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Watercolor Snowflake Craft

Watercolor Snowflake Coffee Filter Craft for Ages 3-8!

Looking for a simple snowflake craft to try with your early childhood students? Or, maybe your studio is hosting mini-camps over the holiday season? Try our watercolor snowflake craft! Great for ages 3-8.

What you’ll need:

This simple craft doesn’t require many materials. All you’ll need are small white coffee filters, washable markers, a spray bottle with water and child-safe scissors. Optional: hair dryer, something to put under the coffee filters when spraying with water and coffee (for yourself if you need a boost).

Make your snowflake!

  1. First, using the markers, decorate your coffee filter with multiple colors. Remind your students that the colors will all blend together, so it doesn’t have to be perfect! Also, any designs they make with shapes, animals, figures, etc. will blend together when they’re wet.
  2. Next, use your spray bottle with water and saturate the coffee filter with water. Allow the colors to blend together, creating the watercolor effect. This part might get messy! Have some paper towels ready to catch any drips and gloves if you want to save your hands from stains.
  3. Allow the coffee filter to dry. It takes about 15 minutes to let it air dry. Otherwise, use a hairdryer for a faster drying time. Just watch out for water splatters from the dryer blowing water off the filter.
  4. Once the coffee filter is dry, fold it into a small triangle. Then, use your scissors to cut small shapes along the folded edges of your triangle. (Cutting is a great fine motor activity!) If your dancers are still developing their scissors skills, it may be too difficult for them to hold the folded coffee filter and cut. To prevent feelings of frustration, help your dancer by securely holding the coffee filter while they do the cutting. Additionally, help your students if they’re not using child-safe scissors.
  5. Finally, open your filter and ta-da! You have a watercolor snowflake!

It’s that simple! This is a great craft to use at your winter camps and to share with your families for some at-home fun.

Looking for more craft fun?

For our friends in the southern hemisphere, or anyone looking for another fun craft idea to use in the studio, check out our Salty Watercolor Line Art Activity. This is a fun and educational craft to use any time of the year!

Learn more about what makes Intellidance® unique

The foundation of the Intellidance® Method is the combination of dance and music concepts, identifying specific vocabulary in dance and music, and developing the understanding of both through the connection between concepts. These connected concepts provide opportunities for children to explore, discover, practice, and create using multiple senses and intelligences. This is what makes the Intellidance® Method so unique.

Interested in learning more? Check out our website to continue reading about Intellidance® Method.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more FUN on purpose!

Triple Playlist Share: Holidays Galore!

Today we’re sharing THREE of our “Favorites” Spotify Playlists! It doesn’t matter whether it’s winter or summer where you live, whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, or even just love this time of year – we have a playlist for you!

Winter Holiday Favorites

This playlist features a variety of songs celebrating the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa holidays that are celebrated this month, plus some winter classics! It includes a mix of instrumental, jazz, pop, classical, dance, folk and children’s musical styles, providing you with a wide variety of ideas and inspiration to bring to your classes this season. Enjoy!

Winter Christmas Favorites

Celebrate Christmas with our wintery Christmas favorites, created by Intellidance® Advisory Board Member and Certified Instructor Liahona Walus. This new playlist is perfect for our friends living in the northern hemisphere! Included are family-friendly classics with a mix of instrumental, classical, folk, relaxation and children’s musical styles songs, providing you with inspiration for the entire holiday season.

Summer Christmas Favorites

This one is for our southern hemisphere friends! Celebrate Christmas in the summertime with this new Summer Christmas Favorites Playlist, created by Intellidance® Advisory Board Member and Certified Instructor Liahona Walus. Enjoy a mix of summery classics and children’s musical styles songs in your classes this month!

Looking for more Spotify Playlists?

Intellidance® Freeze Dance Favorites

Intellidance® Instrument Play-Along Songs

Intellidance® Cuddle and Relax

Learn more about what makes Intellidance® unique

The foundation of the Intellidance® Method is the combination of dance and music concepts, identifying specific vocabulary in dance and music, and developing the understanding of both through the connection between concepts. These connected concepts provide opportunities for children to explore, discover, practice, and create using multiple senses and intelligences. This is what makes the Intellidance® Method so unique!

Interested in learning more? Check out our website to continue reading about Intellidance® Method.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more FUN on purpose!

Pool Noodle Desk BrainDance™ Activity Page

If your students enjoyed last week’s “Pool Noodle Desk BrainDance™” movement break, they’re going to LOVE this fun maze! Help the pool noodle find its friends so they can do the Pool Noodle Desk BrainDance™! Just click the image to download. If you want to watch last week’s activity demo video, you can find it here!

