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Dance theme ideas for preschool

Who doesn't love to dance? Integrating a dance theme into your preschool lesson plans gives you the opportunity to teach physical education, art and social studies all at the same time. Dancing feels good and engages children with music and rhythm. Set aside some time to teach the origin of dances.

Ribbon Dancing

Secure one end of a 3-foot ribbon to the end of a 12-inch dowel with tape or hot glue. Make one of these dancing ribbons for each child in your class. Turn on some music and show your students how to dance, waving the ribbon as you move. Ribbon dancing gives a visual demonstration of how children move through space as they dance. Use fast and slow music. This is a good indoor or outdoor activity.

Dance to the Beat

Bring a drum to class and let your students dance to the beat as you play. Dancing to the beat is a good way to integrate math with music and dance as you demonstrate how four or eight beats makes a measure. Beat out a rhythm and have the children clap to it as they dance, or stomp around to the beat. Let students take turns beating the drum for their classmates to dance to.

Dance with Directions

Teach your students to do the Hokey Pokey or the Chicken Dance. Both of these have easy-to-learn steps that are described in the music. Learning these dances is not only fun for students, but teaches them to listen to and follow directions. Let them take turns adding their own steps to either dance.

Folk Dance

Introduce your students to the dances of different cultures. Hula dancing, square dancing, belly dancing and the meringue are all easy enough to incorporate into a preschool lesson plan. Teaching folk dances is a good addition to lessons about other cultures or a jumping off point for those lessons. Find videos of people doing the dances and introduce the music as well as the dance styles and steps.