Dear music therapists, music educators, music therapy students, & caregivers of children,
Have you met my friend, “The Animal Boogie”? If you haven’t had the opportunity to use this singable book and movement song during your sessions and everyday life yet, take a moment to listen to it here. There are many variations of this song (e.g. Jungle Boogie, etc.) but this is the one that we like best at Toneworks MT.
I first found “The Animal Boogie” on iTunes while searching for movement songs. It’s sold in the audio books section so when you buy the audio book, the song comes with it. The CD with a sung version also comes with a hardback copy.
Here are a few ways I like to use “The Animal Boogie”
1) Singable book – Have kids pat along to the beat with you. I find that it’s best to keep hands busy so they can’t get distracted. In addition, kids that are kinesthetic learners or those that need more sensory input to keep focused benefit from the movement during this singable book. Each page, have the children mimic the movement in the song.
Shake your body like a bear, swing your arms like a monkey, stomp your feet like an elephant, flap your arms like a bird, leap like a leopard, put hands together and slither like a snake, sway together everybody!
I like to have children roll their hands during “boogie woogie oogie” but you could throw in some hand jive, a disco move, whatever you think will be a challenging move for the kids.
2) Movement without props – Similar ideas to the book, but while standing up. Encourage big movements and model ASL signs for the animals. You can work on gross motor goals by having children move bilaterally, balance, jump as high as they can, and swing their “trunk” as an elephant across their midline.
3) Movement with props – Try using a parachute or stretchy band during the song. Children will have to cooperate to move the prop together in the same type of fashion for this intervention to be successful. During the little instrumental interlude between each verse, it’s fun to have the children move the parachute high up, then down to the ground before going back to standing position.
Most of the time, I believe in using live music, but the recording of “The Animal Boogie” has great musical cues and driving beats so I end up using the recording a lot. If you’re lucky enough to have a co-therapist, intern, or practicum student, a live version of the song would be viable with one person playing and the other modeling actions.
We hope you’ll find the song as useful and fun as we do. Happy Animal Boogie-ing!