If I didn't already know how fun it is to dance and be silly and free, then having kids surely convinced me it.  We have a LOT of dance parties at our house.  I am always amazed at the creativity Yummy shows in how she moves and the new ideas she comes up with, and Dooter, well, he's just plain cute when he dances.  Some of Yummy's latest dance moves include The Bread Punching dance and the Easter Egg dance.  Both involve a lot of strong arm movements.
Here is a fun dancing activity to help your kids explore dance and movement beyond their natural creative instincts.
  1. Read or tell the story of Goldilocks and The Three Bears (if you need a refresher, here's a short version from DLTK Growing Together).  As you read you can ask what kind of movements the characters might have made.
  2. Turn on the music and move! (I included the YouTube video below for the song we used)

Ideas for movement:
  1. Bearswalking easily, strolling while the porridge cools
  2. Goldilocksskipping, walking, leaping, turning in different directions to look in the house; jumping, walking with high knees up the stairs, big steps; lay down and sleep, stretch in different directions, curl up
  3. Bears: return home, step in different directions, looking around; speeding up as the move about and get angry; climb steps -big steps, jump from stair to stair; find Goldilocks -jump back in shock!
  4. Goldilocks: wakes up, surprised, jump up suddenly; jump out window -big step onto windowsill, jump and land in a heap

Mood Music
I chose Dvorak's Piano Trio in B Flat major, Op. 21, 3 Allegretto scherzando, because he is one of my favourite composers and I want my kids to learn the beauty of his music too.  Also, it is a lively piece with variety, and since it doesn't have words, it doesn't distract from interacting with the music on a physical level.

Yummy and Dooter's Three Bears Dance
Yummy loved having me dance crazily with her and had fun trying out big dancing steps with high knees.  Her favourite part was tretching on the floor as Goldilocks getting ready to sleep.  Dooter had a blast since we were all running around together listening to music (his favourite thing), and made a very good Goldilocks, opening drawers and cupboards to peer inside.
This activity explores these elements of dance:
  1. Space: size and directions
  2. Time: fast and slow
  3. Relationships: dancing together
"It is true that young children respond to music with movement.  But without knowledge, one's movement responses cannot develop and grow... The development of skills will improve the compositions and increase the level of creativity...The knowledge to dance freely, with skill and creativity, comes from a thorough study of the dance concepts [the elements of dance]."
-Anne Green Gilbert, Creative Dance for All Ages

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