Get Moving: Barnyard Dance!

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Age Appropriateness: Toddler
Materials Needed: Get Moving! exercise cards (free, keep reading), dice, and Barnyard Dance! by Sandra Boynton.
In a Nutshell: Do the Get Moving! exercises to build vocabulary and then read the story. For added fun on a future read dance along with the story as the movements are called!
Supporting Articles: "Making Mind Movies"

Keep reading to learn more about this activity

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If you don't know Sandra Boynton, I suggest you pick up whatever book you possibly can. Her images are friendly and fun. Her stories are short, sweet, and often lyrical. So many of her books are are go-to reads over and over. And over. And over...


I realized when reading Sandra Boynton's Barnyard Dance! for about the five-hundredth time that my toddlers probably had no clue what some of the words meant. Sure there are pictures, but it's one thing to know what the movement actually is.


You and your kids can have a lot of fun with Barnyard Dance!


Personally, I love it because It brings me back to my days up on the mountain at Bread Loaf (pictured) and our barn dances, the first of the summer always being a classic hoedown. It also brings me back to fifth-grade square dancing in the cafeteria. I'm not joking, I really find this kind of dancing fun.


Reading the text:


So we went through the book and I mimicked each movement and had the twins copy me. This took a while, largely because it was my first time every asking them to copy me doing something like this.


The moves: stomp, clap, bow, twirl, bounce, strut, spin, promenade, prance, skitter, swing, stand, slide, scramble, promenade, trot, leap, spin, turn, bow.


Here are two YouTube videos that show it off perfectly:




With my oldest bringing home movement break and kid HIIT workouts for virtual gym class, I decided to turn this into a bit of a game for us.


The activity:


This is really simple. We took a Get Moving! card. Then we took a die. We rolled the die and performed the corresponding movement challenge. We did this for two minutes.


After we played for a little while we read the book again.


Here are your FREE Get Moving! activity cards:


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CLICK TO PIN CARD 1, CARD 2, CARD 3


So now that you've seen the videos and skittered and pranced around your home, take it to the next level and read the book out loud to your kids as they act out the movements as they are called!


Or just snuggle and read it together with a whole new level of understanding.


One of our goals as teachers is to help children build real world experiences and create movies in their heads while they read and by having them act out the movements they will know first-hand exactly what the animals in Barnyard Dance! are doing.


For more information, please check out "Making Mind Movies."


I hope this makes your child HUNGRY for more books!


Happy moving!


Comment and share your creations on social media! I'd love to know how it went and any modifications you might have made. We're all here to learn from each other, not reinvent the wheel!


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