(Open picture game-Dance) Print and laminate the pictures in the format you prefer. Use them to spark a conversation with your group. Ask children questions about the theme.
Invite children to bring a doll from their home to daycare. During circle time, they can present their doll to the group and perform a simple dance with her.
A treasure hunt to discover the theme
(Open educa-decorate-Dance) Print, laminate, and cut out the items. Hide them throughout your daycare and encourage children to search for them. Name the items and invite children to guess the theme.
Tutus and music
Play music to welcome children in the morning. Invite them to dance with you as they arrive. Set a tutu and ballet shoes in a colorful box to attract children’s attention and spark a conversation.
Before children arrive, press pictures of different types of dancers throughout your daycare using adhesive paper. Use colorful items to decorate your daycare and let children discover the theme you will be exploring. Instead of sitting in a circle as you normally do, invite children to stand and dance with you as you discuss the theme. Every morning, hide an object related to the theme within your daycare and invite children to search for it. Use the item to talk about a different aspect of your theme. Photograph each item, print the picture, and display it near your daycare entrance so that children can share their daily find with parents at the end of the day.
Wear a colorful hat and beaded necklaces to greet children each day. Name a “dancer of the day” and grant this child privileges.
(Open thematic poster-Dance) Print, laminate, and display where children are sure to see it.
(Open educa-theme-Dance) Print and laminate the different elements representing the theme. Use them to present the theme to your group (and children’s parents) while decorating your daycare.
(Open educa-decorate-Dance) Print, laminate, and cut out the illustrations. Use them to decorate your walls and set the mood for the theme.
(Open stickers-Dance) Print the illustrations on adhesive paper and use them to create a collection of unique stickers. Use them to reward children throughout the theme.
(Open picture game-Dance) Use the pictures to decorate your daycare or to spark a conversation with your group. Print, laminate, and store the pictures in a Ziploc bag or in your thematic bin.
ACTIVITY AND WRITING SHEETS
(Open activity sheets-Dance) Print and follow instructions.
(Open writing activities-D like dance) Print for each child or laminate for use with a dry-erase marker.
(Open stationery-Dance) Use this thematic stationery to communicate with parents, in your writing area, or to identify your thematic bins. Print copies as required.
(Open educa-nuudles-Dance) Print for each child. Have children color the sheet. Once they are done, they may use Magic Nuudles to turn the coloring pages into three-dimensional works of art.
Variation: If you do not have Magic Nuudles, ask children to fill the spaces designed for Magic Nuudles with bingo markers or stickers.
(Open string activities-Dance) Print for each child. Children trace the outlines with white glue before covering them with colourful string.
(Open educa-spots-Dance) Print for each child. Use bingo markers to add color to the different circles. If you don’t have bingo markers, children can set stickers or cereal inside the circles.
The flashcards may be used during circle time to spark a conversation with the group or in your reading and writing area. They may also be used to identify your thematic bins. (Open word flashcards-Dance) (Open giant word flashcards-Dance) Print. ballerina, salsa, waltz, music, pointe shoes, ribbon, hula hoop, dance hall, show, tap dance, barre, mirror
(Open word flashcards-Dance) (Open giant word flashcards-Dance) Print several word flashcards and hide them throughout your daycare or yard. Divide your group into two teams. When you give the signal, children must try to collect as many word flashcards as possible in a pre-determined period of time, for example 3 minutes. When the time is up, children from each team sit in front of you. To earn a point for their team, they must be able to “read” the words they found. If th
ey are unable to do so, the children from the other team can earn the point if they succeed.
Picture clue story
(Open picture clue story-Dance) Print. Sit in a circle with your group. Begin reading the picture clue story. Every time you reach a picture clue, pause and point to it. Wait for children to say the missing word.
Position the ballerinas
(Open position the ballerinas) Print and laminate. Cut out the ballerinas and the cards. Children take turns picking a card and positioning the ballerinas per your instructions. Ask children questions to encourage them to speak. For example, you may ask them which dancer is next to the dancer wearing the green tutu or which dancer is closest to the dancer wearing the purple tutu. You could also ask children to name the color of each tutu or costume.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Let’s explore different types of dancing
(Open types of dancing) Print the various pictures. To transition from one activity to another, display a picture and invite children to experiment the illustrated dance. When possible, play music associated with the type of dancing you want children to explore. For example, when you wish to help children calm down, opt for ballet and play quiet music. To energize your group, explore hip-hop dancing or tap dancing.
Time to dance
Perform a series of dance moves as you go from one area of your daycare to another. Tiptoe, tap dance, sway from side to side, etc.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Hang a rope horizontally between two chairs and knot colorful pieces of crepe paper garlands on it, letting them hang down. Play music and invite children to dance under your rainbow limbo-style. They will have fun bending forward and backward, crawling under it, etc. If you wish, create entire sections using specific colors by knotting several pieces of each color together and have children limbo under a certain color.
