Dance Party for Kids!

Have you ever noticed just how much your toddler or preschooler moves throughout the day? Jumps wiggles, spins, leaps—young children are made to move! In fact, movement is an important part of their development.  Every day they are learning to do new things with their bodies and how movement can represent actions or communicate. 

How can you help your child practice these skills? Have a dance party! Dance play encourages young children to practice balance and gross motor skills, stretch their imagination, and even develop concentration! Plus, it’s FUN!


Want to move beyond freestyle dance play? Try these ideas to get your groove on with your little one:

  • Simon Says Dance: Choose one person to be “Simon” and take turns giving dance commands. For example, “Simon says only dance with your arms,” or “Simon says twirl like a ballerina.” But if Simon doesn’t say “Simon says” before the command and you still do it, you’re out!
  • Freeze Dance: Have one person be your DJ and play music. When the DJ pauses the music, freeze in place! This is a fun activity to pair with Simon Says so that each time the music starts again you do a different dance command, too! 
  • Balance Dancing: Put a tissue on your head and dance around without letting it fall on the floor. What other items can you try to balance and dance with?
  • Mirror Dancing: Face your child and take turns being the “leader.” Play music and have the leader make up dance moves that the other person follows. This is a great activity to practice concentration and turn taking!
  • Beat Dancing: An important part of dancing is being able to move to the beat of the music. Put on some music with a fast beat and dance or jump to the rhythm of the music. Play music with different beats and change your dancing to match.
  • Emoji Dancing: Music is a great way to explore talking about emotions and feelings! Pick an emoji that expresses an emotion and talk about it—is it happy, sad, excited? Then choose music that matches the mood and dance to match the feeling!


Get more inspiration to move your body from these books!

Everyone has their own way of dancing! In How Do You Dance?  lots of different people show off their moves and explore where, why, and how they dance. 

In I Got the Rhythm (a perfect read aloud), a girl discovers the rhythm in her neighborhood, like the drummer in the park, playground clapping games and more. It will make you want to dance to the rhythms you hear in your own neighborhood, too!

From the cha-cha to the hora and from hip-hop to square dance, the poems in Feel the Beat celebrate dance styles from all over the world! They’re especially fun to read aloud because they follow the same rhythm pattern as each style of dance.

Believe it or not, dance can be part of a bedtime book, too. In Hip Hop Lollipop, even though it’s time for bed Lollipop can’t stop dancing! She dances throughout her bedtime routine before finally relaxing into sleep, where she keeps on dancing in her dreams.