Music Movement Activities for Children Ages 3-5

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Music and movement activities encourage the development of fine motor skills and coordination in young children. Such activities can help children burn off some of their excess energy while providing exercise and teaching rhythm. Classroom or home messes and the accidental bumping into each other can be avoided by conducting the activities outside, if possible.

Musical Activities

  • Give the young children paper plates, construction paper, empty toilet paper rolls, dried beans, uncooked rice and markers to create their own noisemakers. The children can tape the paper plates together or use toilet-paper or paper-towel rolls and fill them with dried beans or rice. Children can create a parade by walking around in a line while shaking their noisemakers. For another musical activity, give the children toy musical instruments to play, such as plastic flutes, kazoos and maracas. The children can play their own music and dance along to their own beats.

Dance Activities

  • Play a game of freeze dance with the young children. Tell the children that when the music plays they must dance around the room. As soon as the music turns off, they must immediately freeze. Keep turning on and off the music to teach the children how to freeze. If you want to play this as a game, tell the children if they move when the music is off they are eliminated. The last player standing wins the game. For another dancing activity, have all the children sit in a circle and select one child to go first. That child must go to the middle of the circle and do a dance move. Each child must go to the middle of the circle and copy his dance move. Give each child a chance to go to the middle and do a dance move for the other children to copy.

Beat Movements

  • Teach your children how to move to a beat by dancing along with different beats. Record different beats on a CD or MP3 player. Play each beat and show the children how to move their body to the beat of the music. Children can wave their hands, stomp their feet and clap their hands to the beat of the music. This also teaches the children coordination as well as listening skills. Award participation prizes to each child who participates in the activity. For another beat activity, allow each child a chance to make their own beat using pencils and a table (like a drum). Give the children a chance to show their beat to the other children. For added fun, have the other children dance to each child's beats.

Balloon Activities

  • For an easy balloon activity, have the children sit in a circle and hand one child a balloon. Play music and have the children pass the balloon around the circle. When the music stops, the child holding the balloon is out of the game. Eliminate one player each round and the last player remaining in the game wins. Another idea is to inflate several balloons and scatter them over the ground. Tell the children to kick the balloons up in the air and hit the balloons with their hands. Give the children empty paper towel rolls to bat the balloons. Have the children toss the balloons back and forth between one another. Add music to the activities and have the children dance while playing with the balloons.

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