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Stop & Go by Ella Jenkins

Movement Exploration Ideas for Early Childhood

Need some ideas for movement exploration while practicing self-regulation and active listening in kindergarten music? You’ve stopped at the right place!

Ella Jenkins, known as “The First Lady of Children’s Music,” is a pioneer in the field of children’s music and has inspired generations of children’s musicians and music educators with her original compositions and folk music recordings. Her song, “Stop & Go” has been a favorite of my students for many years. This magical gem allows students to explore non-locomotor movements (clap, twist, bend, reach) and locomotor movements (walk, tip-toe, hop, skate) with a surprise “stop” ending. You can also revisit the song when playing instruments and insert a different word for each action (play, shake, tap, scrape).


Self-Regulation Skills

Games like “Stop & Go” help students learn how to self-regulate while keeping it fun and playful. Self-regulation skills help children control impulses, emotional responses, and motor actions. Playing Freeze Dance or Follow the Leader games are also a big hit, especially when students get to choose how to move!