Looking for simple and fun ways for your music classes to be active and engaged outdoors? Check out these easy outdoor music and movement activities for kids! Why outdoors? To enjoy the weather, quiet time during testing, or just a change of scenery for a brain break.
Earth, Wind, and FIRE
Take any upbeat song such as Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “Let’s Groove Tonight” and create easy movement.
Intro (stand and bounce to the beat)
Verse (lots of words so keep it simple-WALK to the beat)
Chorus (easier lyrics so stop and do simple choreography)
arms up, arms out, arms down, arms out (repeat)
Walking and freestyle are a snap! Just something simple for the chorus and BAM, you’ve got it.
Movement in music can be more than a stress reliever, a brain break, a way to experience another culture, or other very worthy objectives. It can also be a way to empower ALL kids through positive interaction with the teacher.
I was scrolling social media and saw this quote.
“Go and love someone exactly as they are. And then watch how quickly they transform into the greatest, truest version of themselves. When one feels seen and appreciated in their own essence, one is instantly empowered.”
It reminded me of a technique I learned as a teacher that provided deep and meaningful connections to my students.
Let them know what you notice!
I wanted kinders and first graders to move (step, skip, float) to changing music examples.
Are you looking for the classics taught with ACTIVE music-making?
This resource with lots of movement teaches students to play and sing (new Spring lyrics) the main theme to Vivaldi’s Spring Concerto with Orff barred instrument ostinati, AND a recreation of the thunderstorm using instruments.
Successful parachute songs, games, and activities teach musical and movement concepts, let students explore through creativity and improvisation, and provide a physical activity for fitness, a brain break, and a social-emotional learning (SEL) outlet.
Breaking down a classroom activity by procedures will make your lesson more effective. When activities fail, many times it’s because a classroom routine or process is missing. I spent twice as much planning time on HOW to teach than WHAT to teach.
You need to have several “tricks” to pull out of your back pocket when kids need to have a break, to expend some energy, to divert attention from something else going on in the room (a potential meltdown for ex.), to prepare them for a high-concentration activity, or when you the teacher need to have a mental break yourself.
And so, the Jumping Game was born!
Stand in a circle
Play a song with a good beat (see Spotify playlist below)
T stands on the outside of the circle and taps a child on the shoulder.
That child goes into the middle and begins to jump
Prepare kids for the jumping game by talking about how they can be creative by using feet together, feet apart, 1 and 2-foot jumping/hopping, use of arms, bending knees, turning as you jump, etc.
Everyone in the circle imitates the leader in the middle
T occasionally comments about some of the fine points of the jumper. “Ooh, did you see how they alternated bending their elbows as they jumped?”
Tap the next child in the circle after about 10 seconds, continuing to make your way around the circle.
In a class of 25, this gave the class about 4 minutes of jumping.
Pull out this versatile echo song for primary students that’s about appreciation, thanksgiving, and thankfulness in November or for other celebrations throughout the year. A simple Orff arrangement, one-chord C ukulele part, scarf activities, and movement will make this a great concert piece or SEL activity in the classroom.
Give Thanks is available as a single resource or part of this Thanksgiving Bundle!
Movement and dance are integral in a great music education experience for children by providing ways to express, explore, and learn. This page contains dances, games, activities, lesson plans, and philosopy.
The music, instruments, dance, and culture of Ireland create great learning opportunities in the music classroom. St. Patrick’s Day is a prime time for these resources but also any time you want to talk about folk instruments, dances, and music.