Every month the song/dance/activity will change. Many of the songs will be from my Recordings. Please print the page and do the activity with your child. Teachers may print the page to use with their classes. If you have questions, Contact Me.
Listen to the whole song on Dancing Feet, or hear it here:
When children learn simple folk dances, their brains practice storing the information in patterns and sequences. This is excellent practice for pre-readers and beginning readers, who will need to have those skills to process what they read!
Ach Ja is a wonderful partner dance. The title means "oh, yes!" in German, and is pronounced ACH YA. Feel that oom-pa spirit! When introducing this dance, I talk with the children about some of the vocabulary in the lyrics, such as "journey" (a trip), and "fair" (not the cotton candy and rides kind – more like a farmers market, where people did their shopping before there were grocery stores!) When we talk about what it means to sing "they hadn't any money", I've facilitated some interesting 4 and 5-year old discussions of doing without in these tough times! One child told me that "we don't have money at my house – Mom says "No More McDonalds!" Well, it has a different meaning to many children.
I introduce this dance after children have mastered simpler partner dances, as changing partners adds difficulty – and FUN! Remember, dancing is a social, emotional AND physical activity!
Oh my mother and my father took a journey to the fair
Each couple holds one hand to walk forward in a large circle for lines 1 and 3. Each time you sing "Ach Ja!", you face your partner and bow at the waist, one hand over your tummy, the other behind your back. During the tra la la's, face partner, holding both hands and circle around together (sashay!) Stop for the final set of bows, then find a new partner! Encourage the children to sing along!
Age Range: 4 - 7 year olds!
Purpose: Dancing promotes pattern and sequence development in the brain. It also encourages positive social interaction, multi-tasking, physical activity and following directions. AND IT'S FUN!!!
Other Partner Dances: "The Muffin Man Dance" on Sticky Bubble Gum, "Jump Jim Joe" (SOTM 3/09) and "Skip To My Lou" – both on Dancing Feet, "The Partner Dance" on Stinky Cake, and "Who Will Be My Friend Today?" (SOTM 2/06) on Tiny Tunes.