DANCING THROUGHOUT THE DAY
Part 5: Up and Down with Counting! -- A Movement Exploration Activity that Addresses Numbers and Counting
I hope you are enjoying the summer, even as you are thinking about and planning for the upcoming school year!
As a way to further my passion for offering many different dance opportunities to children, this blog entry is the fifth in a series of activities based on the daily routine of young children. They are simple and ready to use!
Today's entry, like last month's, is one that specifically addresses Early Childhood Learning Standards. Today's activity is a short, fun transition activity that children love, and at the same time it is a chance for children to practice their counting skills. Counting together, forward and backward, is incorporated into the movement. It is also a quick and easy way to work on counting from one to ten in another language.
Use this when you want to bring the children from standing to sitting, or vice versa. It is also a wonderful "brain break" as it is a short, lively burst of activity. One of the best parts about it is that it can be done in a small space with no extra materials required.
Up and Down With Counting!
Adapted from Dance, Turn, Hop, Learn! Enriching Movement Activities for Preschoolers (Redleaf Press, 2006)
What You Need: No materials required
What You Do:
Begin with the children standing (or seated, in which case the children will slowly stand up as you begin counting) in a circle (or spread throughout the room if you have the space), at least arms' width apart from each other. Before you start the activity, explain to the children how to go down to the floor: they should catch themselves with their hands as they land on the floor, and not fall hard on their bottoms. During the activity, they will go increasingly faster up and down, so this is an important safety precaution.
Say to the children:
We are going to go down to the floor. I will count to ten, and you will take all ten counts to get down. That means you will have to move very slowly! You may count (and clap) with me as you move. Here we go: 1, 2, 3 (yes, move slowly!) 4, 5 (you should be halfway down now!). 6, 7, 8, 9 . . . 10! Is everyone all the way down?
Now we are going to go back up! Let's go back up in 9 counts. Everyone count with me: 1, 2, 3, (you should be about halfway up) 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 -- is everyone all the way back up?
Continue this until you get to "1." Because the up and down gets increasingly faster, I always slow down a bit when I get to "1:" Do you think you can go down and up in 1 count? Remember to catch yourself at the bottom with your hands. Here we go: 1! (children go down to floor) 1! (children stand up) 1! (children go down to floor) 1! (children stand up). The last one should bring the children where you want them to end up at the end of the transition activity, either standing or sitting.
|CLAP AND COUNT ALONG WITH ME AS WE GO DOWN TO THE FLOOR!|
Variation for forward and backward counting: To help the children practice backwards counting, do the activity again, and count forward as they go down, and backward as they go up (like a rocket countdown).
Variation for bilingual counting: To work on counting in another language, simply do the activity again using the numbers in that language.
This activity has become a favorite among my students, and is a quick, fun, and lively transition activity while at the same time reinforcing counting skills.
Part 6: A Movement Exploration That Addresses Social Studies
Keep on Dancin',
Copyright 2012, Connie Bergstein Dow
This post has been added to a 'bloghop' on all things MATH related for young children!