In order to do a circle dance successfully:
Practice. Stand in a circle with your class. Ask the children to put their arms out. Make sure they are close enough to each other that they are not pulling to reach each other's hands. Have them hold hands for three seconds and then let go. Then challenge them to do it for five seconds. Then for ten. Let them know that the only way they can learn the dance is if they do not pull. I have done circle dances with three, four and five year olds very successfully. It is about setting expectations and practicing. After your class can hold hands without pulling have them walk, march and/or tip toe in a circle. When they have that down you are ready to do a circle dance!
Apples and Bananas
- Have your class stand in a circle. Tap every other child on the head and say apple. These are the "apples" in the dance. The children you did not tap are the "bananas."
- Have the class walk, march or chasse in a circle for 8 counts. Have them march in place with their hands on their hips for 8 counts. (Then the "bananas" jump down and sit criss cross on the floor on count 8.)
- The "bananas" clap to the beat while the "apples" skip into the circle for 4 counts. Then the "apples" jump in place 4 times. On the 4th jump they turn to face the "bananas."
- The "apples" skip back 4 times. They jump 4 times again. On the 4th jump they sit down and the "bananas" jump up.
- Now it is the "bananas" turn.
- When the "bananas" skip back to the apples they don't jump down but turn to face the inside of the circle and the "apples" jump up. Everyone holds hands.
- The dance starts again. When it is time to go in and out of the circle the "bananas" start.
Make up your own circle dances! And if you have a fun one I would love to hear about it!
Have fun dancing in a circle with the little ones in your life!!