Friday, November 16, 2012

Jumpin' Activities to Promote Fitness

Nanny and Musician Shows Us How to Use Her CDs With Kids
By Cindy Wilkinson, Musician and Nanny

Any child who has ever had me as a teacher or heard one of my children's CDs knows that I am a firm believer in the power of jumping! Here are some great movement activities using my two kid's CDs: Jumpin' Up to the Moon and Jumpin' On Down the Road.

Jumping and other forms of movement such as twirling, stomping, and even wiggling, can help little ones develop their large motor skills. And, as Lawrence Curry discussed in my hip hop blog, waking up different body parts is an important part of fitness. So, read on to find some fun activities to entertain your child while also providing a kid's sized cardio workout!!

Children love jumping! One of the really fun things you can do with a jumping activity is to divide it into two parts: a sleeping part and an awake part (jumping part). I use this progression for two of my songs: the Jumping on the Bed song and the Jumping Sheep. This activity is a hit with children who are as young as toddlers and is still fun for kindergarten aged kids. To do this activity, have the children start by getting in sleeping position. Then, let them know their cue for the jumping part. In the Jumping on the Bed song, the cue is "Oh, No."  In the Jumping Sheep it is "The sheep are jumping."  Both of these songs just progress back and forth from sleeping to jumping throughout the song. Children find this to be very humorous! It not only provides a physical outlet for kids, but also promotes listening skills. This activity has been a long-time favorite of my music students and your child will likely love it too!

Another fun activity is Everybody Dance. In this song, children follow the directions to different verses such as "everybody's gonna jump" or "everybody's gonna twirl."  The children will get to practice different kinds of movements other than just jumping and use all the parts of his or her body. The final verse is "everybody dance" which provides the participants a chance to use their imaginations and creativity to move about in whatever way they like.

If you are looking for a great hello song, Say Hello is tons of fun. The first part of the song sings to a particular person or group such as, "hello to my friends" or "hello to my family."  Then, when you hear the words, "jump up high and touch the sky," the members of that group can do just that. Jump up high and touch the sky! When using this as a hello activity for circle time, or just as a fun activity with a few kids, you may choose to sing each of the children's names. For example, sing "Hello to Timmy."  Then when Timmy hears the "jump up high" part, it is his turn to do that action. In my experience, kids seldom tire of this song and you could keep it as your welcome song on a regular basis.

Finally, here are a couple of less structured songs to do with your little ones. The Wiggle Worms is a fun song where your child can shake his booty as well as other parts of his body (ears, nose, tummy, toes). And, my Jumping Beans song, which was featured on the Best of Westword award winning CD WHEEEEE!! features, you guessed it... even more jumping! Once kids hear it, they will quickly figure out the actions to this hilarious song.

Here are the links to these awesome songs: For Jumping on the Bed, Jumping Beans, and Wiggle Worms go to my Jumpin' Up to the Moon CD at

For Jumping Sheep, and Everybody Dance go to my Jumpin' On Down the Road CD which is available either as a CD or downloadable singles at or

I hope you and your little one have fun with these songs! And, most importantly, keep on jumpin'!

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