Blogger Sarah Bean Thompson

Library Dance Parties

I love my Bibliobop Library Dance Party program. It might just be my most favorite program that I do. What could be better than dancing around with kids?

I started hosting our Biblibop program two years ago and the popularity has continued to build. During the summer, I host a dance party every month, but during the rest of the year, I host one every programming period (every three months). I decided on this format because I didn’t want to wear out our patrons, but I think I could host it every month and still get an audience.

The format is simple. I open up with a book about dancing or singing, tell the kids the rules (watch out for other dancers, big people dance too, and have fun!) and then we dance! I make a playlist of songs and we dance the morning away. Some songs have more instructions to them, like Greg and Steve’s The Freeze or Can You Leap Like a Frog? Others are free dance songs like Justin Roberts Great Big Sun or Ralph’s World Liesel Echo. I also have songs for scarves, instruments, and the parachute. I take a reading break about halfway through the program and then we continue to dance. The entire program lasts anywhere from 45 min-1 hour depending on the group.

I was using a CD player and CDs from our collection until our department got an iPad and portable speaker. Now I add the music to iTunes, make my playlists on the iPad and I’m good to go.

So why host a library dance party? Well, first of all, it’s fun! It’s a great chance to have adults interact and play with their kids. It’s a great way to get the kids moving and exercising. And it’s a fabulous way to highlight your music collection. It’s also a wonderful chance to expose children to creative movement and music.

So put on your dancing shoes and give a library dance party a try!

6 comments

  1. Margo Tanenbaum

    Sarah, would you be willing to share your playlist? Thanks!

    1. Sarah

      Hi Marge-

      I have a couple of playlists compiled on my blog: http://www.greenbeanteenqueen.com/2013/10/bibliobop-dance-party.html andhttp://www.greenbeanteenqueen.com/2014/08/bibliobop-aka-library-dance-party.html

      I switch it up a lot but I tend to use a lot of Hap Palmer, Greg and Steve, The Wiggles, and Ralph’s World!

  2. Amy Seto Musser

    I love having dance parties at the library! I recently bought a bunch of hula hoops from the dollar store and they made for a super fun dance party prop. We put the hoops on the ground and danced instead them, hopped from hoop to hoop, as well as practiced hula hooping them around our hips, arms, and legs.

    1. Sarah

      I love the hula hoops idea! I’ll have to use that. I’ve used them in storytime as lily pads but the kids end up picking them up off the floor 🙂

  3. Natasha Forrester

    I held a Preschool Dance Party last month, and it was a huge hit! We had two simple crafts just outside the program space for anyone that needed a break or felt too shy to dance, but almost every single child and family came and danced at some point. I mixed bouncy music from our children’s music section like Hot Potato by The Wiggles and Clap Your Hands by They Might Be Giants with “safe” radio hits like Dynamite and Everything is Awesome. We had bubble songs, scarf songs, and a freeze dance where the kids hopped on the nearest letter on the ground (round plastic mats with a letter on them) and then they and their grown-ups thought of an action word that started with the same letter/sound. It was fantastic!!!

    1. Sarah

      I love the letter game idea-I might steal that one too! I’ve started to use some more popular radio hits too and it’s been a huge hit. I used the parachute to Let It Go and the kids loved it! It worked well because we could match the parachute to the song and make it go high when the music swelled and the kids loved singing along!

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