3 Quick Christmas Primary Dance activities to promote peace

In schools, Christmas time is always full of fun, bright coloured decorations, upbeat Christmas tunes, and maybe too many sweets! Using Christmas dance activities to create a peaceful and inclusive festive season is a quick way to calm down some of the heightened emotions in children.


In your Primary/Elementary school classroom, as you wind down for the Christmas break, it is good to take a moment and consider peace building in your classroom.  The movement component from these dance activities can be joined together to make an informal Christmas dance or just used separately as brain breaks or calming activities.


Fun Christmas dance ideas


Activity # 1 Flying doves of peace


In this activity the children explore traveling in the space and moving in proximity to others.  They experience being far apart and close together.


They imagine being peace doves flying through blue skies. Begin these movements in slow motion, using curved shapes and pathways and sustained locomotor movements at high, middle and low levels.


Take moments to stop and then begin again. Stimulus words could include floating, soaring, swooping, settling, alighting.


Focus the teacher dialogue on different floor and air patterns and changing proximity to other dancers, with moments of settling, and moments of coming together.


When the children come together to settle, have them try a mirroring activity where they copy one another’s nonlocomotory, slow motion, wing movements.


Repeat these cycles of movement, settling and mirroring several times.


Activity # 2 Circle of peace

This activity explores circular movements that culminate in the children form a circle all together. It helps children to negotiate their use of space but also experiments with how they connect body parts with another person.


If you think your class has too many children for this to be successful, try having them form small groups for the circle instead.


Start by warming up each part of their body by making slow circular movements.  Try their wrists first circling one way and then the next.  Then move onto other body parts like their ankles, hips, and shoulders.

Christmas dance activities


Describe slow circular travelling (locomotor) movements, moving with them to demonstrate.  Encourage them to use circular floor patterns on the floor but also circular movements through the air, making curved shapes with their body.


Some stimulus circular travelling words could include:














Gradually join in a circle, linking together.  They can experiment with different ways of connecting together, in ways that are comfortable and not confronting to them.


You could start this exploration of linking shapes with a dance discussion that talks about gentle touch.  Stress the importance of being comfortable with the part of the body that is making contact.


When the circle is joined together, start with small side to side rocking movements and build to deeper swaying using more of the body.  You can do these movements before you connect the circle if the class is able to synchronize the direction of the movement.


Explore different rhythms and timing, finding the one that is the most peaceful and easy for them to synchronize.



Activity # 3: Starry snowy night


You may like to start this activity with a guided meditation.  There are some suggestions for scripts as a part of the teaching resources for Early Years that are part of the DTI Premium MembershipFind out how you can become a Premium Member and enjoy dance resources readymade.


During this meditation it is important that the children have an object or a sound to focus on.  For the theme of this activity, you may want them to imagine a full moon or a single bright star.  Choose one that makes you feel at ease as you create the meditation.


It is important that the children feel relaxed and safe.  They could imagine being protected by a guardian angel or other protective carer or even a gold cloak that surrounds them with security.

Fun Christmas dance activity ideas


After the meditation explore moving from high levels to low levels as if they are slow falling snow.  Describe movements of them slowly spiraling to earth and alighting gently on the ground.


Give them some time to make shapes in small groups of three or four to form snowflakes.  Encourage them to use different angles and formations.


Then try moving the group shapes from a high level to a low level, slowly finishing lying on the ground looking to the sky.


Complete this activity with another meditation where they imagine the snow gently falling on different parts of their body.  Remember to bring their imaginings back into the room at the end of the lesson!  You could end up with them being too relaxed for the rest of the day.


Music suggestions

With calming activities, it is important to accompany it with equally calming music.  To encourage the children’s imaginations to flow I would suggest instrumental music is most effective.  You really want to avoid acting movements out to the music if you are trying to get them to relax and explore their own movement.


Here are some suggestions:


(1) Beautiful Falling Heavy Snow & The Best Relaxing Meditation Music – YouTube



YouTube Music  Snow Falling


(1) Sleep Music with Snow Falling Peacefully at Night – YouTube


A peaceful Christmas


I hope these dance activities inspire peaceful and calm classrooms this Christmas.  Here are some further Christmas Dance activities for a more upbeat Christmas classroom.

Christmas Dance Activities


Thank you to all our DTI members and the many inspiring teachers who have used dance in their classrooms this Year.  I look forward to helping you with more dance information, lesson ideas, and dance resources in the New Year.
Have a wonderful holiday season… and teachers don’t forget to have a well earned rest to recharge your batteries ready for the New Year.
With much appreciation,
Kym Stevens
Founding Editor, Dance Teaching Ideas

Fun dance activities for Christmas