Gettin’ the Wiggles Out

Picuture this: It’s storytime morning and you have been working on the perfect storytime plan and have picked out the most spectacular books to match your theme. You are so excited to share this storytime with your group……but instead of being blown away by your storytime-awesomeness, the kids are antsy, and wiggly, and chatty, and loud.

(Umm, this sounds like my storytime every week!)

Even if you’ve built in a number of movement activities to your plan, the kids might need some extra time for wiggling. That’s OK. Just be prepared to be flexible. And if you have a few good “wiggling activities” in your back pocket, you’ll be ready for anything.

Gettin the Wiggles Out

QUICK WIGGLERS

My go-to wiggly activity
Sometimes I’ll notice that the kids are starting to get fidgety and I’ll stop whatever we’re doing and say, “I think we need to wiggle! Everybody stand up! Put your hands in the air, touch your toes, touch your noes, wiggle your ears, turn around in the circle, jump up, stretch your arms as high as you can, get up on your tippy toes, spin in a circle, jump up, and sit back down.” This only takes a few seconds and is often enough to get everyone through and on to the next activity.

What to do when you’re in the middle of a book
You’ve got a couple of options here. This is what I usually do:

  1. If there’s not much left to the story, I’ll try to paraphrase a bit and skip a few pages to get us to the end.
  2. If possible, I’ll try to work some movement activities right into the story. For example, if there’s a lion on a page, I’ll ask everyone to stand up and roar as loudly as they can like a lion. If there’s a frog, I’ll have the kids crouch down and hop like frogs for a minute. If it’s raining in the story, I’ll have everyone stand up and wiggle their fingers in the air like rain and bring them all the way to the ground (and repeat.) If there are stars in the sky, have the group stand up and try to reach all the way up to the stars on their tippy-toes. …you get the idea.
  3. If it’s a tried-and-true story and we’re not even half-way through, then I know that they just really need to move. I’ll stop reading and say, “Let’s take a quick break. Everybody stand up!” And then choose a wiggle activity. Then we’ll sit back down and pick up right where we left off.

Put your hands in the air
This is another quick wiggler that I wrote and it only takes a few seconds.

Put your hands in the air like trees.
Move them like they’re swaying in the breeze.

Put your hands on your thighs.
Put your hands out wide.
Now swing them from side to side.

Make your hands go ’round (roll hands)
Put your hands on the ground.
Now, everybody sit back down!

FOR WHEN THERE ARE LOTS OF WIGGLES

Sometimes the quick, few second wiggler just won’t do. For those days, you need an extended wiggle activity ready-to-go. These are some of my favorites that are always on the playlist (just in case I need one.)

Shake My Sillies Out (mp3 download)
from Raffi’s Singable Songs Collection

Gotta shake, shake, shake my sillies out
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out
And wiggle my waggles away

I gotta clap my crazies out….
I gotta jump my jiggles out…..
I gotta stretch my stretchies out…..
I gotta yawn my sleepies out…..
I gotta shake my sillies out…..

Jumping and Counting
from Jim Gill’s Irrational Anthem Album

This one is always a hit! This song teaches counting (practice counting to 10), following directions (waiting while counting), and gets kids moving (lots of jumping).

Jump, Jump, Jump, Jump, Jumping high are we.
But we’ll stop jumping, while we count to three.
1 – 2 – 3

Jump, Jump, Jump, Jump, Jumping even more.
But we’ll stop jumping, while we count to four.
1 – 2 – 3 – 4

Jump, Jump, Jump, Jump, Just like pogo sticks.
But let’s stop jumping, while we count to six.
1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6

Jump, Jump, Jump, Jump, Jumping then we wait.
We stop our jumping, while we count to eight.
1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8

Jump, Jump, Jump, Jump, Jumping once again.
But we’ll be finished, once we count to ten.
1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10
Now you can jump back into your seats!

Popcorn (mp3 download)

from the album Mr. Jon & Friends

During the verses of this song, crouch down in a ball like a kernel of popcorn. Then when the chorus starts, pop up like popcorn and jump! (Be prepared, you will be tired by the end of this one.)

Silly Dance Contest
from the album Jim Gill Sings the Sneezing Song and Other Contagious Tunes

Dance any way you want to.
Dance any way you please.
Dance any way you want to.
Stop when I say freeze.

Bounce as high as you want to.
Bounce as high as you please.
Bounce as high as you want to.
Stop when I say freeze.

Walking, Walking
from Songs for Wiggleworms

Walk, Run, Hop…and Stop your way through this quick movement song.

https://i1.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51GGGR30DQL.jpg

What are some of your favorite wiggle activities & songs? Share in the comments section!

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