Musical Mondays: Start and Stop Music

Mon, 06/06/2011 - 10:15pm -- Jessica Baudin-...

Over the next few weeks I will share some of my favourite activity songs for young children. Dancing at home is a fun, inexpensive way to keep your kids active. But sometimes it can be hard to plan activities to go along with the music. These songs provide a simple way to get your kids (and hopefully you too) moving and grooving just by following the music. Each week I'll focus on a different kind of activity song. 

Start and Stop Music:

Start and stop music, or freeze music, is enjoyed by children of all ages. The concept is simple: Move and dance when the music plays, stop/freeze when prompted or when the music stops. The game is built right into the music, and can be played in large groups or solo. Children as young as 18 months quickly figure out the game and older children enjoy the challenge of quickly stopping their bodies mid movement. Indoors, outside, or even in the car, these songs can work in pretty much any space! Add these songs to your playlist and get your whole family dancing together!

Song: Shake Your Hands

Artist: Jen Gould

Where to Buy: iTunes store

Why I love it: This juno winning Childrens artist knows how to do a start and stop song that adult and children will both love. Each verse encouragingly starts with "Well c'mon everybody its time to....." adding a simple movement, ending with " It's time to STOP!". As the song gets longer with each verse when each new action that is added! The song has just enough razzle dazzle to get older siblings to join in on the fun!

Song: When the Music Stops

Artist: Captain Music

Where to Buy: iTunes store

Why I love it: The bluesy rock feeling in this song is sure to get everyone in the house tapping their toes! The pauses in the song are the perfect length for young dancers. The strong simple beat also makes this song ideal for adding instruments or shakers to the game!

Song: The Mexican Hat Dance:

Artist: Salsa Tots

Where to Buy: iTunes store

Why I love it: This family friendly version of a traditional latin folk song, not only cues dancers to "FREEZE" at various intervals but also gives verbal and musical cues for dancing fast and slow, adding more fun and challenge. Just be sure to be close to the pause button, as the freeze cue is too fast for most young dancers. Pausing the music when the song says freeze quickly eliminates this problem.  

Song: Freeze Dance

Artist: Suzie Levilev

Where to Buy: iTunes

Why I love it: This song is great for older preschoolers who are learning a variety of dance and movement skills. The song changes rhythmic patterns with each different step that is presented (walking, jump, hop, skip, etc) with a freeze in between. 

Song: Freezedance

Album: Kids World Party

Where to Buy: J'Adore Dance, Amazon

Why I love it: Another great piece from the newest Putumayo Kids newest album, Kids World Party.  This Funk Jazz piece is fun for both adult and kids to move and groove to. You need to listen carefully for the freeze cues, they are sneaky!

If you hop onto iTunes and search "Freeze Dance" lot of other options come up as well! These are just the songs that I have been using at home and in my classes for the last few months, but I am excited to try some more! What are your favourite start and stop songs? Comment and share!