Learn more about BrainDance™ and why you need to utilize it in your classes in our previous post.

We love maze activities, and here’s why:

Maze activities are a huge hit for kids! In addition to being a great challenge to complete, they also have added benefits:

• Develops visual motor skills
• Improves fine motor skills
• Enhances problem-solving abilities
• Increases concentration abilities


5 Positive Strategies for Physically Distanced Early Childhood Dance and Music Classes

“What changes do I need to make to my early childhood dance and music classes as I move into physically distanced classes?”

So glad you asked!

While your first step should be to look into your locally mandated government policies and protocols, these are my top 5 Positive Reopening Strategies for Early Childhood Dance and Music programs!

Strategy #1: Create a Social Script!

A social “script” is a way of describing the knowledge a person must have in order to understand the social expectations in specific situations and the appropriate behavioural responses.

Social scripts are very supportive of young children when they move into new situations, as they reduce anxieties due to the child being able to anticipate the demands they will face and understand the desired response.

To help reduce stress as you move into restarting your classes, create a social script story or video for your students! 

Your social script should go over the routines and expectations in the dance/music studio while physically distancing. Create it using a story structure in the first person to engage the children.

E.g. “When I get to dance class, I know the first thing I need to do is use the hand sanitizer to clean my hands.”

Provide caregivers with your social script in advance and provide them with instructions on how they can use the social script and role play to support their child in learning and understanding the new guidelines and routines for class.

E.g. After reading/watching your studio social script, caregivers can have their child act out the social script using a favourite doll or toy.

This type of guided play allows children to practice new routines in a safe space at home to supports positive associations with new social skillsbefore arriving to your studio.

This practice will increase confidence and reduce anxiety about returning to class for both children and caregivers!

Strategy #2: Caregivers in the Classroom

The truth is, developmentally, most young children are not ready to follow the required new additional Covid protocols successfully without the 1-on-1 assistance of a caregiver. 

Young children naturally test boundaries and make mistakes in the classroom. This is to be expected and is developmentally normal in early childhood!

As teachers, our job is to TEACH children these important social skills/classroom skills during the preschool years. However, Covid adds significant health risks to our classrooms.

I generally recommend early childhood teachers to use the, “Age Minus 2 Rule” for the number of instructions children can independently follow/remember. This means the majority of 2 year olds developmentally need 1-on-1 assistance to participate in activities successfully.

Teachers also have to expect that many children will have regressed a bit developmentally based on the impacts of lock down. Children may display behaviours we don’t normally see in class or certain behaviours will occur at an increased rate/heightened state.

It is unfair to the children and the teacher to only have one adult in the classroom supporting all the children’s needs.

This is why I recommend having caregivers stay and participate in classes with their children ages 2-5, particularly the first few weeks back to programming.

You may find in a few classes your 4 and 5 year olds are ready to be in class independently again once the new routines have been established and the children feel “safe”. We MUST honour children’s emotional needs first and foremost during this time. 

Another bonus of having the caregivers in the classroom with you is they learn the new expectations and routines with their child, which allows them to become your partner in teaching their child the new routines/expectations and reviewing them at home.

Having caregivers in class also protects you from having to discipline/correct a child who does not follow the expectations.

Children often naturally push boundaries when they don’t feel safe, so we must expect these behaviours in our classroom during Covid. Children also tend to feel safer when their primary caregiver implements boundaries.Again, this supports you in remaining a positive role model in their life and being a teaching team with your caregivers.

Strategy #3: Protocols & Policies

Be sure you have considered what you will do when a child breaks a protocol (it’s going to happen) and communicate this clearly to caregivers

All of us are going back into reopening with a heightened level of anxiety.

Fight or flight responses with be increased for ALL teachers, caregivers, and children.

While you will need to address any violations of protocols swiftly and consistently (like you would any behaviour issue in a preschool class) be sure YOU have scripted and practiced your own responses so you can remain calm and positive in the moment.
By practicing this yourself, you will ensure you ACT positively and kindly and do not REACT and potentially come down too hard on a child. 
Also be sure you have clear policies on what will happen when a child break protocol. I would advise communicating this to caregivers not as an “if” but a “when” (it is going to happen, everyone needs to accept that). Ensure caregivers understand this is normal for this age group. 
It is imperative to avoid punishing a child, as this will only traumatize the child and they may begin to fear your class. Consistent actions need to be taken each time, but delivered in a gentle way, that acknowledges young children take time to learn new social skills. 
Once you have your new policies in place, I would advise having caregivers sign off that they agree to these policies and understand if their child simply is not able/ready to follow new protocols they will need to either move into a parented class or wait a while longer for their child to return to your program. Again, we want to avoid negative re-entry experiences for children as much as possible. 

