Forum: Creative Movement

2-3 Year Old Creative Movement!! Couple Questions : )
By misschelsea
On Sat Oct 09, 2010 04:38 PM

Hi Everyone,
I currently have two creative movement classes that are for 2-3 year olds. I have taught children this young before and also have tons of experience with 2 year olds outside of dance, so going into this first quarter I was so ready to go and very excited! The classes are both 45 minutes long.

My Monday class has 11 girls (I know, that's a lot) but they do SUCH a great job listening and following along with me. They even stay on their stars. We just finished our 3rd week on Monday and they have improved so much already in listening to me. They are even beginning to remember parts of their little routine ("Tiki Room"...SO CUTE!). The mom's leave the room and I have had no tears yet with any of them (knock on wood). They feed off of eachother's excitement and it's great.

Now on the other hand...I have my Saturday class with only 4 girls in it. LOTS of tears and their moms don't leave the room and it has turned into more of a mommy and me class. We even had a mom leave early today with her child because the little girl was just bouncing off the walls and we were doing more babysitting than teaching. Again, these are the same class, same curriculum, same routine..everything. Today I had the moms in my Saturday class leave the room with 10 minutes to go, just to see what would happen. I was hoping they would be able to focus on me more instead of hiding between their mommies legs...I am such a kid person and I feel like they are all scared to be there. Anyways, when the parents left the room I still had 3 of them in class. The parents left and 2 were bawling (tears and boogers and all lol) and 1 kept saying "Mommy" over and over. Sooo....I danced with 1 crying in my arms, 1 crying next to me (walking on her toes, copying me, but bawling...kind of cute) and 1 just following me reluctantly. Hmmmmmmmmm......I just don't get the difference between the two classes.

So I guess what I'm trying to say Saturday I'm going to start with the parents OUT of the room. I feel it's important for them to get used to knowing that there parents will come back : ) but I would love some suggestions for what your 2 year olds love.

Here's what we do now...
Circle Time
-Point/Flex Toes
-Where is your nose? ears? elbows? etc.
Jumps over stars (little rubber stars I bought for them to stand on)
Animal Actions
Pretty Princess Time -- BASIC basic ballet, plie, pt toes
Combo for like 5 minutes or as long as they let me
"Clap Your Hands" a silly song I found about clapping
Hokey Pokey
Head Shoulders Knees and Toes...

Boy this is long. I'm sorry. I'm just stuck.

THANK YOU for your ideas and help in advance!!!!!!


10 Replies to 2-3 Year Old Creative Movement!! Couple Questions : )

re: 2-3 Year Old Creative Movement!! Couple Questions : )
By tototoe
On Sat Oct 09, 2010 05:28 PM
Edited by tototoe (102505) on 2010-10-09 17:44:36
I teach a class of 2-3 year old. I use a tamborine in my class. We walk, march, gallop, ect. to the beat of the tamborine and freeze on the shake. I also like to use stories. There is a book. I think it is called dance stories for childrem that has some great stories, Also, I like Kate Kuper's materials. I think her website is called A moving Experience. Her Cd Songs for Dancing is great for little ones. You can google it. Aslo Rachel Franco has a syllabus for ages 2-5 with some great exercises fro little ones. Good luch and PM if you need any more ideas.
re: 2-3 Year Old Creative Movement!! Couple Questions : )
By DestinationDnCr
On Sat Oct 09, 2010 07:04 PM
I teach many creative movement classes and encountered this exact problem over last summer. My smaller class of 4 was a mess where my class of 15 were angles. I find that the little ones find strength in numbers and have less of a hesitation when 10 little girls go tip toeing into class with ease.

What I ended up doing was inviting the smaller class to join in with the larger class and explained my reasoning to the parents. It worked wonders! I also had one of my older girls come in to help out with the class size.

