Babies Walkers to 2 2s to 3s 3s to 4s

Overview and benefit

Children love to move in multiple ways, walking, running, skipping, hopping and galloping. It is good for the children’s spatial awareness and general coordination to learn to move in their space in different directions and to learn coordinate their feet and bodies in different ways other than just forward locomotion. This exercise focuses on side stepping which is the basic step for many circle and line dances where sideways motion is required. Sidestepping is also the basis for the quicker sideways gallop that the children will learn in a later activity.

Galloping is one of the important locomotors movements which involves multiple steps and so is fun for the children to learn and also teaches coordination and rhythm through movement.

Training video

Side Stepping-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.

Equipment required

  • Music for side stepping


One to two weeks

How it works

The object is to get the children to perfect a side step using a variety of activities to engage them.

What to do in the class

Explain to the class that you are going to be learning to move in a sideways direction. Show the children a picture of a crab and explain that crabs always move sideways, and then demonstrate a side step breaking down the movement from them. First, you step one leg out sideways, then the other leg steps sideways to meet it so that your feet are together again, then you step out again and the other legs steps to meet it. Get the children to practice the movement slowly with you. Smaller children may need more support, so parents can help by holding both of their children’s hands with facing them as if in a dance hold. Practice the movement like this for a little while.

Put on some music and practice side stepping from one side of the room to another.

The following week perfect the movement using a song that incorporates lots of side stepping in the choreography like, she’ll be coming around the mountain, or I do like to be beside the seaside or Ring a Ring a roses.

Adaptations for babies

This activity is designed for walking children only.

What to do in a nursery setting

You will need the staff to help you form the children into a circle for sidestepping.


Possible musical choices on ITunes

  • Henry the Hermit Crab – Ed Jordon and Alan Glass, Beautiful Creatures of the Sea
  • The Crab – C.R.S Players
  • Henry the Crab – KidZone