Dance Like Me! I’ll Dance Like You
The PAW Patrol does the Pup Pup Boogie, Team Umizoomi does the Crazy Shake Song, and the Big Heart Kids dance along to the words of the Big Heart Beats album!
Simple dancing and movement games like Follow The Leader are powerful tools that can help children develop important skills — from body and spatial awareness to self-regulation and other executive function skills (which help children manage emotions, make decisions, and solve problems).
By age 3, many children can follow two instructions. By age 7, research shows that children’s capacity to follow instructions is similar to that of adults. (Source).
Playing copy-cat, stop-go, and dancing games help children practice important skills that are developing rapidly in the early years.
Parent/Caregiver Tip: “The building blocks of children’s capacities to retain and use new information, focus attention, control impulses, and make plans are acquired during early childhood, but the full range of executive function skills continues to develop into the adolescent years.” — Building the Brain’s “Air Traffic Control” System: How Early Experiences Shape the Development of Executive Function (Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University, 2011)
- Let’s dance to this month’s Big Heart Beats song “Celebrate our Differences”
- Let’s play a dancing game — I’ll be the leader and make some funny dance moves. You follow me and dance like I do!
- Now you can be the leader and I’ll dance like you!
- Try planning out a choreographed dance of 4-5 steps with older children. Can you and your child dance the same way together?