|Babies||Walkers 2||2s to 3s||3s to 4s|
Overview and benefit
Good listening skills are so important to success at school. Games which encourage children to listen out for some sort of signal are really good practice for them. Musical bumps/statues is a familiar party game which is not only fun but which combines a physical response with listening carefully.
- Some up-beat music
- 2 to three weeks
How it works
Babies will learn to recognise when the music stops and relate it to the keeping still part of the exercise. Older children when learn to listen and react to the change themselves.
What to do in the class
Dance to the music but listen carefully for when it stops! Have the music quite loud so it is really easy hear when it stops. With the babies have them in mum’s arms and ensure that when the music is playing there is lots of movement so that the babies really feel the contrast with the stopping when the music stops. With the walkers to 2, make them sit down when the music stops so again there is a big contrast in action between when the music is playing and when the music stops. With the 2s to 4s they probably have enough control to be able to freeze when the music stops. No one is out in this version! But you could pick out certain children who are quick – “Wow you sat down really quickly there Sophie!” or ‘Excellent listening Jack!”
Adaptation for older/younger children
For very tiny walkers adults can use the baby version, so have the children on their knees and jiggle and move with them until the music stops.
What to do in a nursery setting
Younger children will need support for this activity so it is not suitable for the very young babies, but walking children should be able to cope with it. Sitting down rather than simply stopping will be better for the younger groups.
If you call “stop and go” when the music stops and starts it not only helps children understand the difference between when the music starts and stops, but it also trains them to stand still when someone shouts stop – a handy safety response!
You could do a seated version but with instruments – the children stop playing when the music stops. This extends their listening skills as they have to listen to the recorded music over the music that they are all making.
You could place coloured mats around the room and when the music stop the children could go and stand on a mat. You could also introduce actions, such as sit down, make a face, put your hands in the air.