Saturday, July 22, 2017

A Fun Dance Activity for Outside Summer Play

Happy Mid-Summer!

In so many parts of the country, summer is the only time children can go barefoot,  venture outside without a jacket, enjoy the warm sunshine, and spend hours and hours playing (and dancing!) outside.  Here is one of my favorite dance activities that works as well outside on a nice day as it does in the classroom or gym.  And it has the added advantage of familiarizing young children with their surroundings.

ACTIVITY:  Take a Virtual Tour of Your Hometown

Summer is a wonderful time to get to know your hometown.  Take a virtual tour of some of the highlights, adding as many ideas as you and the children can think of.    Allow the children time to respond to each prompt.  If you can, follow it up another day with a real tour.  Here is a virtual tour of my hometown, Cincinnati!  It is easy to take these basic ideas, and substitute your own city, town, or rural area's local landmarks and activities.

Let's Have Fun in Cincinnati!

Materials:  None!
Music:  Optional, but an upbeat song about your city, or something related to it, would enhance the activity

Call out the following movement prompts one by one, allowing plenty of time in between for the children to explore their ideas.

* Climb a tree, grab buckeyes, climb down, and pick up those that have fallen on the ground

    * Paddle a rowboat, kayak, or canoe down the Ohio River, then jump out and swim.  Climb back in the boat and dry off

    * Hit a baseball like your favorite Cincinnati Reds player, then 
    jump to catch a fly ball.  Now run around the bases, first, 
    second, third, and home, as fast as you can!
    * Throw, kick and catch a football like your favorite Cincinnati Bengal’s player
    * Skate on the ice: go backward, forward, make a figure eight.  Pretend like you have a hockey stick, and slap a hockey puck like a Cincinnati Cyclones player

    * Run, jump, dribble, and shoot like a University of Cincinnati Bearcat basketball player.

    * Run circles around the fountain on Fountain Square.  Then imagine you are the water squirting out of the fountain

    * Run, jump, climb, and leap like your favorite animals at the Cincinnati Zoo
    * Climb all the way to the top of the highest building downtown, look at the sights, and then climb back down
    * Play at Kings Island amusement park -- imagine you are riding your favorite rides.
    * Imagine you are playing an instrument in a parade!

    * Visit the aquarium.  Swim, crawl, and move like your favorite water creatures.

    * Fly like an airplane over the city.  What do you see when you look down?

    Conclude the activity by asking:  What was your favorite place to visit in Cincinnati?

    This activity can be expanded as a geography/social studies lesson.  You can "visit" lots of places and lots of sites.  Read about them, and take a tour as in the activity above!

    Have a wonderful summer, and keep on dancin',




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