I engage the little ones of my child care program with this activity. We always have oodles of fun. This is an ideal activity for ages 1 (or walkers) to preschoolers along with an adult for encouragement. I keep it simple and enjoyable.
This musical activity is also beneficial as it helps the little ones with their large motor or gross motor skills. Large motor activities are intended to help develop the abilities required in order to control the large muscles of the body for walking, running, sitting, crawling, and other activities.
Materials needed: Find pillows wide enough to sit on. You will need one pillow for each child and for you as well. Don’t forget the music in the background. I find all sorts of music in the form of CDs at our local library in the children’s section. See Iva’s article on
Musical Pillows ~ is a toddler version of "Musical Chairs" except each participant has a pillow and there is no taking away a pillow during the activity. I lay the pillows in a row right next to each other. Pretty much any type of children’s music will do for this activity. I turn on the music and encourage the little ones to follow me. This activity is led by the little ones. We walk around the pillows in a circle until someone decides to sit on a pillow. If they haven’t played this before, and you have walked around the pillows several times already, go ahead and sit yourself down on a pillow. Then point to the other pillows to encourage them to sit down, as well. The music stays on throughout this activity. At this point you wait to see if one of the little ones stands up. As soon as that happens, quickly stand up as well. You can say, “Oh, Ruthie stood up let’s follow her.” This usually gets the others to follow. There are no hard rules in this activity. Usually whoever stands up first is the leader and we follow whichever direction the leader goes until one of the other little ones decides to sit on a pillow. Then you can say, “Oh, Joey sat on a pillow. Let’s all sit on a pillow. Quick!” After a few rounds, they will get the idea. It goes faster as the little ones like to sit down just as quickly as one stands up. The game never really ends until a couple of the little ones start to lose interest or if the adult gets too exhausted. . . haha. Then it’s time for a water break. It’s a good aerobic exercise and fun with lots of giggles.
An idea for older pre-K to elementary age group:
The rules can be changed up or made more challenging by following the same rules for Musical Chairs; however, the chairs can be replaced with pillows by placing one less pillow than there are children in a circle. Babycenter.com has a link showing the classic Musical Chairs rules: http://www.babycenter.com/210_musical-chairs_23055.bc