Happy New Year! Welcome to 2023!
Well, the decorations have been put away, the guests have gone home, and it’s time to get back to our routines. Although I must admit I love the music of the holiday season, there are some “cool” winter music activities for toddlers and preschoolers I’d love to share with you. Chances are, you may not have as much access to outdoor recess with the colder weather, so today, I’ll make sure to add some music activities that include a lot out of large movement! I’ve picked music and movement activities that I’ve personally used with my own preschoolers.
But, first, some exciting news!
Hi there. I wanted to take a moment to welcome you to my blog. This is my first blog post! This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. This past year, I’ve had the pleasure of presenting at various workshops and conferences on the topic of early childhood music education, specifically on how it can be implemented as a self-regulation strategy for preschoolers. It happens to be my Master’s thesis as well, so I’ve done extensive research on this topic. It’s fascinating, and I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned with you.
The truth is, I’ve always loved writing. I remember writing short stories as a little girl. I was always that creative artsy kid. Now, I journal almost every day.
My goal for this post is to provide you with useful tips and strategies on how to implement music in your classroom with more intention. I’ve recently been researching all the wonderful benefits of early childhood music education. I realize not every district is lucky enough to have an early childhood music specialist, but all kids deserve to have access to quality music instruction. I think of Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences and Reggio Emilia’s Malaguzzi and his 100 Languages. Children thrive through and with music. For many, it’s how they are able to express themselves. I know this was the case for me as a little girl. I see it in my preschoolers, how they beam with delight and excitement with music.
I want to bridge the gap between early childhood education and music education.
And Now, On with the Show!
My Recommended Music and Movement Lesson Plan Template
When I plan my music and movement lessons, I incorporate activities with varying energy levels to ensure that my toddlers and preschoolers are engaged and focused. As I mentioned before, the winter months may be a time when you add some extra large movement activities or extra music and movement sessions, maybe one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Remember, your music sessions don’t have to be long. Between 10 and 15 minutes is plenty, before moving on to your next activity. It’s a great way to start your day, but I encourage you to integrate music and movement throughout your day such as during small group instruction, in your centers, or at the end of the day.
Here is the format I use when choosing songs.
- Opening/Hello Song
- Movement Song
- Instrument Play
- Calming Song
Also, remember that children benefit greatly from repetition. Even though you may be bored with a song, your kids may love it and want to do it over and over again. One idea is to do different activities for the same song. Sing it one day, do it as a fingerplay, turn it into a large movement, then add instruments. The possibilities are endless.
And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for!
5 Winter Music Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
All the music and movement activities for preschoolers that I recommend are tried and true. I would not feel comfortable recommending a song or resource I haven’t used.
Here are 5 fun winter music activities that will keep your toddlers and preschoolers singing, dancing, and giggling.
I LOVE a great fingerplay. Fingerplays are so helpful in strengthening children’s fine motor skills. Here is a fun one by Kaboomers called Five Little Snowmen Standing in a Row. I’ve added props by having the kids paint popsicle sticks for the snowmen. Another idea is to act it out using five students. This is a great way to sing the song more than once, and giving everyone a chance to participate if they want to.
I’m a Little Snowman from Super Simple Songs is a cute song to the tune of I’m a Little Teapot, perfect for your toddlers and preschoolers. They love acting it out. We all grab our mittens, hats, and scarves as our props. We discuss the importance of bundling up in cold weather so we can stay healthy. You can then follow up with a snowman craft or snowman-building activity.
Now it’s time to get the kids up moving, go all out by bringing some paper plates and going skating! Kids have so much fun “skating” around the room. This is an awesome gross motor activity that helps with balance as well. It also helps them to focus on staying on their skates, reducing the chances of them running around too fast indoors! I like to use the song Skating from Charlie Brown or The Skater’s Waltz
At this point, you make the call on whether or not the kids need a little extra time to burn off that energy, or if they’re ready to bring it down a notch. If you need an extra large movement activity you can always do a free dance. Pick an upbeat song and just dance. Kids love busting a move and having more autonomy over their movements.
Here are some recommendations for free dance songs.
I Live Inside a Snowglobe by Laurie Berkner This song offers the perfect balance of fast and slow movements to keep kids engaged.
Freeze Dance Song by Go Noodle This is a fun song with an awesome Latin beat!
Wiggle, Spin, Dance, and more with Danny Go Another upbeat song with movement ideas.
By this time,your kids should be ready to cool down. You can entice them with this next song by Stephanie Leavell.
There’s nothing better than a warm cup of hot chocolate after playing outside in the snow. Here is a small movement song with a jazzy.
Hot Chocolate by Stephanie Leavell
Have fun singing about big ginormous cups of hot chocolate, or teeny tiny cups of hot chocolate! Maybe, (depending on food allergies of course), you can warm up some hot chocolate in a crock pot. Yummmmm
We’re coming to the end of our music and movement session. This isn’t a song but more of a visualization exercise to help with mindfulness. You can play the video if you have access to a smartboard. Otherwise, just play it on your phone and device, have children close their eyes and listen. That’s what I do.
Well friends, I hope you’ll enjoy these winter music activities. They are a fun mix of fingerplays, movement, and mindfulness. Music time is such a magical time to connect with your toddlers and preschoolers, have fun, and be silly, all while helping foster self regulation, creating a positive learning environment for everyone, all while adhering to best practices when it comes to early childhood music education. .
If you’d like access to my 15 minute music lesson demo, subscribe to my email list by clicking here.
Until next time, friends.
And remember, sing, move, and play every day! Your preschoolers will thank you!
To download my free resource Three Fun and Engaging Music Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers, subscribe to my email list and click here
More Music and Movement Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
If you are looking for more winter music activities for toddlers and preschoolers, here are some more resources
- Teaching 2 and 3-year-olds BIG COLLECTION OF TODDLER AND PRESCHOOL SONGS FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR
- Music for Kiddos- Three Winter Music Books for Preschool and Kindergarten Music Time
- Music for Kiddos- Winter Music Activities and Ideas for Preschool and Kindergarten Music Time
A Little Bit About Me
My name is Brenda Limaldi. I am an early childhood music educator excited to share with fellow early childhood educators like yourself the wonderful impact music can have on young children. Six years ago, I started a business for early childhood music called Sunny Bee Music. I’ve made beautiful memories with my family in a variety of settings, including my own studio, Sunny Bee Music and Art Center, online (thanks to the global pandemic, but a life lesson nevertheless), and most recently outdoors.
I recently decided that it was time for me to switch gears a bit. Although it made me sad to say goodbye to my families, my work schedule is quite busy, and it’s time for more family and “me” time.
However, this past year, I have really enjoyed sharing my lessons and music activities with my colleagues, and so I am happy to announce that Sunny Bee Music is now “Musically Mindful”. I am here to help teachers like you implement music as a self-regulation strategy using best practices in terms of early childhood music education. I am excited for this new venture and am looking forward to sharing useful, fun, and engaging music resources to use with your toddlers and preschoolers.