Dance Themed Preschool Lesson Plan
Get your feet moving and your heart pumping with this free, fun, out-of-the-box preschool lesson plan featuring dance-themed children's books, dance-along videos, and take-home crafts and printables. Below, you will find. . .
- dance-themed children's picture books for preschoolers
- music and movement activities for preschool circle time
- arts and crafts ideas and printables
11 Children's Picture Books Featuring Dance Themes
Angelina Ballerina by Katherine Holabird is the first in a series of books about an adorable little mouse named Angelina who loves to dance. Her parents finally allow her to take ballet lessons so she can become a true ballet star. This story and its many sequels have a broad appeal to many ages, with finely detailed drawings by Helen Craig.
Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton is a wonderful board book that will have very young readers do-si-doing with the cows and the pigs and the chickens. Pair this one with Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig and Marc Brown. Another romp around the barnyard, with alliterative text and a musical cadence. But will the midnight dance party wake up the missus?
Dance With Me by Charles R. Smith Jr. and Noah Z. Jones is an oversized picture book featuring two lively dancing children who dance through the street on their way to a party. This book features a rhyming story with a catching refrain "Shake, shake, shake it baby, come and dance with me!"
I Hope You Dance by Mark D. Sanders and Tia Sillers and illustrated by Buddy Jackson and Karinne Caulkins, features the positive message "I hope you dance." This book names a delightful variety of dance moves, from the hokey pokey to the zydeco polka. This will be a fun and fitting addition to any dance-related storytime.
The Croaky Pokey by Ethan Long is a really fun animal adaptation of the traditional hokey-pokey song with playful frogs.
The Hokey Pokey by Larry LaPrise is a vibrantly-detailed illustrated picture book adaptation of the famous children's song. A great addition for sharing in a library or preschool story hour.
Every Bunny Dance by Ellie Sandall. This joyous book shows everybunny under the sun dancing, singing, and playing instruments. ALL the bunnies, including blue bunnies, pink bunnies, and polka dot bunnies get into the action. But when a shy red fox appears, all the bunnies run and hide. But wait! What is this? Fox is dancing too! A delightful escapade into the world of imagination, where bunnies and foxes are not predators and prey but clarinet-playing, pirouette-making performers with an appreciative audience. And special props to author Ellie Sandall, who rhymes pirouette with clarinet. Brava!
Brontorina by James Howe. Madame Lucille's Dance Academy for Girls and Boys is accepting an aspirational apatosaurus, who knows in her heart that she can be a ballerina. At first, Madame Lucille objects, but then she relents. Brontorina spends a few weeks at the dance studio with strict instructions not to squash the other dance students. After all kinds of challenges, Madame Lucille decides to attack the challenge from a new angle and looks for a new studio. Armed with a new pair of dance shoes and a lot of determination, Brontorina realizes her dream.
Elephants Can't Dance by Mo Willems is a fun book about perseverance and a can-do attitude. Gerald the Elephant is convinced he cannot dance; it even says so on page 11 of What Elephants Can't Do. But Gerald's friend Piggy is very persuasive. Gerald is just about to give up, but a few friendly mice put a new spin on things. The ending had me laughing out loud. One person's failure is another person's new dance craze!
I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield Morrison is an Amazon teacher's pick book with lots of personality. A young girl finds music in her surroundings as she walks with her mother, goes to school, and eats a delicious snack. Watch the video below produced by the Miami Children's Museum. Their imaginative reading of this story will have you reading along to the rhythms they introduce.
Dance-Themed Music and Movement Activities
No matter what your style, there's a dance party video out to sing along, clap, and dance to the rhythm of the beat. The videos below include a selection of music representing lots of different music genres. Have fun with your kids and dance along!
I Got the Rhythm Sing-Along
The first video by Miami Children's Museum is a musical adaptation of the I Got the Rhythm book.
Can't Stop the Feeling Dance-Along Video
Get the dance party started! A girl and a boy dance along to I Can't Stop the Feeling soundtrack song. Dance along and try to reproduce the moves or free dance to this upbeat pop song about dancing and feeling happy. Thanks to GoNoodle for creating this high-quality video!
Shake Your Sillies Out Dance-Along Video
Shake Your Sillies Out to the song performed by the Learning Station. This song is performed in a country and western style and includes actions: shaking, clapping, jumping, jogging, stretching, and yawning. This song ends on a calm note, so this video makes a good transition into reading a second story.
Zumba Kids I Like to Move It Kids Dance Along Video
Dance-Themed Arts and Crafts Projects
- Make a craft stick ballerina craft using a tongue depressor, cupcake liners, and googly eyes by Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls. These crafts are fairly simple but do require gluing skills.
- Another paper plate craft, this one is a freestanding ballerina that rests on a paper towel roll base. The dancer's skirt is a collage of colorful tissue paper squares. The result is a paper plate dancer with a colorful tutu skirt. See the instructions at Inthebagcrafts.com.
- Walking dinosaurs by ABCDee Learning (#1) just need some cute ballerina shoes drawn on their feet to become a take-home craft. This craft uses recycled materials like toilet paper or paper towel rolls and paper plates, and paint.
- Make easy ribbon wands and use them to dance expressively to music. This could be a take-home craft or used to enhance your music and movement sessions in preschool and library storytime.
- For the ultimate toddler sensory experience, create a wall of sound, a musical maraca, a jingle bracelet for wrists and ankles, or one of the other 14 musical instruments for toddlers found here.
Dance-Themed Preschool Printables
- Choose from a large assortment of ballerina inspired coloring pages or general dance inspired coloring pages that include a dancing bear and a dancing crocodile.
- Free preschool ballerina workbook by Slapdash Mom.
© 2023 Carolyn Augustine