Here are some fun movement activities that are based on bugs and insects.* Many of them can be done outside, and would work well for a school or day camp activity for young children. They can be used as brain breaks, transitions, or a whole morning or afternoon's theme for creative play.
Several lively musical selections, and/or songs about bugs
Paper and crayons
Craft Project: Plastic headbands, pipe cleaners, beads, curling ribbon, and/or other items to decorate antennae
(See photo below)
1. Bug Dance and Freeze
Play one of the musical selections
Ask the children to dance while the music is playing
Stop the music throughout the song. Call out a different bug each time, and ask the children to freeze in the shape of that bug.
Finish the game by asking the children to freeze in the shape of their favorite bug.
2. Warm Up
Sitting on the floor in a circle:
Curl in and out like a pill bug. Then try it lying down.
Roll onto your back, and imagine you are a bug that is stuck. Move your arms and legs as many ways as you can.
|Imagine you are a bug that is stuck on its back!|
Roll from side to side like a role-poly bug, then bring yourself back up to sitting.
Inch around the circle like a caterpillar, and end up back where you started
Imagine you are a spider, going up and down (from floor to standing) on your silver thread. Do it several times, finishing standing.
Imagine you are a little cricket. First do small bounces, then do little bouncy jumps. Always bend your knees when you land from a jump!
3. Large Motor Skills Practice
March like hard-working ants!
Tiptoe like a very quiet bug
Walk fast in a zigzag pattern like a spider
Turn around like a caterpillar spinning a cocoon
Hop and jump like a grasshopper as it goes from one blade of grass to another
Run and swoop like a moth as it flies around a bright light at night
Skip and gallop like a water bug skimming across a pond
Leap like a butterfly taking off and landing
Play another musical selection. Ask the children:
Can you dance slowly like a caterpillar? Now can you dance fast like a bumblebee?
Can you dance smoothly and gracefully like a butterfly, then in a zigzag, herky-jerky way like a housefly?
Can you dance quietly like a spider, the loudly like a buzzing mosquito?
Can you glide like a centipede, then bounce and hop like a jumping water bug?
Can you move like you have little tiny legs like a small spider, and then as if you have great big legs like a daddy longlegs?
Can you hop like a small cricket? Now can you hop like a giant grasshopper?
5. Craft Project
Take a break from dancing to make colorful and fun antennae. Use the materials described above. Help each child to string beads on two pipe cleaners and then twist them onto the headband. Use whatever other materials you have to add extra decorations.
Draw a Bug and Dance!
Ask the children to think about all of the bugs they have danced about. Then, ask each child to draw an imaginary bug, with all of his or her favorite ideas combined into one bug!
Play a musical selection, and prompt the children to dance like their imaginary bug would move, while wearing the antennae they made.
Finish the activity by asking: How would a bug bow?
I hope your little ones had fun dancing about bugs!
Keep on dancin'!
|Moving is Learning!|
*Ideas based on the 5-session unit called Busy Bugs: A Multilayered Movement Study, from my book One, Two, What Can I Do? Dance and Music for the Whole Day, published by Redleaf Press.