Early years and childcare activities

View our latest childcare activity guide below, written by our early years experts.

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Move to the music!

Dancing is such a fun and enjoyable way to get children active, and dancing to music from different cultures will open up your children's minds to music from across the globe.

Learning aims

  • Knowledge and understanding of the world
  • Being creative and expressive
  • Listening and attention
  • Moving in creative and different ways.


  • Selection of different types of music from around the world 
  • Various images, books and resources reflecting world music and culture 
  • A selection of dance props:
    • Ribbons, scarves, pieces of cloth
    • Fans
    • Bells
    • Small drums
    • Castanets
    • Wooden sticks
    • Pan lids etc.

Activity Outline

Lots of cultures have their own style of music and it is important to broaden children’s knowledge about the types of music out in the wider world, especially if you have families from different cultures in your setting.

  • Introduce the children to the different types of music. Share images and books to give them a visual clue of the culture
  • Allow children to choose a piece of music
  • Play the music and encourage children to listen to the sounds they hear and move their bodies in whatever way they feel
  • Introduce children to the different props. Demonstrate and model how the resources could be used to express themselves in movement.

Extension ideas

  • Have the children make their own instruments from natural and everyday resources and encourage them to create their own music and sounds
  • With your younger children introduce musical instruments into your treasure baskets for them to explore with their different senses.

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