The Musical Play Dates Guide

Kids absolutely love music, and they love to play games set to music! Nothing can quickly grab or hold their attention more easily than music. It is a strong catalyst for learning, creativity and development of language, movement and social skills. It has the power to captivate and charm young imaginations, giving children the wings to explore the world that surrounds them and delight the senses.

Musical play dates offer parents the opportunity to share in their child’s discovery of the music and singing, social skills and help them begin to grow a circle of friends. You can have a lot of fun when a play date incorporates the world of music! Here is our musical play date guide to turn your play date into a number one hit!

The Hokey Pokey

I’m sure you remember the song… “You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out…” a favorite of every child. The Hokey Pokey is one of several circle dances. It is a great song to teach your child their right from their left, teach body parts and body movement. For younger children, you can use colored stickers on their hands to identify which is their left or right.

Animal Walk Parade

While playing music, have the children dance and walk the way their favorite animal would. Include all kinds of animals, such as a bird, snake, bear, etc.

Music & Motion

This is a fun activity to have children experience movement as it relates to the music or rhythm they hear. Simply instruct each child to physically move how the music makes them feel. You’ll soon see them tiptoeing or swaying to soft music, marching to the beat of a parade song, run for fast music, hop and bounce for music that makes them feel happy, or stomp their feet to the rhythms they hear.

Toot! Toot!

This fun song activity will help your child learn to listen. Take a fun song the kids are very familiar with, such as Jack & Jill, Humpty Dumpty, This Old Man, or Old MacDonald had a Farm. Sing the song to your child, but substitute wrong words or names in obvious places. For example, perhaps instead of a farm, Old MacDonald had a dog or maybe Jack and Jill went up the tree. When your child hears the wrong words have them sing “Toot-Toot!”

Musical Hugs

This puts a twist to the musical chairs game, but in this case, no one looses! It’s a great ice breaker for play dates. Simply round up some of your favorite kids CD’s. Instruct each child to dance and move to the music. When it stops, the children have to stop dancing and hug a friend. As the children become more acquainted, you’ll soon find 2 – 3 kids hugging each other in a group. End the session in one big group hug!

Pass the Bear

Another good ice breaker and helps children learn each other’s names. Have the kids sit in a circle. Hand a stuffed bear to one of the children to start the game and sing this song to the tune of Row-Row-Row Your Boat: “My friend (child’s name) has the bear— hug him with great care! Pass him on to my friend (next child’s name) because we like to share!” On the word “share,” instruct the child to give the bear to the next child named. Repeat for each child.

Freeze Dance

A twist on the Red Light, Green Light game. Instruct the children that when the music plays, they can dance, jump, hop and move about. When the music stops, they have to freeze in whatever pose they are in when the music stops playing— still as a statute (you may need to demonstrate to younger kids). Instead of holding a pose, you can also have everyone drop to the floor and sit until the music starts again.

What Music Looks Like

This activity incorporates both the world of music and art. Pick 2 – 5 songs—- anything from funny songs to classical or slow music (make it a mix). A couple of our original songs are great for this activity, such as A Sweet Little Silly Song or the City Zoo. Hand each child enough sheets of paper for each song, and some crayons. Instruct them to draw what the music of each song sounds like to them— what they hear and feel. You’ll see some creative art. At the end of the game, have each child pick their favorite picture, and hold it up for all to see.

Follow Me!

A musical version of follow the leader will get the kids moving! While the music plays, the leader leads the group around. When it stops, the leader goes to the end of the line and the next child leads. Usually best to have an adult start. As you lead the children, wiggle your arms, turn in circles, flap your arms, hop, squat like a duck, fly like an airplane— demonstrate lots of different movements to give the kids ideas when they lead.

A-B-C & 1-2-3 Dancing

This is the perfect game for toddlers starting to learn their letters or numbers. It is best done in a large family or recreation room. Use masking tape to make the shapes of the letters or numbers the children are working on learning. Make it as large as possible. Turn on some fun kids music and have your toddlers dance around. When the music stops, have them go to the letter or number you call out.

Great Balls of Fire!

A twist on the old game, hot potato— instead of a potato, we use colored flashing light balls. This one is fun on rainy or snowy day with the lights dimmed. Hand each child except one, a flashing light ball. Have the children sit in a circle. As the music plays, the children pass the lights around the circle until the music stops. When the music stops, the boy or girl not holding a light sits in the middle now out of the game. Remove a ball from the circle and continue the game. Be sure to let each child leave with a light ball when they go home!

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved (c)