- Hands up; Birdie song
- Mambo no5
- Superman (but once or twice round only!)
- Macarena; the Locomotion Big Fish Little Fish
- Cardboard Box (from Bob the Builder).
The ‘dance’ doesn’t have to be done standing up! In a previous training session, one franchise shared with us her take on the song ‘Over in the meadow.’ The children sat in a circle for the song. As it started she got the children to tap their knees with their hands to the beat. Once they had mastered that, she got them to do it whilst crossing their arms (opposite hands to knees). She continued to do this action every time the song came back to the chorus. When it got to the verses she got the children to do the action of the animal, so to wink, to swim, to dive etc. It was a very accessible way of using song and worked extremely well. It also was great for developing children’s rhythm and cross-body co-ordination.
Sophie Hill recommends doing different styles of dances each week:
- Bollywood dancing – Slumdog Millionaire Soundtrack (Ringa ringa, Jai Ho, Rang de Basanti)
- Hula dancing –
- Al Caiola – Little Brown Gal
- Charles Kaipo – Little Brown Gal
- The Kahalas – Songs of Hawaii
- Hip hop dancing – (there’s quite a few videos by this chap)
- Glee – Gold Digger (thankfully no swearing)
- Anything by Will Smith (no swearing in any of these!!!)
- Country & Western – (line dancing)
- Cotton Eyed Joe
- Boot Scootin Boogie
- MC Hammer – You Can’t Touch This
Other musical styles – marching bands, Scottish dancing (Burns night), rock ‘n’ roll (1950’s), disco – this was brilliant because we did loads of hand jive movements, which you can also do with the babies as well.