Music helps develop listening skills, coordination, concentration and memory. Children sing, chant, drum, play instruments, make up rhythms and they can dance…

Use music every day in preschool settings as an amazing resource for creativity. It can soothe or energize, be uplifting or calming – sometimes both at the same time.

Dance music for preschoolers comes in all styles. From the funky chicken to baroque classics, they all contribute to the development of music making and musical appreciation.

Sometimes it’s good to just shake it off to some pop music! Here are some ideas and five pop tracks (plus a bonus track) suitable for preschoolers (with a link to the lyrics so you can double check) to get everyone up and moving to the beat!

PS: IT’S MORE FUN IF YOU DANCE TOO!!!

Learning Objectives: Independent thinking, listening skills, following instructions, creative cognitive skills, turn taking, gross motor & coordination

Musical Game Ideas:

Freestyle

Lay out some ground rules, get the children to talk about using your own space (make sure the space is big enough for turning, stomping and falling) and  then get moving.

Watch me, watch me

One child dances and the others copy their moves. Get them to take turns and they’ll love being the leaders, and imitation is, after all, the highest form of flattery.

Freeze

An oldie but a goodie that NEVER goes out of style. Play music and have them move around the room however they wish. When the music stops, they freeze right where they stop. To mix it up get them to move like different animals, up high, down low, skipping, creeping. Tracks to listen to

1. I’m Alive – Michael Franti

Michael Franti sings “I only wanna be with you” as everyone shares the love. It’s bright and sunny – just like his Sounds of Sunshine track. It’s the whistling and the smiles that make this one a winner. LYRICS

2. Pharrell Williams – Happy

Amazingly, when this track was first released it got NO airplay – then came Ellen, the 24 hour video (and Minions) and then it became a world wide phenomenon. NB: This isn’t the 24 hour version! LYRICS

3. One Republic – Love Runs Out

It’s the drum beat that makes this the One Republic track a stand out – lots of stomping guaranteed. LYRICS

4. Smashmouth – I’m a Believer

It’s hard not to write Shrek as the musician behind this track. The big green and groovy ogre has become synonymous with this upbeat classic – well, and donkey of course. LYRICS

5. American Authors – Best Day of My Life

You’ll know this one – and for the kids any day with dancing in it will be the best day of their life. Until the next “best day” comes along. This has been played on repeat in many households but it’s still hard to resist. LYRICS

Plus here’s a BONUS TRACK if you feel like a challenge – instead of freestyle dancing or freeze – you could get some dance moves happening – with choreographer Benjamin Allen and this dance routine to Jesse J’s “Price Tag”

So there’s six of the best from us. But we’d love to hear what’s on your playlist. Share your fave dance tracks in the comments!

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