Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Storytime: Dance

What better way to get the blood pumping than dancing for 30 minutes with a bunch of preschoolers?! This storytime definitely woke me up after a very blah morning-after-Daylight-Savings-Time-started.

Opening Song: "Body Rock" by Greg & Steve. I switched it up a little bit to get the energy flowing!

Memory Box: This week's Memory Box item was a pair of knitting needles from Hilda Must Be Dancing by Karma Wilson. 

Book: If You're Happy and You Know It by Jane Cabrera. I had the kids stand up and we did the motions while I sang this book to them. I don't think I read the whole thing and when I was ready to move on, I closed the book and sang "If you're happy and you know it please sit down!"

Book: Hilda Must Be Dancing by Karma Wilson. I'm a huge fan of the big, bright pictures and the rhyming text. Plus, there's tons of great dance vocabulary here: samba, tango, rhumba, etc.

Song: "List of Dances" by Jim Gill. I wrote out all the dances on a big posterboard that I put up on our easel. This helps me remember what's coming up so I can prompt the kids.

Felt Rhyme: Five Ballerinas. I found two different rhymes that would work just fine for ballerina felt pieces.

Five dancing ballerinas
Prancing on their toes.
They twirl and spin and jump,
Then off the stage she goes!
(And continue with counting down.)


Five little ballerinas, dancing across the floor.
One twirled away and then there were four.
Four little ballerinas, stretched tall like a tree.
One leaped away and then there were three.
Three little ballerinas dressed in tutus of blue,
One danced away and then there were two.
Two little ballerinas, having lots of fun.
One twirled away and then there was one.
One little ballerina, dancing all alone.
She danced away and then there was none.

Song with Scarves: "The Freeze" by Greg & Steve. I let the kids select a scarf and we danced however they liked, freezing when the music stopped. When we were done with the song, I had the kids bring their scarves to me by color.

Rhyme: Thelma Thumb

Thelma Thumb is up! (thumbs up!)
Thelma Thumb is down! (thumbs down)
Thelma Thumb is dancing all around the town! (thumbs wiggle all around)
Dance her on your shoulders, (thumb on shoulders)
Dance her on your head, (thumb on head)
Dance her on your knees (thumb on knees)
And tuck her into bed. (fold thumb in and cover with other fingers)

Closing Song: Do You Know What Time it Is?

Take-Home Craft Dancing hippos! This is a super simple craft that can be tailored to any number of themes. We provided the hippos (we have a die), straw, yarn, and bead. You could also provide materials to decorate your hippo with a dancing costume (feathers, cloth scraps, tulle, stick-on gems, etc.).

Alternate Books: As you can see, I didn't even get to all the books I have pulled for this week, choosing to use music instead. But there are lots of great choices! Any book that can be sung will work.

Baby Danced the Polka by Karen Beaumont
Color Dance by Ann Jonas
The Croaky Pokey by Ethan Long
Dancing Feet by Lindsay Craig
The Dancing Tiger by Malachy Doyle (a quieter story, great for settling down at the end)
Down by the Cool of the Pool by Tony Mitton
Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andrae

Alternate Songs/Dances: Everyone's taste in music is different! If you don't like or don't have any of the songs listed above, try one of these great action songs:

"All the Ways of Jumping Up and Down" by Hap Palmer (found on Walter the Waltzing Worm)
"Bop 'Til You Drop" by Greg & Steve (found on Kids in Action)
"Get Ready, Get Set, Let's Dance" by Greg & Steve (found on Kids in Action)
"I Know a Chicken" by Laurie Berkner (found on The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band)
"Jump Down, Turn Around" by Greg & Steve (found on Ready... Set... Move!)
"Jump Up, Turn Around" by Jim Gill (found on Jim Gill Sings Moving Rhymes for Modern Times)
"Let's Dance Now" by Jim Gill (found on Jim Gill Makes it Noisy in Boise, Idaho)
"Move and Freeze" by The Learning Station (found on Brain Boogie Boosters)
"No More Monkeys" by Asheba (found on No More Monkeys or on Putumayo's Picnic Playground)
"Ready Set Move" by Greg & Steve (found on Ready... Set... Move!)
"Shimmy Shake" by Greg & Steve (found on Ready... Set... Move!)
"Silly Dance Contest" by Jim Gill (found on Jim Gill Sings The Sneezing Song and Other Contagious Tunes)
"Song About Slow, Song About Fast" by Hap Palmer (found on Walter the Waltzing Worm)
"Swing, Shake, Twist, and Stretch" by Hap Palmer (found on Walter the Waltzing Worm)

You can also pass out scarves and dance to whatever music you like! Try picking songs that have different tempos or moods and tell the kids to dance how the music makes them feel. Is it fast or slow? Sad or happy?

And of course, you can throw in dances you can do without recorded music. Try "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes", "I'm a Little Teapot", "The Hokey Pokey" or "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush".