Play Ideas

6 Children’s Books That Encourage Movement

January 6, 2023
Preschool kids play with building bricks in while sitting on floor in daycare

Many children’s books encourage movement like dancing, walking, stomping, stretching and more. Exploring movement and getting active has many benefits to a child’s overall physical and mental health and can:

  • increase a child’s ability to focus
  • improve quality of sleep
  • help them regulate their emotions
  • strengthen their muscles
  • refine coordination and dexterity

Check out these 6 children’s books to get reading and moving!

From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

Can you wiggle like a crocodile or stretch like a cat? From Head to Toe by Eric Carle explores a variety of movements while encouraging children to try them too!

This story highlights very specific movements your child may not see or try often, helping them to discover more ways to explore their body and abilities. This may lead them to discovering a new skill, increasing flexibility, and strengthening different muscles. The more children explore their abilities, the more likely they will find a form of physical activity they enjoy – leading to healthier exercise habits they can carry into adulthood.

Read along to Eric Carle’s From Head to Toe here!

Expand on this story by creating new movements of your own! Add an extra challenge by trying to isolate your body parts – such as wiggling your pinky finger, tapping your toes or lifting your knee while keeping the rest of your body very still.

Two photos - one of child's feet stomping, one with child scrunching their nose. This is a dance activity for children.

This activity exercises both small muscle and large muscle skills.

Stomp by Uncle Ian Aurora

Illustration of four children smiling and stomping as they are surrounded by balloons and confetti. Text reads 'Stomp - written by Uncle Ian Aurora, illustrated by Natalia Moore'

Similar to the book From Head to Toe, Stomp by Uncle Ian Aurora helps chldren to discover more of their body’s abilities through stomping. Try stomping slow and then fast! Can you wiggle your fingers at the same time? This story will get your child moving, dancing, and stretching – practicing large and small muscle skills.

Read and stomp along to this story here!

Dancing Feet by Lindsey Craig

Dancing Feet by Lindsey Craig is a great book to read and move to. Try thumping really big and slow like a bear or tiptoeing quiet and fast like a lady bug! Dancing at different speeds can help your child get their heart racing, which benefits their overall physical and mental health.

Read along to Dancing Feet by Lindsey Craig here.

The Button Book by Sally Nicholls

The Button Book by Sally Nicholls is filled buttons that make us wonder… what will the next button do?! Move along with the animals as they discover new buttons.

Read The Botton Book by Sally Nicholls here!

Try creating some “buttons” of your own! For instance: when you press a doorknob everyone bobs their heads, or when your push your nose your arms start to wiggle. What buttons can you create?

Pete The Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Erin Litwin

Take a walk with Pete the Cat as his shoes change all sorts of colours! This story is sure to get you moving as you walk along with Pete and dance along to his song.

Read along to Pete The Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Erin Litwin here.

Add even more movement by creating a scavenger hunt to this story! Try finding objects and toys in your home that match the colours Pete’s shoes change to. Can you find something blue, red, brown or white? Take a walk around your home (or even outside!) to find some objects that match the colours of Pete’s shoes.

I Went Walking by Sue Williams

Illustration of a child smiling at a duck with the words 'I Went Walking' above. On the left, text reads: written by Sue Williams, illustrated by Julia Vivas.

It’s amazing what you might see on a walk. I Went Walking by Sue Williams reminds us to explore our environments. Go on a walk around your neighbourhood and talk about all the things you see!

Read along to I Went Walking by Sue Williams here.

Extend your walk by holding onto some of the treasures your child finds on to add to their play. Check out 5 Ways to Add Nature to Your Child’s Play for some ideas!

Recent News

What’s On This Week – September 24-30

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation This Saturday (September 30) is National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day. Click here for some resources that can help us all learn about residential schools and their impact. By learning about...

What’s On This Week – September 17-23

Upcoming Closures Most of our programs will be closed from Wednesday September 20 (after 4:00pm) - Friday September 22. Some exceptions apply, please check your nearest location for details. You’re Invited to BridgeWay’s Gala! Enjoy a fun night of dinner,...

What’s On This Week – September 10-16

On this page: Happy Grandparents Day! Read about one grandparent's experience at EarlyON. Infant Massage You and Your Baby Just For Dads Workshops Upcoming Closures Happy Grandparents Day Sunday September 10th is National Grandparents Day! At BridgeWay, we love to see...

What’s On This Week – September 3-9

Reminder: BridgeWay will be closed September 2-4 for the Labour Day long weekend. You and Your Baby Come chat with other moms about topics like birth experience and challenges in adjusting to parenthood. This program is for first time moms with infants birth to 9...

What’s On This Week – August 27-September 2

Reminder: BridgeWay will be closed September 2-4 for the Labour Day long weekend. Gore Meadows and Brittany Glen EarlyON Centres will remain open on Saturday, Spetember 2nd. Upcoming Workshops Join us online for free workshops, covering a variety of parenting topics!...

Play Ideas

LGBTQ2S+ Books for Children Birth to 6 Years

We’ve put together a list of books celebrating LGBTQ2S+ children and families! These books are perfect for children with queer parents/caregivers to see families like theirs, for children to see themselves and their peers, and for everyone to learn about and celebrate...

7 Children’s Books Celebrating Asian Authors, Stories and Cultures

Picture books are a great way for children to learn about cultures as well as celebrate themselves and their family. These 7 books are written by authors of Asian descent with themes we can all relate to – feeling loved and connected, showing love and of course loving...

Creative Ways to Build Ramps

Ramps are a fun and interactive tool for children to explore math and science concepts. When they roll a toy down a ramp, they're learning to make predictions and problem solve while also learning about concepts like motion, speed, and cause and effect. There are fun...