March of the Toy Soldiers – A Nutcracker Movement Game!

Nutcracker Movement Game

Welcome to December! This month in our music classes, it is all about the Nutcracker. Every year we choose this theme because it is a classic tale with AMAZING music! Plus kids LOVE it.

I can’t wait to share one of my favorite activities from our month of the Nutcracker below. If you end up teaching it, let me know how it goes!

March of the Toy Soldiers Movement Activity

The first movement song we always teach when sharing the Nutcracker is “March of the Toy Soldiers”. Its repetitive form makes it easy to create a purposeful movement experience and often times there are children who immediately recognize the tune!

If you don’t plan to read the Nutcracker story to your class, The March of the Toy Soldiers Movement Activity is still a festive one to add to the list.  

What you need:

What they learn:

  • Focused listening, personal space, musical form

Prep: Follow the directions on page 4 of the listening map

How to teach:

1. Have children gather on the carpet. Show the listening map and explain that there are several characters in the song they will hear below. Turn on the music and have them listen to each character’s special sound.

  • The Nutcracker who “marches”
  • The Mouse King who “tiptoes”
  • The Man with the eyepatch who makes everyone “freeze” when his music is played
  • The Sugarplum Fairy who has everyone “twirl” when her music is played.

2. Next have children stand up. Turn on the music and hold up the card with the character whose music is playing. You can have children choose to be one of the four characters, but I’ve found my kids want to play all the parts!

Have fun with that and enjoy each and every magical moment in this season of hope, faith and love!

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MusicallyMinded

A Seattle-based music education business specializing in early childhood music and movement classes founded by Jocelyn Manzanarez in September of 2003. Jocelyn held her first class in the basement of the Tahoma School District bus barn in Maple Valley, Washington with just six babies. Along with their mamas, Jocelyn cultivated the babies’ innate musical abilities and interests through play, song, movement and love. She knew her quest to touch as many young children as possible had begun. This first class will also be known as Musically Minded’s first Budding Beethovens.

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