I’ve been considering the way the Jellybabyz develop their co-ordination and concentration over the weekend and I can honestly say the most enjoyable way is to dance! As part of our regular routine, we plan a singing and dancing session every day. Before each planned session the children are encouraged to check the physical environment by making sure the floor is clear of toys so they can move around safely or (weather permitting) we take ourselves into the garden where we can move around freely. We try to include a mixture of different songs, ranging from nursery rhymes and well loved ‘pop’ songs to classical or cultural music, so children are offered a range of experiences. We often incorporate our ‘song sack’ so that the children have props to enhance the experience and develop their repertoire and I’m sure our neighbors think we’re bonkers when we bang the drum, scrape the güiro, shake the maracas, tap the claves or click the castanets. It is important to us to utilise every opportunity possible which means that  we are often seen singing and dancing as we walk to and from school or bopping away to the children’s choice of CD in the car.

We love music and dancing firstly, because its a great way to burn off some of that excess energy, but also as it’s a holistic activity linking to all areas of the EYFS:

·         Communication and language – listening, developing vocabulary

·         Physical development – fine and gross motor development

·         PSED – expressing emotions through music and movement

·         Literacy – movement promotes muscle development necessary for writing

·         Maths – number songs; understanding of rhythm is essential for learning maths

·         Understanding the world – learn about people, communities, the world and technology

·         Art and design – explore media and materials and develop imagination

 

Some of our current favourite songs and rhymes

Our 5 favourite actions songs are –

·         Sleeping bunnies

·         Dingle dangle Scarecrow

·         Veo veo (Spanish) – Mini disco on Youtube

·         Teddy bear, teddy bear

·         The music man

 

Our 5 favourite sitting down songs are –

·         The wheels on the bus

·         Wind the bobbin up

·         One finger one thumb

·         Old MacDonald’s farm

·         Baa baa black sheep

 

Our 5 favourite number songs are –

·         5 currant buns

·         5 little ducks went swimming

·         5 little monkeys

·         10 in the bed

·         5 little men in a flying saucer

 

Our 5 favourite songs with instruments are –

·         This old man (drum)

·         Twinkle, twinkle little star (triangle)

·         If you’re happy and you know it (shake your maracas,  bang your drum)

·         Frere Jacques (bells)

·         Hickory dickory dock (claves/sticks)

 

Our 5 favourite songs to listen to –

·         Anything from the film ‘Frozen’

·         Songs from around the world CD

·         Holst Planet suites – especially ‘Mars’

·         Songs linked to our themed activities

·         Dance music

 

I’ve found music and dance are a fabulous way to break down walls and develop relationships with children and even the quietest and most reserved can’t help tapping their feet or singing quietly to themselves as they watch from the sidelines. Children love to move, they weren't made to sit still so what better way to help them develop skills and understanding than to get active and move to the music!