Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes, knees and toes..... If you have a child over the age of 1 you probably know this song. And you probably know that kids LOVE action songs! As a dance teacher I love using action songs to fine tune gross motor skills. Action songs provide the repetition that young children crave and also support memory development and recall.
As a parent I love action songs because they are fast and easy on rainy, snowy, or too hot to play outside days. Whether your a parent, teacher, child care provider, or dance educator action songs can be a great way to get moving with limited space and resources. I hope you enjoy a few of my favourites!
Song: There Came a Girl From France
Artist: Raffi (Album: Corner Grocery Store)
Where to Buy: iTunes, Chapters/Indigo, Amazon and most public libraries will also have his cds in their children's music section
Why I love it: What parent doesn't love Raffi? Well unless he has been on repeat for the last 30 days, but you know what I mean. Raffi's songs have been delighting children, well, since I was a child! I listened to this album on our family's record player over and over again. There Came a Girl from France was one of my favorites! Between marching to the beat (Knees up Mother Brown! Knees up Mother Brown!), hopping on one foot (and then the other) and whirling 'round and 'round, this song is sure to get your kids moving! Just don't blame me if it ends up on repeat for the next 30 days ;)
Song: A Tooty Ta
Artist: Johnny Only
Where to Buy: iTunes
Why I love it: This body parts song is silly silly fun! Each verse adds a new body part to A Tooty Ta with during the chorus. (general shaking and wiggling). "Thumb up! Elbows back! Feet apart! Knees together! Bottoms up! Tongues out! Eyes closed! Turn around!" This song helps develop recall skills as kids must remember each body part that is added. By the end of the song kids have a hard time not exploding into a fit giggles.
Song: Hip Hop Exercise
Artist: It's Hip Hop Baby, Fruit!
Where to Buy: Amazon
Why I love it: As our culture becomes more and more sedentary I believe getting our kids into healthy habits at a young age is critical. So I love music that not only gets kids moving but that sends a message that exercise is cool. "Exercise! It's what we do! Exercise! You can do it too! Exercise! It's lots of fun! Exercise! It's good for everyone!" Between stretching, jumping, and running, your kids will be sweating by the end of this song. It's a great warm up for dance/sports (I use it in my Fit Hop Totz program) or could be a fun way for everyone in your house to start the day!
Song: No More Monkeys
Artist: Asheba (Album: Animal Playground)
Where to Buy: Amazon Chapters/Indigo, J'Adore Dance
Why I love it: Not too many of us traveled through childhood without learning the poem 5 Little Monkeys, but Asheba, an artist from Trinidad, and Putumayo Kids take it to a whole other level! I pull this song out every session I teach with all of my classes from ages 0-5. The kids love it! It is the most requested song at our studio. As Asheba exclaims in the intro "It's jumping time again! Children they love to jump! Here we GO!". The kids do not stop jumping! And you know what? It is so infectious the parents jump right along with us. I promise this one won't disappoint! Check out the music video below!