I found these great ideas in a book I recently discovered at our college library - by Rhoda Rabin - "At the Beginning, Teaching Piano to the Very Young Child." I love how she incorporates nursery rhymes which are already familiar to many children, but adds actions that help them develop their rhythmic and fine motor skills. Here are just a few:
See Saw Margery Daw - "See saw Margery Daw, Jack shall have a new master; he shall have but a penny a day, because he can't work any faster." Move arms outstretched up to head and down to side (like a See-Saw - alternating on strong beats)
Baa Baa Black Sheep - "Baa Baa Black Sheep, have you any wool? Yes sir, Yes sir 3 bags full..." Hold arms out in front of you with palms up. Cross thumbs over palms on beat 1, Move thumbs back to straight on beat 2. This could also be a great prep for older students learning 1 octave scales to help them properly sweep their thumbs under then palms when crossing finger 1 under finger 3.
Jack & Jill - "Jack & Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after."
Hold arms outstretched in front of you. Slowly alternate raising arms as Jack and Jill go up the hill. Drop one arm when "Jack fell down," drop the other arm when "Jill came tumbling after."
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