It is always fun to have some dance games for kids on hand to give them a fun lesson or even add some fun and educational elements into their existing classes.
I use these dance games kids love in a lot of my dance classes, just to have some fun and bring back their focus, especially the pre schoolers. You can also use some of them at the beginning of a class to warm up or at the end of a class to cool down. It is a great idea to end off the season with a fun class and they will leave excited to come back in the new term.
Here are some of the dance games for kids that I play with my students. Most of them are well suited to the 3 – 5 year age group.
Dance Games for Kids
I am sure many dance teachers play this dance game. All you do is put two lines of chairs back to back and get the children to either run, skip or march around the chairs. When the music stops, each child must try and sit on a chair. The child left standing is out and gets to choose the next chair to take away. You can also use hoola hoops instead of chairs
Repeat until only one person is left in the game. This child would be the winner.
This dance game for kids is pretty self explanatory. You play the music and when you stop it, the children have to freeze. If a child moves he is out and must come and be your helper. The last dancer left is the winner.
You could also vary this game by giving them instructions. This will improve their listening and concentration skills. Say for instance ‘the next time the music stops you have to show me an angry face’ or ‘the next time the music stops you have to balance on one leg with your finger on your nose.’
You can play a piece of music and ask the children to imitate an animal. They can imitate its movements and if you feel like it, even the sounds they make. The best one gets a prize. Try to find music that suits the animals that they are imitating.
This may be better for slightly older children. Blind fold one of your dancers and let the players scatter and then root themselves to one spot. The blind one has to search for the players. If he comes close, the players can twist and duck to avoid being detected, but cannot move their feet. Once the blind player catches somebody, she must guess who it is. If she is correct, the player who has been caught becomes the blind man. If not the blind man has to try again.
The children are given paper plates and line up at one end of the room. A small square is marked off at the other end of the room. The children then throw the plates with the hand flat, and the plate that comes closest to the square wins.
A small object such as a short pencil, matchstick, marble or lollipop is shown to the class. The children then leave the room and the object is hidden where it can be seen without the children having to lift or disturb other objects.
The children are called back, and as soon as a child sees it he whispers to the organizer of the game where it is and then quietly takes a seat without telling any of the other children. The game ends when all the children have found the object.
Another option is to send one child out of the room while the others hide an object somewhere in the room in plain sight. The child returns and looks for it, while the others hum a song. Softly hum when the child is far away from the object and hum louder as he gets closer.
You could also do this playing music softer and louder as the child gets warmer.
The children sit in a circle and one blindfolded child stands in the middle. The children in the circle chant:
‘Cobbler, cobbler mend my shoe;
get it done by half past two;
half past two is much too late;
get it done by half past eight;
cobbler, cobbler tell me true;
which of you has got my shoe.’
While they chant the rhyme, they pass a shoe around the circle. When the rhyme is finished, the player in the middle removes the blindfold and is allowed three guesses to find who has the shoe behind his back. If he guesses right, the child with the shoe goes into the middle of the circle to be blindfolded.
Play the music and let the children do free dance. As they dance they have to keep three or four balloons in the air and stop them touching the ground. After a practice round you could divide them into two teams and they can see which team can keep the balloons up the longest.
A balloon is thrown into the air and the children have to laugh. When the balloon hits the ground, the children must stop laughing and keep perfectly straight faces. The best gets a prize.
Each child takes off their ballet shoes and puts them in a box. Make sure the shoes are marked with the children s names before you begin. The shoes are mixed up and then at the signal they all have to run and find their own shoes and put them on. The first child with her shoes on is the winner.
I use this one as a warmup quite often. One child is chosen to be ‘it’ and he or she has to chase and touch as many of the others as he can in 30 seconds. If you get touched or ‘tagged’ then you need to go into downward dog pose until somebody crawls under you to free you.
The aim is for the ‘tagged’ one to get everyone in downward dog so that nobody can be rescued. You cannot tag somebody if they are in the process of rescuing someone else.
Extra Tips on Planning Dance Games for Kids in Class
Always plan for more games than you need, as sometimes a game may not be so popular with the group, or they may get bored after one or two rounds and you will need to keep the class moving and change to another game quickly.
Try to use some of the steps they have learnt in class during the games to keep the class dance focused.
Make sure the dance games for kids you choose are educating the children in some way, eg coordination, listening skills, balancing, etc.
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