Good Luck! I feel your pain
re: 2-3 Year Old Creative Movement!! Couple Questions : )
By Arakmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Oct 09, 2010 08:17 PM
First thing, unless you want to make this an official Mommy & Me class, you've got to keep the moms out. Yes, one or two will probably cry at first, but they'll get over it. It might even take a few weeks if they've never left mom before and have never been in this sort of group situation before. Once they don't have mom to hide behind and cling to, and once they see that the world isn't going to end because mom's not there, they'll be more inclined to participate in class. Explain to the moms that even though they may hear crying, everything is ok and please stay in the lobby. If you need them, you'll come get them. I really think that this is going to solve your issues with this class, if not totally, at least mostly - that and having definite, consistent boundaries and a routine, which I'm sure you already have.
re: 2-3 Year Old Creative Movement!! Couple Questions : )
By misschelsea
On Sun Oct 10, 2010 01:24 AM
Thank you so much everyone!! All of your tips and words of wisdom make me feel a lot better, like I'm not the only one going through this. I was feeling horrible after that class today like I was failing the parents. I will definitely keep them out from now on and will check out all of those site ideas too.

Thanks again!!! : )
re: 2-3 Year Old Creative Movement!! Couple Questions : )
By ChrissyC
On Tue Nov 09, 2010 08:35 PM
Can i ask who does the "Clap Your Hands" song? I'm taking over a class of 3/4 yo and looking for ideas. Thanks in advance!
re: 2-3 Year Old Creative Movement!! Couple Questions : )
By tappingitout
On Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:02 AM
I use a lot of songs from the Tumble Tots CDs. They really enjoy "Move the Circle" where you walk in a circle in different directions and make the circle small and big. They also like a rhyme on there called Tall as a Tree. I don't quite get the appeal of this one but they all really like it.
We also play a game called around the neighborhood- We go knock on different walls, ask "who is it" I say, "It's Mrs. Tendu. Let's show her how well we can do our Tendus" Then they ask, "Did we do a good job?" I say "Oh yes, she said those were the best plies," or sometimes, "Those were so wonderful she'd like to see them again," or "she thinks we can do even better, let's do them again" Then go to the next "neighbor"
re: 2-3 Year Old Creative Movement!! Couple Questions : )
By UKTeacher
On Wed Nov 10, 2010 05:32 AM
Props are a great distraction for children. Maybe try to give them one straight away so they don't really realise their mums are missing - toy animals, pom poms, instruments - anything! Keep the class moving as much as you can so that they don't really have time to think about mum not being there.

I had one of the worst classes last Saturday, there were 3 new children, 2 of them wouldn't join in at all, one was in tears, the other one just ran all over the place plus 2 of my regulars were crying. It was awful but I kept it moving, my helpers helped and by the end of the class only 1 child was crying (and only a little bit) and the others were fine and joining in. It's SO stressful though!
re: 2-3 Year Old Creative Movement!! Couple Questions : )
By ChrissyC
On Wed Nov 10, 2010 05:36 AM
Love that neighborhood game idea! And thanks for the Tumble Tots recommendation. I ran across that recently and had planned on using a couple of their songs. Good to know which ones the kids respond to. Have to say, it wouldn't have occurred to me to use that tree one!
re: 2-3 Year Old Creative Movement!! Couple Questions : )
By Dancenut3
On Fri Nov 12, 2010 07:09 PM
I experienced the same thing this year. I have taught many creative classes but never as young as 2. I have a class of 7 2 and 1/2 yr olds. It took me a month and a half to get them to come in with no tears. Now for the most part they all come in happy and ready to dance. I agree with the parents. It is so much harder to get the kids to focus with parents in the room.

Some ideas for you...
JoJos Circus- there is a song that is called Walk Like and Elephant the kids love it!
Bean Bags- if you search Bean Bag songs on itunes there is a couple good ones.
Also, if you have mats I break out the mats and we do crayon rolls, frog jumps, and I put the tunnel on the mat and play where is (insert child's name here).
I hope this helps.
Good Luck!
re: 2-3 Year Old Creative Movement!! Couple Questions : )
By StudioSally
On Sun Nov 14, 2010 04:07 AM
Do the Monkey from the wiggles. They love this one. Our dance has them act like the different animals and I have some animal hats that we wear for it. They wear the hats for animal action too. It is usually the first thing they ask for.

Shake your sillys out by Raffi. Really cute and they love it.

Another one they like is Jump Down Turn Around by Greg and Steve and the Freeze by Greg and Steve.

I agree with the props idea. It keeps them distracted. I use theme weeks and have a prop for each week. Wands for fairies, crowns for princesses, etc. Many of the props I let them keep so when they get there, we put stickers on them o decorate them. This gives the early birds something to do while they wait for the rest if the class and helps to keep their mind off of mommy.

Good Luck!!


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