Friday, February 1, 2013

Footloose Friday!

Today we held our first ever dance party! I have been wanting to try this for months, and there was a huge need for this program at our library. We currently hold 7 storytimes a week, but that was the only programming we offered for preschoolers and younger. Some children have a really hard time participating and listening in storytime and I wanted to offer them another option.

We had 75 people show up to dance! It was really cold and snowing and they still came! Some were even dressed up and wearing tutus. This program is very relaxing and a great opportunity to interact with your storytime kids in a different environment.

The first time you hold this program there will be some prep work. You need to decide if you want to read books, what kind of music you're going to dance to, and if you are going to keep a strict time frame. Once you have the basic outline and initial prep work done, this program is a great one to repeat! Here is the outline I followed.

10:00- Settle in and introduction

10:05- Opening song and warm up/stretching activity

10:10- Structured dance- songs with action/specific movements

10:20- Shaky Eggs

Hot glue, rice, and duct tape

Dollar tree scrunchies and ribbon

10:25- Free Dance with ribbons and shaky eggs

10:30- Cool down

10:30-11:00- Free play

The timing was used to give me a rough estimate on how many songs to play. Once I was actually doing the program, I honestly didn't look at the clock once. The most important thing is to figure out how you're playing the songs. Ipod? Cd's? Just you singing? I chose an Ipod and simply made a playlist. It was very convenient to not have to flip cd's and find the right track, etc. Here is the playlist:

Eye of the Tiger by Survivor- This was our warm up song. The parents loved it!

Shake and Move by Paty Shukla- Great dance with easy to follow movements.

The Freeze by Greg and Steve- The kids loved this and it was hilarious to watch them freeze and try so hard to stay still!

I Know A Chicken by Laurie Berkner- The best shaky egg song ever.

Splish Splash by Bobby Darin- Again, the parents really liked this one. It's a perfect dancing song.

I Like to Move It by Erick Morillo- A lot of the kids recognized this from Madagascar and were very excited.

Upside Down by Jack Johnson- Almost anything by Jack Johnsoncan work as a cool down song. They're all so relaxing!

After the program portion was done, we had a playlist of 11 songs that we played in the background and brought out bubbles. The kids played with the bubbles, shaky eggs, and ribbons for the next 30 minutes.

Overall this program went really well. We told everyone in the beginning that we were going to be silly and look ridiculous and we expected them to dance. We also let them know that their child would be looking to them for a model so to please participate. It really worked. Our parents and caregivers are lovely and were showing us all of their moves!

Next time I think we will incorporate more structured dancing. This definitely helps the parents take a breath and relax a little bit more than free dancing. Our most important lesson of the day was that we should only keep our bubbles slightly filled. There weren't a ton of spills, but enough for us to realize that less is better.

My favorite part of the program was when we tried to teach the kids how to do jumping jacks. It was the funniest thing I've ever seen. Seriously, ask the next young child that you see to do a jumping jack. Here is my assistant and I trying to break it down for them.


  1. I love the picture of you two, but oh how I wish there was an accompanying VIDEO!!!

  2. And yes, little kids attempting to do jumping jacks is fantastic. Almost as much fun as watching me attempt to do one.



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