Dance step sequence
(Open dance step sequence) Print and laminate various cards. Spread them face down on a table. Hang a large piece of cardboard horizontally on a wall and draw 6 rectangles in a row. Press a piece of adhesive putty in the center of each rectangle. Invite each child to pick a card and press it in a rectangle. Once this is done, observe the dance step sequence to be executed with your group to make sure they understand. Play music and point to the first card. Children perform the corresponding steps. After approximately 30 seconds, point to the second card. Children adapt their dance steps and so on. If the song isn’t over once you have executed the 6th dance step, start over. When the music stops, remove the cards and have children pick cards to create a new dance step sequence.
Tiny dancing characters
(Open tiny dancing characters) Print for each child. Children must cut pipe cleaners of the corresponding colors into pieces they can use to reproduce the dancing characters.
Modeling dough activity placemats-Dance
(Open modeling dough activity placemats-Dance) Print and laminate. Let children pick a placemat and provide modeling dough. Encourage them to use the dough to fill or reproduce the shapes that are on their placemat.
(Open playing cards-Dance) Print and laminate. Distribute the same number of cards to each child. Have them take turns hiding their dancers throughout the daycare. When they are done, the hunt begins! Children race to find as many dancers as possible.
(Open giant ballerina pieces) Print, laminate, and cut out each piece. Children sit on the floor and assemble them to create a giant ballerina.
Dancing in the street
Organize a parade in your daycare to provide children with the opportunity to show off a dance costume they have chosen or created. If the weather is nice, why not parade around your neighborhood? Don’t forget to take pictures.
Begin each day with a 10-minutes aerobics session. Gather your group in a large room (or in the yard) and play upbeat music. Have them execute a succession of jumps and exercises. Several exercise DVDs exist. Use them for inspiration if necessary.
Russian folk dance
Have children crouch down in a straight line (side by side), with their arms in front of them, bent to 90 degrees (their right arm on top of their left arm). As they raise one leg, show them how they must raise the arm on the same side. This is quite challenging! Children will likely fall on their behind several times before succeeding.
Have children stand side by side on a straight line, holding the shoulders of the children on either side of them. Have them raise one leg at a time, alternating their left leg and their right leg. They must try to synchronize their kicks. They may raise only their knees at first and once this becomes easy, move on to lifting their legs.
Have children form a circle and hold hands. Insert a hula hoop between two children and close off the circle once again. The object of the game is for the hula hoop to make its way around the circle, but children must never let go of their peers’ hands. Will they find a way?
(Open acrobatic figures) Print, laminate, and display the acrobatic figures on a wall. Invite children to pick a partner. Two by two, children work together to create a short acrobatic dance choreography, integrating the illustrated figures to the sound of music.
MUSICAL AND RHYTHMIC ACTIVITIES
Tap dance moves
Even if you have never learned how to tap dance, show children a few original tap dance moves. Don’t be shy, let loose and have fun with this! Encourage children to invent a few dance steps too.
Perpetual calendar-Dance day
(Open perpetual calendar-Dance day) Print and display the day, the date, and the month when you plan to offer this special day. Ask parents to make sure their child wears comfortable clothing (or their own dance costumes if they take lessons). Play music as you greet children in the morning and invite parents to dance with their child for a few minutes before they leave for work. Integrate dancing throughout the day.
French Canadian folk dance
Play traditional French Canadian music and show children how to square dance arm in arm, in a circle with the boys or girls in the center, etc.
Set several hula hoops on the floor. Encourage children to dance around them to the sound of music. Every time the music stops, each player must find a hula hoop to stand in. Remove one hula hoop at the end of each round, just like in a game of musical chairs. Younger children will enjoy simply hopping from one hula hoop to the next. Hold babies in your arms and jump with them so they can participate.
(Open game-Four dancers) Print, glue the cards on opaque cardboard, and cut them out. Arrange all the cards upside down on the floor or table (so you can’t see the illustrations). Children take turns rolling a die. Every time a child rolls a “1”, he can turn a card. If he doesn’t already have this dancer in front of him, he keeps the card and places it in front of him for everyone to see. The first child who has collected all four dancers wins.
(Open sorting-dancers) Print for each child. Invite them to color the dancers per the legend and cut them out. Next, have them glue each one in the correct silhouette, from largest to smallest.
Big and small ballerinas
(Open big and small ballerinas) Print for each child. You will need pastel-colored, polka-dotted, or paper muffin cups with pretty designs. Have children cut out the rectangles containing different sizes of ballerinas. Have them press a muffin cup they have folded in half on each ballerina’s leotard to represent a tutu. Next, invite children to glue the ballerinas on pretty paper, from smallest to biggest.
(Open shape dance) For this activity, you will need a rhythmic ribbon for each child. Print, laminate, and cut out the cards. Show one card at a time and name the shape. Children dance around the daycare, using their ribbon to draw the illustrated shape in the air.
(Open educ-math-Dance) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use. Children must count the items in each rectangle and circle the correct number.
