Suitable for:

  • 1 or more players
  • Outdoor or indoor area
  • Range of physical literacy: multi movements
  • Age appropriate: 3-7 years

Primary physical literacy skills: dancing, coordination,
creative movement

Make it happen

  • Put some music on and get the children dancing to it.
  • Make it a daily ritual that the children can look forward to and perform by themselves.
  • Play slower music to start with and then play faster music once they are warmed up.
  • Dance in a different way or to different themes for each piece of music and make up some simple and repetitive routines for different songs (see Make it fun and Make it a challenge below). Skip your playlist to a new song every 30 seconds to keep changing the dance style.
  • Have a few regular songs that you and the children can shuffle between to make up at least 10 minute blocks of activity.

Some ideas for a 3 phase sequence of songs (each phase to last at least 3 minutes):

Phase 1: play slow paced songs with a simple beat that can be followed at marching pace.
Work out movements that can be performed on the spot and that include some stretches.

Phase 2: play upbeat faster songs that have an infectious beat and encourage vigorous movement.
3-5yrs; simple movements such as jumping up and down, skipping around, wiggling the torso and using big arm movements.
5-7yrs; sequences of movements involving jumps, turns, all parts of the body, big movements (e.g. using arms), small movements (e.g. using fingers) and changes of level (reaching high, reaching low, jumping, crouching, etc).

Phase 3: either calm down with slow songs or keep the energy high with fast songs (if you play fast songs in this phase then do some gentler movements like walking and stretches to calm the children down afterwards).

We provide this list only as a guide of what parents/carers may wish to consider. Please also read our general guidelines on the Parents/Carers Information page.

  • Ensure that the movements the children are performing are suitable for the space you have available.

Expand the headings below for suggestions to make more use of this activity and keep you and your children coming back for more

  • Set different themes for different dances. Some ideas: rock and roll stars, circus performers, space dancers, robots, monsters’ ball, the weather, etc.
  • Animal sequence: flap arms like wings, wiggle body like a snake, prowl like a lion, crawl like a lizard, gallop like a horse, jump like a gazelle, balance like a flamingo, hop like a frog, etc.
  • Make it into a disco: get some flashing lights, blow up some balloons to create a party atmosphere, dress up in costumes.
  • Leaper’s theme: Loopy takes us on a swim around the reef. The children imagine they are swimming with dolphins in and out of giant seaweed, through shipwrecks, under rocks, etc. They can mimic different sea creatures as they dance; some ideas: octopus, crab, shark, sea anemone, jelly fish, minnows, turtles, sea horses and dolphins

Please also read our general guidelines on the Parents/Carers Information page.

  • Create a sequence of movements with the children. Create different sequences for different songs or perform the same sequence faster or slower depending on the speed of the song. Can the performance change to show different emotions? (e.g. happy, sad, angry, calm, etc)
  • Practice dances to put on a show and perform to friends or other family members.

Please also read our general guidelines on the Parents/Carers Information page.

  • Always make sure whatever equipment you are using is safe and appropriate for that use.
  • Choose some dancing costumes from the dressing up box or the wardrobe (make sure they are safe to dance in). Have different costumes for different songs. Improvise some microphones and instruments.

Please also read our general guidelines on the Parents/Carers Information page.

  • Ensure that children use as many parts of the body as possible when doing these dancing activities (although there are many aspects to dancing, what we are focussing on here is the fact that it is good exercise)
  • Encourage them to move around the activity space rather than dancing on the same spot.
  • To introduce different dynamics, you can play old favourites such as musical bumps, musical statues or make up new ideas such as musical fireworks (when the music stops they pretend to go off like a firework, including the noises).

Please also read our general guidelines on the Parents/Carers Information page.

Use of the resources

This move to improve resource is provided as a guideline only for parents and carers who wish to supervise physical activities for their children. Users of this resource have a duty of care to ensure the safety of their participants. We do not endorse the use of any content in this resource that a user feels may present a risk to the safety or well being of the children in their care.