Strengthening & Stretching Storylines | Part 3

Objective: Incorporate additional storylines and pretend play into the basic Leap 'N Learn warm-up strengthening and stretching exercises. 
Age: 3 through 6 with variations in complexity
Music: Tracks #2 and 3 on KIDS! or KIDS! 2

Exercise 3 — Becoming a Butterfly

  1. Snuggle and Stretch
    • Let’s pretend to be a long caterpillar. Roll flat onto our backs with arms stretched overhead and legs stretched out.
    • Let’s use our caterpillar legs to crawl up; start from our fingers and gently roll up to sitting. 
    • Let's form a cocoon so we can turn into a butterfly. Squeeze tightly and tuck into a tiny shape. Our cocoon must be very still and wait…
    • Our cocoon is ready. Slowly open up to see our transformation into a magnificent butterfly. Stretch arms out wide to admire our new wings.
    • Let's flap our wings. Can each of you tell me the colors of your wings? Gently raise arms up and down as each child tells their color. 
      • Variation: When opening from cocoon shape, legs may stretch out to straddle instead of in front. Arms would extend with hands on top of knees. Open and close legs with hands on knees to flap wings instead of raising arms up and down. 
    • With legs either in straddle or stretch out together in front, let’s fly to one side twisting body that direction and flapping our wings (arms). Now let’s fly to the other side and flap our wings.
    • Leaning back and bringing legs to tabletop and arms to demi-seconde, let’s show off our beautiful butterfly legs. Let’s stretch one butterfly leg out and then the other. Sort of like riding a bicycle.
    • Let's fly up into the sky and make rainbows. Let's sit up very tall and use our legs and arms as our wings to fly up into the sky. With hands on knees, open legs to fly high. And close, keeping hands on knees. Open; fly high and close. Repeat one more time and with legs opened in straddle, reach arms from one foot to the other creating rainbows. Continue reaching arms back and forth creating rainbows. 
  2. Foot and Ankle Stretches — Flex and Point
    Note: This is not featured in the video. Please see the first video in this series for similar example. 
    • Sitting tall with legs stretched out front, pretend we have a huge flower in the middle of our circle. Let's land on the tip of toes onto the beautiful flower (1, 2) and reach with our heels (3, 4). Continue flexing and pointing four times.
    • Sitting tall with legs stretched out front, let's make our arms into the same shapes as the flower petals. Bring arms to various arm positions, allowing children to create their own shapes, as well as to practice basic ballet arm positions. 
    • Repeat flex and point. 
    • Repeat flower petal port de bras.