There are two things that I can't seem to get enough of right now - Google Play Music and Game Plan. My husband and I signed up for Google Play Music at Christmas time and little did we know that it would have come in this handy in my classroom. I can access pretty much any song, any time, without worrying about advertisements or poor sound quality.
A former music teacher at my school ordered the Game Plan curriculum for Kindergarten, Grade 2, and Grade 3 but switched schools before she had a chance to use it. When I got back at the end of January I was the one who got to open the boxes and dig right in. I am using the Grade 2 curriculum with my Grade 3s this year because I hadn't taught most of them and they are still missing some foundational concepts. I am also sprinkling in some of the games and rhythm activities into the lessons with my older students.
One game that has been a hit with my Grade 3s is Move and Freeze. It is so simple (the students move around the room to the music and strike a pose when the music stops) but is super effective at getting the kids moving. You can also have them partner up and call out different body parts to attach to (knee to knee, elbow to elbow, etc...).
The Game Plan authors suggest using Yankee Doodle as the music to move to. I pulled up my Google Play Music and found this techno version of the song arranged by Vijay Joseph. What I took for granted was the fact that my students would recognize the song. So many of them had never even heard Yankee Doodle before so I searched Yankee Doodle on Google Play Music and found a version by Alvin and the Chipmunks that they loved. It was a great reminder for me to be aware that the experiences I had as a child are not the same as their experiences. They aren't better or worse - just different. And if I get to expose them to a catchy, nonsensical folk song, then I am pretty lucky!