Educ-same and different-Dance
(Open educ-same and different-Dance) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use. Children must circle the item that is different in each row.
Hunt and seek-Dance
(Open hunt and seek-Dance) Print and laminate. Children pick a card and search for the item in the scene.
(Open puzzles-Dance) Print, laminate, and cut out the pieces. Children must place the pieces correctly to complete the puzzles.
I know my dances
(Open game-Dances) Print. Glue the pictures on the floor throughout your daycare. Children walk around the room to the sound of music. When the music stops, name a type of dance. Children must find the corresponding illustration as quickly as possible.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Give each child a newspaper page and invite them to set it on the floor. Explain how their newspaper page represents their personal dance area. Play music and encourage them to dance, remaining on their piece of newspaper. When you stop the music, children fold their newspaper page in half. Start the music again, and invite children to resume dancing. Continue starting and stopping the music, having children fold their paper every time the music is stopped. They will have to be more and more creative and think of smaller dance moves to remain on their paper. This activity is great for, among other things, helping children respect their peers’ personal space.
(Open mandalas-Dance) Print for each child. Encourage children to color the mandalas to help them enjoy a relaxing moment whenever needed during the day.
(Open photo booth-Dance) Print the various accessories, cut them out, and glue a drinking straw behind each one. Purchase glasses, hats, scarves, hair accessories, etc. at your local dollar store. Create a décor using a large piece of cardboard. Invite children to pick the accessories they prefer and pose for you. You can take individual, group, or family photos. Print the pictures and display them on a wall for everyone to see.
My stomach wave
Ask children to find a small toy and lie down on their back. Once all the children in your group are lying down, ask them to set their toy on their stomach. Invite them to breathe in and breathe out, helping them notice how their stomach inflates and deflates, like a balloon. The toy resting on their stomach will make this wave-like motion more visible for young children.
Play soft music and let children waltz around the daycare, spinning around and following the rhythm of the music.
Balance plays an important role in dancing. Test children’s balance with various exercises:
- Can they stand on their left leg? Their right leg?
- Can they walk on a balance beam?
- Can they walk with a book resting on the top of their head?
I am learning to exhale
For each child, you will need a glass of water. Children will have fun breathing into a drinking straw to create bubbles.
ACTIVITIES INVOLVING PARENTS
Ask children’s parents if they know dance moves. If they do, invite them to demonstrate their know-how for your group or, if they wish, they could teach their moves to the children in your group.
Music from different generations
Ask parents to provide a CD of their favorite music for dancing. During the day, have fun dancing to music from the 80s and 90s, disco music, oldies, etc.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Set a plastic tablecloth on your table and give two round coffee filters to each child. Invite them to draw on the filters using washable markers. Once this is done, have them use spray bottles to spray water on them. Watch the colors blend together, creating pretty marbled designs. Let dry. Next, have children pick a pipe cleaner and fold it in half, creating a loop (circle) that will become their dancer’s head. Have them wrap a second pipe cleaner around this small head, bending it on either side to represent arms. To complete their dancer, children set their coffee filters one on top of the other (tutu), punch a hole in the center, and insert the tips of the first pipe cleaner, folding both ends under the coffee filters. Set the dancers on a shelf or windowsill or, if you prefer, let children play with them.
Give each child a paper plate. Have them remove the center of their plate, keeping only the outer ring for this activity (see activity below to use the removed circle). Encourage children to color or paint their ring or, if they wish, they could press stickers or Fun Foam musical notes all over it. Next, have each child cut 5 pieces of different colors of crepe paper garlands. Each one should measure approximately 1 meter. Knot one end of each piece around their ring, letting them hang under it. Children will love dancing with their dance ribbons.
Children will love transforming the circle they cut out for the previous project into a disco ball. Give each child a long piece of aluminum paper and a pair of scissors. Invite children to cut the aluminium paper into tiny squares that they can glue all over their circle, on both sides. Attach a ribbon behind each child’s disco ball and hang them from the ceiling.
My disco ball
Glue square pieces of aluminum paper all over a large Styrofoam ball to reproduce the mirror effect of a disco ball. You can also purchase metallic paper in a variety of colors to add a touch of color to your ball.
(Open puppets-Dancers) Print the models on cardboard. Ask children to cut them out and decorate them with arts & crafts materials. Glue a Popsicle stick behind each one to complete the puppets.
My rhythmic ribbon
Collect several empty paper towel rolls. Using tissue paper, create rhythmic ribbons with the children in your group. Simply cut the paper into strips and staple them inside one end of each roll. Children can decorate the rolls with paint and glue scraps of cardboard and paper all over them.
My dance costume
You will need a rope (or a fabric elastic) that you can wrap around each child’s waist. Tie pieces of ribbon or tissue or construction paper all the way around to create a skirt. Children will love wearing their costume for different activities during the theme.
(Open coloring pages theme-Dance) Print for each child.
The educatall team