Dance & Creative Movement for Preschoolers

Childhood 101 | Dance & Creative Movement Ideas for Preschoolers

This post is by Christine Gora of Kids Music Toys.

Children love to move and dance and preschoolers are mostly always active.  A great way to direct this movement energy into something rhythmic and musical is with some simple props and a little creativity. So how do you get your little movers and shakers going? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Scarf Play
Scarves really are a dancing must with preschoolers and there are many options available. You can rummage through your wardrobe for silky, lightweight chiffon items that are out of date on the fashion scene but truly in vogue with the babies and toddlers. The secret is to find lightweight and sheer. Alternatively, you can will find a range of colourful, low priced scarves here at Kids Music Toys.

To start, make a little game with simple instructions encouraging children to –

  • Hold one corner and wiggle your scarf
  • Scrunch it into a ball
  • Hold your scarf by two corners and make it flap like washing on the clothesline
  • Make it flap like a flag on a flag pole
  • Make it fly like a kite

Or try more challenging questions such as;

  • Can you make it swim like a little fish?
  • Can you make your scarf fly like a bird or a kite in the sky?
  • Can you scrunch your scarf into a ball and toss it like a snowball?
  • Can you make your scarf float gently to the floor like snowflakes?

Ribbons and Streamers
Ribbons are beautiful for dancing and moving. To make your own dancing ribbon, purchase a pack of elastic hairbands (I buy them from the dollar shop) and then tie lengths of different coloured ribbons to the hairband for a simple yet beautiful effect. Alternatively, ribbon sticks or wrist ribbons provide a satisfying creative alternative for preschoolers.

Here are some simple ribbon movement questions to challenge your child –

  • Can you hold the ribbon in one hand and make a circle?
  • Can you change hands and make a circle with the other hand?
  • Can you make waves? Stripes? Spirals?

There is a lovely song I remember from the Playschool years with my own children which you can sing while doing this:

Put a stripe (swirl/spiral/etc) over here and a stripe over there
Put a stripe on your ear and a stripe in your hair
Put a lot of little stripes in the air everywhere
It’s a stripey kind of day.

Jingle Bell Wristbands
Jingle Bell Wristbands (like these here) are fun when attached to either wrists or ankles, every movement creates a fun jingle sound! You can also hold them and shake without attaching.  Perfect for shaking or stomping about to music with a strong, regular beat.

Whatever your dancing style, when moving with children your own enthusiasm and encouragement is highly infectious, so get ready to get happy dancing, moving and shaking!

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  1. Another fabulous post from your contributors, Christie. I think my kids will love dancing with scarves this very weekend. A great ‘wet weather’ activity lined up for me! x

  2. These are great ideas. I like to sing little songs with my kids but sometimes I feel lost about what to do next…. they never want music time to be over. We’ll be trying out some of these movement activities soon!


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