This is also why I also recommend having some pre-recorded classes or continue to offer a small number of zoom classes for children who are just not going to be successful at physical distancing in the classroom.

Strategy #4: Repeat, Repeat, Repeat!

As you move back into physically distanced preschool classes repetition is going to be your BEST FRIEND! 
Repetition is always needed in early childhood classes to support learning and success, but right now in particular you are going to want to ensure you have astrong, clear, consistent routine each class that children can easily follow.

I recommend creating a visual schedule for little ones to have in the classroom and to send a copy home.

Visual Schedules are a great reminder to your students of where you are going and what to expect/is expected.

Check back later this month for a NEW Early Childhood Dance Resource Package I am launching in partnership with Dance Ed Tips that will include a variety of early childhood teaching resources, including a visual schedule!

Try to keep your lesson plans consistent for 3-4 weeks at a time, with small amounts of novelty added each week to keep the little ones engaged. It’s okay if you repeat Freeze Dance each class! Just try to add a new variation to continue to the fun and learning.

If you are looking for some new freeze dance variations, check out the Intellidance® Freeze Dance Favorites Playlist over on Spotify!

Be sure you are directly teaching to your new class routines at the beginning of the session.

“All right friends, we have completed our warm up. I saw all of you really focusing on staying in your own dance space. Great work! I know that is takes a lot of effort. Who can tell me, what do we do next in dance class? Look at our picture schedule to give you a clue…” 

A lot of specific praise needs to be given that lets the children know HOW they are doing a great job following new routines. Acknowledge the effort this requires!

“Wow! I saw all my dancers walk directly to their own dance bubble quickly and quietly without touching anything! That takes a lot of focus. Great job dancers!”

Finally, use strategic questioning to help children become active participants in learning your new classroom routines.

“Dancers, now that we have finished dancing with our scarves, where do we need to put them?” (Answer: Back in my own prop bin!)

Strategy #5: Focus on FUN!

As you move back into physically distanced classes with young children keep it FUN and keep the learning PLAY based! 
The wonderful thing about children is they tend to be completely content to follow along and meet our expectations when we can allow them to respond at their preferred modality of expression…PLAY! 

Think of playful games and imagery you can use to keep your little ones in their physically distanced spaces in the classroom.

Maybe you can create a series of Island themed lesson plans with each child dancing, singing, and playing on their own special island! Maybe next you are all astronauts, each with their own special dancing planet!

Physically distanced boxes only become burdensome when we narrow our minds and imaginations to be as small as a 6-foot box. Challenge yourself to look at your curriculum creatively and playfully when creating physically distanced adaptations of favourite activities!

Play will also be key to helping your little ones deal with their grief related to the changes they have experienced the last few months, but don’t really understand.

Play is not only the way children learn, but it is also how they heal.

In fact, I believe that play and JOY will be key to our own healing process and the resilience as early childhood educators as we adapt and evolve our practices to a new normal.

Make time to laugh. Make time to play. Focus on FUN!


Skip to My Lou Action Song BrainDance for Young Children

Today I am excited to share with you my newest song based BrainDance: Skip to My Lou!

I wanted to create a slightly more vigorous BrainDance that supported my preschool dancers in practicing their skips (or other locomotor movements). I’ve always loved to use the song Skip to My Lou to work on skipping with my dancers, so I decide to build an ABAB BrainDance that alternates between sections of skipping and the BrainDance patterns.

Here is my teacing tip after having tried to film this one a few times with my daughter: Encourage your kiddos to sing the “chorus” (A section) and sing the BrainDance patterns (B section) yourself.

Phew! Singing and skipping requires A LOT of breath support and I was struggling to get to the end leading the entire song on my own (luckily my daughter has a beautiful voice and could jump right in).

Chances are if you have little ones in your class who love to sing, you won’t have to ask them twice to sing along! Jessica Baudin-Griffin, Intellidance® Founder

Swimming In My Swimming Pool: A Summer Action Song for Young Children

Happy Musical Monday! ????

Today I am sharing with you a fun seasonal song to bring to your classes this spring and summer that will help your students work on audiation!

Not sure what audiation is? Don’t worry, I explain it in the video!

How can an audiation song help you as a dance teacher?

