Who Ate the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?

Music and move­ment activ­i­ties are an impor­tant part of any ear­ly child­hood pro­gram. Music and move­ment activ­i­ties are fun for every­one, both chil­dren and adults alike. 

Who, When, and Where

Chil­dren care less about your musi­cal tal­ent than they do about your enthu­si­asm and will­ing­ness to sing, move, and play along with them. As a result, any­one, regard­less of musi­cal tal­ent, can sing, dance, and guide chil­dren through music and move­ment activities.

Music and move­ment activ­i­ties can hap­pen any­where, any­time. As a mat­ter of fact, these activ­i­ties can take place in the home or cen­ter, on the play­ground, or dur­ing tran­si­tions and oth­er dai­ly rou­tines. You don’t always have to go to the music room or wait for “music time.” Music and move­ment time is all the time!

The National Association for Music Education

The Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion for Music Edu­ca­tion (NAfME) explains that in ear­ly child­hood, music edu­ca­tion is main­ly about intro­duc­ing chil­dren to a vari­ety of musi­cal expe­ri­ences. It is impor­tant to note that ear­ly child­hood music edu­ca­tion is about sup­port­ing every child’s capac­i­ty for music learning. 

It is not about teach­ing them how to play instru­ments cor­rect­ly or prepar­ing them for per­for­mances. As we not­ed before, you do not need any spe­cial musi­cal tal­ent or abil­i­ty to pro­vide mean­ing­ful musi­cal learn­ing opportunities.

Helping New Children Feel Welcome

“Who Ate the Cook­ies from the Cook­ie Jar?” is a fun activ­i­ty to use with new chil­dren (par­tic­u­lar­ly preschool­ers) when they join your pro­gram. This activ­i­ty focus­es on lis­ten­ing and learn­ing names, and as a result is an excel­lent way to help a new child feel includ­ed. Addi­tion­al­ly, chil­dren who are already in your pro­gram will quick­ly learn the new child’s name in a fun and engag­ing way.

Activity: Who Ate the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?

For this activ­i­ty choose a place where the chil­dren can gath­er in a cir­cle. Addi­tion­al­ly, you may want to pro­vide an emp­ty cook­ie jar as a prop.

All: Who ate the cook­ie from the cook­ie jar?

(Child Named) ate the cook­ie from the cook­ie jar.

Child Named: Who, me?

Group: Yes, you!

Child Named: Could­n’t be!

Group: Then who?

(Child Named selects anoth­er child, and the game repeats in an end­less loop as long as desired.)

Try out these ideas to expand learn­ing:

1. Ask the chil­dren who likes cook­ies. Dis­cuss their favorite kinds of cook­ies and on what occa­sions they eat them.

2. Ask the chil­dren what shape each type of cook­ie is. Ask them to sit in those shapes.

3. To get start­ed, you may want to do an activ­i­ty to select the first “child named” for the first round, or you may just want to call upon a par­tic­u­lar child. After­wards, if using an emp­ty cook­ie jar, intro­duce it and ask the chil­dren what should be in there, and who they think took the cook­ies! Then, pick the per­son you think ate the cook­ies as the first “child named.”

4. Old­er chil­dren may be able to incor­po­rate a body per­cus­sion pat­tern (“pat knees, pat knees, clap, clap”) on steady beats.

Share Your Music and Movement Activities!

Share in the com­ments below what songs and music and move­ment activ­i­ties you have used with the chil­dren in your care. Try the “Who Ate the Cook­ies from the Cook­ie Jar?” activ­i­ty above and let us know how it goes!

Care Courses’ Music and Movement Course

Look­ing for more music and move­ment activ­i­ties? Take our course Music and Move­ment!

Cre­at­ed for all types of child­care facil­i­ties and homes, this course will help you under­stand the impor­tance of cre­at­ing, lis­ten­ing to, and mov­ing to music dur­ing ear­ly child­hood. This course includes music and move­ment activ­i­ties that are appro­pri­ate for infants, tod­dlers, and preschool­ers, includ­ing those with spe­cial needs. 

Addi­tion­al­ly, you will learn how to include the children’s fam­i­lies and cul­tures in mean­ing­ful ways, and dis­cov­er the many edu­ca­tion­al, social-emo­tion­al, and phys­i­cal ben­e­fits of incor­po­rat­ing music and move­ment into your program.

Care Courses Support Team

Please let us know how we can be of addi­tion­al assistance! 

Call us: 1–800-685‑7610, Mon­day through Fri­day, 9–5 ET, or email us days, evenings and week­ends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!

Music and Movement Activities for Children

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