Spring is here! ...Though no one has told Chicago yet. Spring is one of my favorite times of the year! I mostly love it because there are so many fun music and movement activities I get to do with my kiddos. From rain and thunderstorms to flowers and maypoles, there are so many unique ways to bring this time of year into your sessions, classrooms, and home!
1. Do a Rain Dance
Rain Dances have rich roots in Native American culture and are a fun way to bring new music and instruments to children of all ages.
Each child creates a list of 4 dance moves – for non-readers or writers, have them create a picture schedule of 4 different movement images
Put on your favorite rain dance music
One at a time, each child comes to the front of the group and shows their dance move schedule
The child in front will lead the group in their set of 4 dance moves
2. Make a Thunderstorm
This could be overwhelming for some children with auditory sensitivities, but it is a really fun way to engage a whole group and get creative (leadership and executive function skills)!
Form a drum circle – all children seated in a circle with their instruments like hand drums, egg shakers, rain sticks (you can buy them all here), and even a thunder tube!
Create signals for the group to start and stop (I like to point to the person I want to play for start and show a stop sign with my hand for stop)
Do a practice thunderstorm by pointing to each child you want to play, then showing them the stop signal when you want them to stop
Give each child in the group the opportunity to lead the drum circle using the hand signals you created
3. Raindrop Mad Libs Songwriting
“Raindrops keep fallin' on my head, But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turnin' red, Cryin's not for me. 'Cause I'm never gonna stop the rain by complainin' Because I'm free”
Copy the lyrics to the famous song “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head”
Cut out one word of each sentence to create a fill-in-the-blank style songwriting
Determine what parts of speech are needed to fill in the sentence
Ask your group of children to fill in the blanks with whatever silly word they think of for that part of speech, then perform the final product – they will think it is hilarious!
4. Raindrop Song Composition
There is a cool app on iTunes called Dropophone that allows children to make their own music out of raindrops! You can have each child create their own composition and share it with the group, or make a group composition by having each child choose one rain drop in the song.
5. I Know a Chicken
This is my favorite spring time song from Laurie Berkner Band. I use it with egg shakers, and the kids have to shake the eggs in different places on their bodies at different speeds. If you play an instrument, you can sing the song yourself and choose where and how the kids have to shake their eggs!
6. Little Bunny Foo Foo
My mom used to sing this song to me all the time and it is such a fun one to do with kids. I like to add rabbit puppets and create different silly voices for all of the characters in the story.
7. Bunny Hop
I have a fun, fabric Easter basket that my mom gave me years ago. It has little overalls and bunny feet!
Fill an Easter basket with movement cards or movement bean bags
Have your kids sit in a circle, and pass the basket around the circle in time with bunny-themed music
Pause the music, and whoever is holding the basket has to pick a movement
Have the kids stand and perform that movement with the music, then sit down and continue to pass the basket around the circle until every child has chosen a movement
8. Dance around the Maypole
A traditional Maypole could be complicated for little hands, so I like to use the Octaband.
Pass out an Octoband handle to each child in the group
Have one child stand under the center of the Octoband
Play some renaissance-themed music and have the kids move in a circle with their handles of the Octoband
Have the group move the Octoband up and down, which squishes the person standing in the center – in a fun way, sort of like a body sock!
Give each child the opportunity to stand under the Octoband
9. Flower Power
I love exposing my clients to different genres of music, and what better time to play some 60’s and 70’s music than flower season!
Put on your favorite 60’s or 70’s song
Teach some hippie-themed movements to your group
Lead them in a dance off! - One child will do a dance move then choose another group member to pass their move to
The second child has to do the first move then create their own move
This pattern repeats where each child does two moves – the one from the person before them and their own, until the song ends
10. Renaissance Dance
Late spring is definitely the start of renaissance season! All of my clients have really enjoyed listening to renaissance music and engaging with the new renaissance-themed instruments.
Find some interesting Renaissance dance music to play for your group
Stand in a straight line and hold hands
Choose one child to be the leader, and they will walk the group around the room
They can move in all sorts of snake patterns, wiggles, or circles
“Cut” the line and move the leader to the back of the group. The second person in line becomes the leader, and they can create new patterns around the room
I can’t wait to see how you use these ideas in your home, sessions or classroom! Feel free to share you favorite Spring-themed activities with me. I love bringing new ideas to my sessions!
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