Thursday, November 30, 2023

Playful Dance Chants for Moving and Grooving!

One of the reasons I started my blog more than a decade ago was to bring together picture book creators, teachers, librarians, and dance educators who all believe in the power of movement as much as I do. The recent picture book Tap and Rap, Move and Groove by author Connie Bergstein Dow and illustrator Debbie Palen is the perfect example of a book that embodies this sentiment. 

With the holiday season officially in full swing, Tap and Rap, Move and Groove would make an excellent gift for parents, librarians, or early childhood educators -- both those who regularly incorporate movement into their story times or lesson plans and those who would like to incorporate movement but may be a little hesitant. Here are some reasons I think it's great for both groups...

  • There's a lot of variety in the 14 dance chants included in the book, so you're sure to find one that fits into any theme you want to explore through movement. Animals, feelings, nature, counting -- even feet! Here's a peek at the first page of a two-page chant about all the ways you can dance with your feet... 

  • If you're in a pinch and need a last-minute creative movement prompt, look no further! Keep this book handy for any extra time you might have at the end of a dance class or school day, especially if the kids have been sitting for a long time and just need to get their wiggles out!  
  • The back matter is AMAZING if you're looking for some practical support in using the book. It includes guidelines for leading each chant, suggestions for creating boundaries to maintain control in a room full of kinetic kiddos, modifications to make the chants accessible for children with a range of needs and learning styles, and reminders of why creative movement is so beneficial to young children.
  • This peppy, brightly colored book also comes with a free digital download full of ideas for enhancing the chants with music, props, and variations to keep children engaged during many repeated readings!

If you haven't guessed, author Connie Bergstein Dow is also an experienced dance educator. Learn more about her at Moving Is Learning or from my review of her debut picture book From A to Z with Energy! But before you go, as we metaphorically wave goodbye, here is the ending of a chant from Tap and Rap, Move and Groove called "Waving Rap"... 

Wave your arms, way up high.
Reach your fingers to the sky.
Step and clap, step and clap, 
As we do our waving rap!
Jump and hop, twist and bop. 
Wave everything...and now we stop!

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