Audiation requires active focus for young dancers, but they are naturally engaged in the audiation process. This song can be a great recuperative/transition activity to help your little ones focus and follow directions- all while supporting their musical development! Win-win!

~Jessica Baudin-Griffin, Intellidance® Founder

The Holistic Benefits of Dance for Children

Dance is not an extra, dance is a critical component of every child’s overall education and experience as a human being! It supports the WHOLE child ????????????????⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Cognitive Outcomes:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
????Increased knowledge and understanding of the body⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
????Increased vocabulary and subsequent language development⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
????Development of problem solving skills⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
????Improved listening skills and ability to follow directions.

????Increased observation skills and improved application and evaluation skills⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Affective Outcomes:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
????Increased ability to express feelings through movement⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
????Ability to express feelings verbally about self, others, and dance⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
????Increased self-esteem and body image⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
????Development of socialization, trust, and cooperative skills by working with others⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
????Appreciation of peers and other cultures⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Physical Outcomes:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
????Increased general health and wellness through physical activity⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
????Development of greater dance skills and movement vocabulary⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
????Increased body awareness, control, balance, flexibility, coordination, strength, endurance, and agility⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
????Reduction of stress and/or anxiety⠀⠀

Baby Shark: Speed and Tempo Rhythm Stick Activity for Young Children

????Baby Shark Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo????

I know, I know, some of you are probably sooooo over Baby Shark… the same way we needed to Let It Go ALREADY a few years ago!

But if you can grin and bare it, these “ear worm” songs can be very beneficial for young children.

Using familiar songs to work on new skills is very supportive of young children’s learning and success. Through repeated listening, children create strong neural connections to the song, allowing them to predict and anticipate what comes next in the music.

Repeated listening also impacts the reward centre of the brain, releasing dopamine, leaving children feeling GOOD! This combination of predictive recall and happy emotional state is optimal for practicing a new skill!

If you don’t have rhythm sticks at home, you can use:

  • chopsticks
  • pencils
  • paper towel rolls
  • wooden dowels/spoons
  • sticks from your backyard

Keeping the beat activities also support your young child’s language development and motor skills development! ~ Jessica Baudin-Griffin, Intellidance® Founder

Intellidance® Spotify Playlist: Animal Movement Songs for Young Children

Young children are endlessly fascinated by the natural world! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In preschool, many children will independently engage in imaginative play based on animals. My own daughters spent hours and hours fully immersed in their “kitty cat club house” game. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
As I always try to meet my students where they are at, animal based dance and music activities are a big part of my preschool curriculum. Animal focused movement is a wonderful way nurture creative expression in young children. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
With that in mind, I’ve put together a brand new Intellidance® Spotify Playlist: Animal Movement Songs!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This playlist features 30 of my favourite animal themed songs for young children to stomp, slither, fly, and have a roaring good time!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
You can take a listen at: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6qp2kZQLgpfTF2ThOSex8W…
I hope you enjoy!

~Jessica Baudin-Griffin, Intellidance® Founder

Teacher Tips: Movements to Include in Early Childhood Dance Classes

One question I often get asked as an early childhood dance educator is “What dance steps should I be including in my preschool dance classes?”⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I often think early childhood dance teachers feel pressured to jump right into ballet, jazz, or tap technique with little ones. Parents are paying for a DANCE class after all. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
BUT… you can’t learn to spell without first knowing the letters of the alphabet. The same principal applies to dance!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Young children are still developing their foundational physical literacy. As teachers we need to ensure that children can successfully master basic locomotor and non-locomotor movements, before we try teaching them more advanced skills. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
There are so many possibilities for exploring these 11 movements when we teach conceptually!

A basic walk, for example, can be explored many different ways using different concepts:⠀⠀⠀⠀

  • Walking through the Space/ in Place (Space)
  • Walking Fast/Slow/ to the Beat (Speed)⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Walking Forwards/Backwards/Sideways (Directions)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Walking Smoothly/ Sharply (Energy)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Walking with Big steps/ with Small steps (Size)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Walking Low/ Middle/ High (Level)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Walking Beside/ In-Front/ Beside a partner (Relationships)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Once young children have a strong foundation in these basic movements it is much easier to present genre specific dance techniques and terminology. A bend becomes a plie, a jump becomes a saute, a stretch becomes a tendu, etc, etc. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
When we teach children in a developmentally appropriate manner we ensure their dance education is MEANINGFUL and ACHIEVABLE!

~Jessica Baudin-Griffin, Intellidance® Founder