Also called “freeze dance,” the musical statues game is a fun party activity that you have probably played at some point in time.
Beyond pure enjoyment and giggles, this game offers numerous benefits for children. Play it often, both at home and at school, to reap its many rewards!
Musical Statues Benefits
Other than having fun with friends or siblings, the musical statues game has various positive effects. The following benefits vary, depending upon the developmental stages of your children.
Playing musical statues is a great way to develop your child’s concentration and focus.
While playing the game, a child must pay attention to the music and movement of those around them while dancing.
If they get too caught up in the fun of dancing and ignore the signals, they could continue moving after the music stops.
2. Listening Skills
Little ears must listen closely while the children are dancing. As soon as the music stops, their feet should follow suit.
It is important to develop listening skills in early childhood, and games like this are a fun way to achieve this.
3. Gross Motor Skills
As they dance, kids exercise the large muscles in their legs, arms, and entire torso.
4. Extra Energy Use
The movement in playing musical statues helps kids expend some of their pent-up energy. This can make it easier for children to later settle down, listen, and deal with a quieter learning activity.
5. Position in Space Related to Others
Beyond the fact that not bumping into others is one of the rules, children want to avoid injury caused by knocking into someone else while dancing.
They gain a realistic feel for how much distance is necessary to ensure safety.
In general, kids do not like to lose or be called “out.” This game presents practice in dealing with losing gracefully.
Introverted children often have trouble handling the idea that others are “looking at them,” so this offers experience managing those feelings, as well.
7. Musical Appreciation
Expand children’s exposure to various types of music with musical statues. Try different types of music they might not have as much exposure to, such as classical or jazz.
Free dancing offers children the opportunity to express their emotions.
Feeling sombre? Maybe ballet fits the bill. Having a wild day? Maybe they could try “the twist!”
Musical Statues Game Rules
So, how do you play musical statues?
These are the rules to the basic game:
- Start dancing when the music begins, without bumping into others
- Stop moving and “freeze” in position as soon as the music ends
- Anyone who keeps dancing or moves is called “out”
- Don’t feel upset if you are “out”; you will have another turn later
- Begin dancing again when the music resumes
- Continue this cycle until one player left dancing at the end is the winner
- Not being the winner is okay; the important thing is to have fun!
NOTE: For very young children, you can skip the part about being “out” until they are ready to tackle the “self-regulation” aspect of the game.
Musical Statues with a Twist Game Variations
Other similar games have many of the same features and benefits. You can also try some of these fun musical statues variations:
Musical Chairs Game
Set up chairs in two rows, back-to-back. Kids circle around them, walking to the music. When it stops, they quickly find a chair to sit.
With the youngest children, have a chair for each. For older kids, offer one less chair than people so one is “out” each time.
Kids dance when the music starts. When the leader stops the music the children stop and say, “Melllllllllllllt,” as they melt down into a “puddle” onto the floor or ground.
Musical Bumps Game
Begin like the basic musical statues game. Instead of just stopping when the music ends, however, players sit on the floor or ground. The last one down is considered “out.”
Name the Actions / Animal Actions
Instead of dancing, players are directed by the leader to perform certain actions, such as hopping, crawling, crab walking, flying like birds, or galloping like horses.
They stop all movement when the music ends.
By the Numbers
This variation works best in a larger group of older children.
Children dance as the music plays. When it stops, the leader calls out a number. Players quickly join groups with that number of players, in total.
Dancing children stop moving, sit down, and close their eyes when the music ends.
The leader places a large cardboard box over one child, challenging the other to then open their eyes and guess who is missing!
Musical Statues Songs
Use any type of tunes the kids like or new kinds of music you want them to experience. Play favourite CDs or streaming options available through your devices of choice.
Always check song lyrics for acceptability. Here are a few musical suggestions that can be found on YouTube:
Kids’ Start/Stop Songs
· Rock and Roll Freeze Dance – Hap Palmer
· Frozen Kidsicle Freeze – Wendy Rollin
· Stop at the Lights (Look Both Ways) – Wiggles
· S.T.O.P. Song with Actions – Patty Shukla
Pop Music with a Beat
· Best Day of My Life – American Authors
· Celebrate Good Times…Come on! – Kool & the Gang
· Fireworks OR Roar – Katy Perry
· La Bamba – Ritchie Valens
Based on the ideas above, you and your children can discover other musical start-and-stop activities like the musical statues game.
One dance step leads to another, and some of the variations could be combined for added fun!
Looking for more ideas? Try these listening activities for kids.
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