Why use movement books in your occupational therapy session or classroom?
Incorporating movement into literacy is a fun way to work on many skills! There are many books that are easy to read and get students moving. Using movement with literacy can be used so many ways: warming up before fine motor work, incorporating sensory input (ie: proprioceptive or vestibular input), motor planning, finger differentiation, core strength and working on body awareness! I love incorporating academic, language and movement to work on many goals area. These books are a great way to start an OT session or as a teacher, incorporating these stories into story time or brain breaks.
Here are some of my favorite books with movement (Affiliate links have been included for your convenience):
Barnyard Dance! by Sandra Boynton
This is a book that has movement in every single sentence. (ie: twirl with piggy…bow to horse). As a bonus, I love the board book version because it is easy to clean and put into my bag without pages bending.
Going on a Bear Hunt By Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
This is a classic movement book that has many different actions that students can do. Some of the highlights: when students are going through the mud, I have them act in slow motion. When students go through the river, I have them pretend to swim.
Shake a Leg! Sesame Street By Constance Allen
This delightful book will be a hit with any of your students who love Sesame Street! This features simple one step directions on each page (ie: wiggle your toes, pat your head, rub your tummy).
Let’s Walk like an Animal! By Elizabeth Kosek
Each page of this book features a a drawing of students performing the animal walk in a different area (ie: cat looking for milk, cow looking for grass). This comes with three different version. One version is just the book, one has a spot so you can have student select the visual to match to the page and a version that has how to perform each movement. This is wonderful for students who may need verbal support to perform movements.
Let’s Go Go Go! A transportation movement book By Elizabeth Kosek
Each page of this book features a different transportation method (ie: bicycle, space ship etc) and a movement. Students love the transportation theme and movement. This comes with three different version. One version is just the book, one has a spot so you can have student select the visual to match to the page and a version that has how to perform each movement. This is wonderful for students who may need verbal support to perform movements.
Let’s Go To The Park! By Elizabeth Kosek
While you are reading a story, each page contains a movement or something that students can imitate about going to the park (ie: pretend to climb a tree, swing, eat ice cream, shoot basketball hoops, pretend to drive). This comes with three different version. One version is just the book, one has a spot so you can have student select the visual to match to the page and a version that has how to perform each movement. This is wonderful for students who may need verbal support to perform movements.
The 13 Nights of Halloween by Rebecca Dickinson
This book is a Halloween book with the same song as the 12 days of Christmas. This book uses words such as spinning, flying, creeping and hollowing. These are the movements I incorporate into each day: Spooky owl – flap arms, hairy toads- jump, cackling witches- laugh while touching tummy, worms – make your hands like a snake and slither your hands, spiders – spin hands like wheels on the bus, lizards creeping- creep on hands and knees, werewolf-pretend to howl, bats-hook thumbs to make hands into wings and pretend to fly, skeleton – shake hands/body, cats – cat yoga pose, vampires – pinch fingers or open/close fingers, and ghosts – pretend to boo and jump!
Ten Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O’Connell
This is a great book to work on simple actions and finger differentiation. For this book, I have students show me how many ghosts there are on the page using their fingers. On every page there is a reference to he/she flying to the woods, so I have students pretend to fly. There are some pages that are associated with animals so depending on student’s level, I may have students perform the action (ie: bat-hook fingers together to fly, cat-cat yoga pose etc).
We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger
This is another book that plays off of the book “We’re going on a bear hunt”. Students will look for different types of leaves. I will have students perform actions on each page that goes along with what is happening (ie: leaves falling down, touching their toes).
We’re Going on a Ghost Hunt by Marcia Vaughn
This book is a play off of “We’re going on a bear hunt”. Students will look for a trick or treat ghost. I have students pat their laps while we read the story. The students then do the different actions on each page.
Ten on a sled by Kim Norman
This is a book that incorporates different animals who are on a sled. This is a nice way to work on finger differentiation by having students show you how many animals are left using their fingers. You can also have the child act out each animal by doing movements.
Counting on Snow by Maxwell Newhouse
This is a simple book that counts down from 10. Each page has a different animal that is performing a movement (ie: 3 polar bears prowling). I work on finger differentiation by having students show me how many animals are on the page. Then, I have students act out the animal action.
Theosaurus Rex by Laya Steinberg
Thesaurus Rex does many different things throughout the book. Many of my students love pretending to be theosaurus such as foraging, sliding and gliding.
Dinosaur Dance! By Sandra Boynton
This is a book that has some straight forward movement language (ie: tap tap tap) but also has some vague movement (ie: deedly dee). You may make up your own movements for the vague words such as jumping, clapping hands, stretching overhead etc.
I will continue to update this list! Am I missing any books? Feel free to leave a comment below or reach out! 🙂
Looking for FREEBIE MOVEMENT CARDS? Join my mailing list and check out my YOGA freebie! This is a great way to help get students moving!