We hope that every good party has some music! There are lots of great dance songs for a party: children’s songs on Youtube, songs from your culture, or even children’s favorite hits from the radio (if appropriate!).
In the United States, there’s a very catchy old fashioned tune called “It’s My Party”, originally sung by Lesley Gore in 1963. The lyrics say “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to, cry if I want to, cryyyyy if I want to… You would cry too if it happened to you!”. The tune to the song here.
While this song is about teenage heartbreak, we think that this song is very catchy and a great way to work on different vocabulary with children. Here, we make some vocabulary rocks that you can move around and have with a dance party.
Set up Time: 20 minutes
Paint some images on to rocks that represent the different movements. For example, we chose hop (frog), fly (butterfly), sleep (sleepy face), run (stick figure running), roll (spiral), and of course crying (a crying face). If you are not feeling particularly artistic, or are short on time, you can also print symbols or draw them on paper.
Place your images in the middle of a large circle. Either place them face down, or have a child close their eyes and pick an image. Then act out the movement for the duration of the song lyrics. For example, sing “It’s my party and I’ll sleep if I want to, sleep if I want to, sleeeeeeppp if I want to! You would sleep too if it happened to you!”. Be sure to make it silly! Children will love lying on the ground snoring, and then popping up to dance again.
- Paint brushes
Learning Through Play
Physical: Gross Motor – You might notice that some young children treat life like it is a party–and why not? Music and movement should be an intrinsic part of every day learning in early childhood because it is good for so much. In fact, children’s natural inclination to sing and dance should be the first clue that it is good for them in some way. Movement helps children to self-regulate, helps to build their muscles for other school related tasks, and helps them to express themselves non-verbally.
Social-Emotional: Takes Turns– Little games like this are a great way for children to learn how to take turns! They are low stakes and the task that awaits them is movement, which is something silly and fun. When children have to take turns for something like a preferred toy, it can feel more emotionally charged–so we invite you to include little games like this that let children practice the skill in a calm and playful way. If you have a child who still struggles to take turns, you can invite them to have a special job, like turning the stones back over or removing them from the circle when they are finished.
School Readiness: Patterns – Learning that certain symbols mean certain actions is a great way to invite children to engage in early pattern recognition. If you think about it, humans use symbols for things all the time–when we are going to the airport we search for the little airplane road sign, we search for bathroom signs in the airport, and we put on our seatbelts when the seatbelt light goes on. This activity is a great way to see if children can remember the meanings behind the signs and symbols that you come up with in your own learning environment.
See this activity in the Rayz Kidz app along with the other fun movement activities. Rayz Kidz is your trusted source for play-based activities featuring over 100 themes and 500+ hands-on activities and clear descriptions of the beautiful learning that is happening through play.