Music Therapy Olympics: Figure Skating Movement Activity

10 Feb

No Winter Olympics would be complete without some figure skating…and my Music Therapy Olympics are no exception. My students are having a blast this week with this fun figure skating movement activity (with many adaptations!), which can be implemented in a number of ways to suit your setting and client needs.

Figure Skating Movement Activity with Scarves

Goal Areas: Body awareness, gross motor skills, following directions, visual attention, positive peer interactions

Visuals to Make:

  • Scarves with snowflakes. Scarves are great way to add a visual element to movement activities, especially for those clients with limited movement abilities. This can be as simple as swinging the snowflake back and forth to get some visual attention and tracking going. Encourage them to reach out and grab the snowflake when you place it in different locations (directly in front of them, to the side, up high, down low). Check out this DIY scarf visual from a previous post.


Music to Try:

  • If you’re working with younger children, I recommend using “Snowflakes” (The Learning Station) from their Seasonal Songs in Motion CD . Song lyrics include concrete directions like “slip sliding, from your left foot to your right.” This can help your clients get the hang of swaying, sliding from side to side or shuffling their feet across the floor to mimic ice skating movements.
  •  “The Snow Is Dancing” (Debussy) is a beautiful piano piece that really sounds like snowflakes falling. Have clients stand and move their bodies and scarves along with the music. Encourage them to pay attention to dynamic, textural and tempo changes while moving.

Movements to Do:

  • Swaying
  • Sliding back and forth
  • Sliding across the floor
  • Slow spin
  • Jump
  • Finishing pose
  • Bowing (while the audience cheers, of course!)

Conversations to Have:

  • Have you ever been ice skating before? What did you wear? Who did you go with? What did it feel/smell/look like?
  • What qualities do good ice skaters have? (Graceful, hard working, dedicated, etc)
  • What is your favorite winter activity to do inside or outside?

Over the next two weeks, I’ll be sharing MORE Olympics-themed ideas for use in music therapy sessions, music education classes and at home. Stay tuned for the next Songs for Success Music Therapy Olympic event idea!!

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