Up, Down, In and Out!

Up, Down, In and Out!

Are you looking for new ways for children to explore positional language?  There are lots of different activities that you can do to help them develop this understanding, but have you thought about using music activities?  You could emphasise the positional language during songs, instrument time and listening to music activities.  Here are a few ideas:


Movement songs

Encourage the children to move their arms into the different positions as you say the positional language.  E.g.:‘Grand Old Duke of York’ ’up’ and ‘down’ and ‘The Hokey Cokey’ ‘in’, ‘out’, ‘around’


Songs using a prop

Lycra and Soft Toys. 

In the song '5 cheeky monkeys bouncing on the bed', bounce some soft toy monkeys as you sing about them bouncing ‘on’ the bed. Then take them off when you sing 'one fell ‘off’ and bumped his head'.



When using the musical instruments there are lots of opportunities to use positional language:

  • Take an instrument ‘out’ of the box/bag/trug…
  • Put the instruments back ‘in’ the box…
  • Place your instrument ‘on’ the floor/table…
  • Hold the …. ‘in’ your hand
  • Play the …. ‘in front of’ you
  • Tap the Boomwhacker ‘on’ the floor…

 FB Opportunities to use positional language with instruments

Listening to Music

Using a prop


You could encourage the children to move a scarf in different positions when dancing, with you modelling the different positions:

  • ‘Above’ your head
  • ‘Under’ your arm
  • ‘In front of’ you
  • ‘Behind’ you
  • Move it ‘around’ your body (a little tricker as they will need to move it between hands)
  • ‘On’ the floor


Whilst listening to the music you may ask the children to move it

  • 'up and down'
  • 'around' if they are walking with it
  • go 'under' it
  • roll a ball 'around' it
  • 'over' their head


Just moving their body to the movement

Use positional language whilst you are modelling different moves to the music. 

  • Wave arms ‘above’ your head
  • Clap your hands ‘in front of’ you, ‘above your head’
  • Spin ‘around’...


Music can also help in many other areas of learning.  If you would you would like more help  I have an online training course that takes you through how music can help in the 7 areas of learning.  To read more about this training please click here: https://musicalabc.simplero.com/music-and-the-7-areas-of-learning 

Happy music making!



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