Activity Inspiration: Dance the Bases

21 Oct

Game one of the World Series is on Wednesday night, making this week the perfect opportunity to have some baseball fun with your music therapy clients. I really enjoy bringing out my “dance the bases” baseball activity because it’s a great way to get clients moving and cheering for each other, in addition to working on goals ranging from following directions and turn taking to improving visual attention and socialization.


  • 4 bases (I used colorful place circles)
  • Images for each base
  • Visual Aid
  • Printed images of flags and foam fingers
  • Rhythm sticks
  • Recorded music: think jock jams and classic stadium songs!
    •  “Rock and Roll Pt. 2” (Gary Glitter)
    • “I Like to Move It” (Madagascar)
    • “Get Ready for This” (2 Unlimited)

To help spread some team spirit, I print out some flags containing sports phrases such as “Go team!” and “Charge!”, as well as some foam fingers. I tape them onto rhythm sticks and hand them out to clients before starting the activity. While clients wait for their turn, I encourage them to root for their peers by waving their flags and foam fingers.P1020495

In this activity, clients take turns executing a different dance move on each base with the help of a visual aid that I like to call our “Baseball Dance Map.” My map features three different dance moves: arms up (i.e. Raise the roof!), the twist, and jump. When clients make their way back to home plate, they get to wow us with their own freestyle dance moves. I project my dance map on the SMART board during the activity so that clients can easily reference the icons for each base if needed. I also place each dance move icon on its corresponding base.


P1020499Set up your baseball diamond, pump up the jams, and you’re ready to dance the bases, music therapy-style!

Additional adaptations may include:

  • Expanded Goal Areas:
    • Self-Expression: have each client make up their own dance move on each base
    • Social Skills: Ask clients about favorite teams and experiences at baseball games. What did they see, eat, smell, touch and hear at the baseball stadium?
  • Baseball Warm-ups or Cool-Downs
    • Instead of dancing, lead clients in gentle stretching and breathing exercises
  • Make it into a game:
    • Put out enough bases for all but one client.
    • Each client stands on a base.
    • One client will stand in the center on the “pitcher’s mound”
    • Play music and have clients dance on their bases
    • When the MT says “Switch!”, each client has to go step on a different base
    • The client left in the middle is out and has to answer a social question!

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