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. You need to work on the side stepping activity first and then progress to sideways galloping.

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.

Equipment required

  • Music for sideways galloping (think cotton eyed Joe, so any line dancing or English square dancing or even Ceilidh music is good)

Training Video

Forwards Galloping-1 from MAD Academy on Vimeo.


One to two weeks

How it works

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

What to do in the class

Explain to the class that now they have learnt to sidestep that they will now learn how to gallop sideways. You can tell them that this is a dance step that is used quite a lot when country or line dancing.

Get the children to hold both hands with and adult facing them and first of all practice the side stepping that you demonstrated in the previous activity. Get the children and adults to practice the movement slowly with you gaining momentum until the stepping becomes more of a gallop. Explain the legs always need to be moving out ‘sideways’ and not forwards like normal walking.

Put some on music on a practice sideways galloping from one end of the space to the other. To add interest you could turn into a game of gallop ‘freeze’ stopping in the music so they all stop and restarting it again. You could also turn it into a really simple square dance and have couples gallop down the middle of a line while everyone claps.

Adaptations for babies

This activity is designed for walking children only.

What to do in a nursery setting

You can either just have all the children moving individually from one side of the room to the other or pair off if this works for your group and sideways gallop holding hands. If you have several members of staff participating, every adult have a go with each of the children individually.