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

Overview and benefit

Warm-ups are used at the beginning of every MAD Academy class. As well as getting everyone ‘into’ the MAD spirit, warm-ups should:

  • Encourage children to use their whole bodies, developing their muscle control and co-ordination
  • Raise children’s heart rates slightly, warming up their muscles and sending oxygen to their brains, helping children to concentrate and learn
  • Expose children to a wide range of musical styles

Equipment required

CD with upbeat, song, e.g. Bob the Builder, Tweenies, Birdie Song, Reach for the Sky etc

Training video


This must be done after the Hello Song in every class

How it works

The warm-up takes place following the “Hello Song”. Always use lively, upbeat music and change it every half-term – this section should be fun, energetic and fast. That’s how it comes alive! Use lots of vocal noises to make it exciting.

What to do in the class

See below for suggestions that you can incorporate into your warm-up routines. These suggestions will also give you an indication of what you might expect each age group to master. It is important to monitor how well the group are picking up the moves and to adapt accordingly.

Adaptations for babies

Ensure that you use Ralph to demonstrate holds during the warm up. Brief the parents that the warm up for the babies will help practice some basic movements such as clapping and kicking, help to build awareness of the body, develop rhythm and also have some gentle stretching too. Ensure that the music is not too loud and startles the babies.

New mothers with very young babies may be nervous and need time to develop physical confidence with their baby, so give lots of reassurance, praise and teaching points and let them go at their own pace.

Babies lying on their backs:

Adult gently opens baby’s fingers on one hand then the other.

  • Adult claps with them.
  • Adult claps to the left and to the right of their ears (not too close).
  • Adult rolls baby’s arms.
  • Adult holds baby’s arms in towards their bodies them opens them wide to the side.
  • Adult gently lifts baby’s bottom off the floor – a maximum of 2 inches.
  • Adult hugs baby’s legs in, one at a time or both together – keeping baby’s back on the floor.
  • Adult lifts baby’s arms above their head and back down to their sides.
  • Adult’s open and close their hands in front of baby – like twinkle twinkle.
  • Adult tickle baby
  • Adult play peek a boo for the baby
  • Adult holds baby’s arms over their head and then tickle or bring arms back down.
Babies seated – aided or unaided:
  • If the baby can support its own head then it can be gently pulled up by the hands from a lying to a seated position. If not able to hold their own head adult support it by placing one hand behind their head and the other behind the baby’s back
  • Adult bounces baby on their feet, hold under their arm pits
  • Adult bounces baby on their feet and lifts them gently into the air. “1,2,3 and Whee”
  • With legs outstretched together, adult sits baby on their lap and allows baby to lean backwards and then back to a seated position. Support head if it is needed.
  • With legs outstretched together, adult sits baby facing away on their lap, you can do any of the following. Clap with the baby, roll the baby’s arms, lift their arms to the ceiling then down, lift alternate legs.
  • Sitting on the adult’s bent knees, the adult gently releases their legs so that baby gently falls and rises. This can be repeated with baby facing away from the adult.
  • Adult faces baby towards one side and the adult opposite waves and says “hello”.
  • Adult rocks baby side to side.
Things to AVOID with babies
  • Do not lift their bottoms too high off the floor when lying on their back
  • Do not do any vigorous movements with baby including bouncing
  • When lying a baby down on the floor or lifting a baby up – support their head at all times
  • Never force a baby to do anything. If the adult feels any restraint from the baby then stop what you are doing
  • Make sure all your movements are slow and small
  • Imagine Ralph is a real baby and don’t be over energetic with him as the adult may copy this with the child

Adaptations for Walkers – 2 Years

  • Run from one end of the room to the other. Adults hold the child’s hands (if they run separately they can trip)
  • Musical statues – ask the children to stand still on command.
  • Seated or standing: Ask the children to point to their body parts – head, shoulders, knees, toes, bottom, tummy, back, eyes, ears, mouth, nose.
  • Seated: Ask the children to show you actions – rolling arms, clapping, shrugging shoulders, point and flex feet, opening and closing hands, head side-to-side, arms up and down, rocking side to side with arms overhead or down low, bending knees and stretching them out and stamping floor.
  • Lying on their backs: Shaking their legs in the air.
  • Standing: Rolling arms, clapping, crawling, shrugging shoulders, opening and closing hands, dance/wiggle on the spot, heads side-to-side, arms up and down, stamping, jumping, hopping (aided), swaying side-to-side, slapping the floor, darting aeroplanes and coming in and out of a circle.

Adaptations for 2 – 3 Years

As above, plus:

  • Standing: Rolling arms, clapping, shrugging shoulders, opening and closing hands, dance/wiggle on the spot, heads side-to-side, arms up and down, stamping, jumping, hopping (unaided), swaying side-to-side, slapping the floor. darting aeroplanes and coming in and out of a circle.
  • Walking on all fours, giant steps, galloping, jumping with legs apart and then together, clapping with hands in-between their legs, kicking with their legs, wiggling up and down, turning, striding across the room, skipping (aided).

Adaptations for 3 – 4 Years

As above, plus:

  • Encourage movements in time with the music and make them more co-ordinated and choreographed.
  • Ensure there are lots of changes – more like a dance routine. Give them directions as to how many times they should do a particular move.

What to do in a nursery setting

If space is tight then you will need to think about making the warm up a little more static. Most movements can be done of the spot instead of moving. Try to incorporate movements that will still get the groups heart rate raised however in order to give a good energy level to the class, i.e jumping, running on the spot etc.


Music suggestions:

  • chu chu hua –
  • Zumbatomic Kids: Chihuahua Song – Visit:
  • The Penguin Dance – Alcudia Pins –
  • One direction- one way or another
  • El Pollito Pio
  • Good Time – Carly Rae Jepsen
  • Chihuahua –  Tequila.
  • Olly murs dance with me tonight
  • Aloud – Jump
  • S-club- Don’t stop moving
  • Kylie – Wow
  • Keisha – Tick Tock
  • Noisettes – Go baby go
  • The Saturdays – Just cant get enough
  • 2-4-6-8
  • Get Up and Boogie
  • Bing Bang – Lazy town
  • Balamory – Strike up the band
  • Jump Around
  • Wow – Kylie
  • It must be love – Labri Sifree
  • All Rise – Blue
  • Let’s get it started – Black Eyed Peas
  • Getting jiggy with it – Will Smith
  • Hot potato – The Wiggles
  • The Mystery – Doug Walker
  • Day-Oh – Harry Belafonte
  • The only way is up – Yazz
  • Apache – Michael Viners Incredible Bong Band
  • Walking on sunshine – Katrine and the Waves
  • Tango, brazilian, or flamenco music is fantastic for the summer months.

In a past training session, one of our franchisee showed us a lovely baby warm up which incorporated massage. She began by rubbing their heads, then shoulders, then stroking their arms, down to their fists where she uncurled their fingers. She then moved their legs up and down, first slowly then quickly. She then stretched their arms out to the sides and up to the ceiling, then across their body. Then she bounced them on her knees, alternating between the two.

Then she showed us her ‘bum curl’! She put her hands under the baby’s bottom, leaned back with the babies back on her chest and as she moved back she lifted the babies legs into the air and towards their head, curling them up, then uncurling them back down. Apparently this move is very popular with the mums and the babies! Then she finishes by lifting up the baby and giving it a little wiggle. She recommended the soundtrack to Princess and the Frog.