'kidz-fiz-biz' - physical business for kids

Learning through drama, dance and song

By: Marlene Rattigan


Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 297mm x 210mm
Pages : 80
ISBN : 9781845900007
Format: PaperbackAudio CD
Published: March 2006

This well-structured teacher-friendly resource includes everything a busy teacher needs to get kids learning through music and movement. The illustrated book and two music CDs include:

  • Songs, rhymes, finger-plays, music skills, percussion.
  • Dance, drama, motor skills, listening skills, flexibility, relaxation.
  • An integrated approach with links to other learning areas.
  • Proven children's favourites. Music includes classical, jazz, folk and pop. 

Kidz-fiz-biz is an essential resource for busy teachers, especially those lacking extensive musical expertise. Everything you require for each session is provided, avoiding the necessity to search around for just the right piece of music. At the same time, sessions are sufficiently flexible to enable the substitution of other musical scores or ideas. Whether you decide to use the programme in toto, or as a springboard for your own ideas, the outcome will be the same. You will be contributing to the children's joy in learning, at the same time as developing their physical and musical prowess. Kidz-fiz-biz is a timely resource that comes highly recommended.

Picture for author Marlene Rattigan

Marlene Rattigan

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. These books are an extension of her Kidz-Fiz-Biz' programme.

Click here to read Marlene Rattigan’s blog.


  1. A valuable resource for anyone responsible for educating young children.

    A good combination of musical, dance and drama activities, covering familiar themes which young children find interesting.

    Plenty of ideas to reinforce the teaching ” which can be adapted to complete in a few short minutes, or as a complete lesson.

    Activities which young children will love ” ideas with emphasis on listening and following instruction, appreciation of music and recognition of other.

    The CDs will be a valuable resource and support ” good standard. Easy to follow pictures and instructions.
  2. I was asked to review this book, despite the fact that I focus more on educating adults on how we learn so that they may in turn be able to inspire their children or for adults who have low self esteem and need to start learning in their work environments. Why? I believe because no matter what age you are, the key thing is to understand that true learning (or mastery) requires certain skills to be developed within the mind/body.

    And what I like about the more modern era of education is the demonstration that in the years past there are educators who don't subscribe to the “accepted norm' and who are willing to develop the innate potential in the little people in a creative manner and way. Marlene Rattigan is such a person.

    The first thing you notice about this book is part of the title states “learning through drama, dance and song”.

    For me, this is key when it comes to learning, because the primary learning sense is auditory and the fact is that no matter what skills, talent or ability you have it has come about through the actions of practise. By combining the auditory with the kinaesthetic sense and intelligence, the children are encouraged to create neural pathways that develop co-ordination, spatial awareness, respect for their bodies, better memory and an ability to master information and tasks in a single unit.

    I believe the uniqueness of the author's approach to learning is by using combined senses and intelligences to help children have fun with learning, to grow confidently as a person and to encourage good development of neural pathways which are essential in our mind/body co-ordination later on in life. Children love being involved and listened to and this book has some excellent practical examples which will allow this to happen.

    However most importantly the methodology used by Marlene understands the importance of an integrated approach to create balance within motor skills and memory function. True learning is more than photographic memory, it is when the information becomes us and that is where drama can fire up our imaginations to play a part. Every philosophy from around the world tells us that our thoughts create our reality and even Einstein acknowledged that imagination is more important than any other skill in learning.

    This book offers any educator and parent a chance to actively engage a child's imagination, sense of play, sense of fun and natural curiosity whilst learning to develop memory, spatial awareness, co-ordination, body awareness and the importance of relaxation.

    Recently at the University of Westminster where I have been carrying out some research on the Rapid Sensory Learning programme, we discovered that more than 63% of the students were kinaesthetic dominant and yet were learning in highly auditory/visual environments. Educators like Marlene Rattigan, should be encouraged to share their knowledge and information because by using multi-intelligences in the classroom and encouraging children from a young age to use their imaginations, to become aware of their body and the necessity for listening, participating and knowing that they are a success because they tried something new, will I believe reap extra-ordinary results in the future citizens of this glorious planet we live on. I will certainly recommend this book to nursery school educators and parents with young children.
  3. How wonderful to have this new book for the very young child! Clearly written and sweetly illustrated. A charming book, I recommend it.
  4. This is an illustrated practical book to be used with children aged 2-7, accompanied by 2 CDs of music. In the rationale it is described as a user-friendly, comprehensive music and movement program which covers all aspects of learning - cognitive, linguistic, social/emotional, physical, and aesthetic. So it's not primarily (and doesn't claim to be) an English language teaching resource, although it does provide some useful and fun activities that might be used in the young learner language classroom. As the author writes, teachers can incorporate it into their lessons as it does have links to other areas in the curriculum. Equally, it is aimed at parents wishing to extend and enhance their child's development while also extending the parents' repertoire of games, rhymes, fingerplays and other activities. In terms of content, the book contains brief but useful advice about using music and physical activities, followed by four topic areas chosen to appeal to children: All About Me, Dinosaurs, The Sea and Fairies and Other Fantasy Folk. Each of these in turn is divided into sections giving: lesson plans for introductory and complete lessons; fingerplays; activities related to music, song and rhythm; dance and drama, and stretch and relax. In addition to this, there are warm-up activities and concentration upon particular developmental skills. After each activity there are also outcomes given, which means the programme one chooses to follow, be it suggested by Rattigan or a personal combination, can very easily be linked to the young learner curriculum.

    In terms of music and songs, the book contains old favourites which I expect most people will be familiar with, Round and Rround the Garden Like a Teddy Bear ; Row, Row, Row your Boat and Yellow Submarine, as well as newer material by the author herself, I Hide My Hands and Waves . The CDs which accompany the book are really fun and well produced, with music ranging from rap, Our School Rap, to popular classical, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. My personal favourites because of the voice quality and instrumentation are Do Your Ears Hang Low? and Running on the Spot. I also have a soft spot for the more classical Sailor's Hornpipe, a great little energizer! And this is the great strength of this book, the music and the activities themselves.

    There are unfortunately some niggles. Not all the lyrics to the songs are given, and even though a number of them may be available from other sources (the internet for example) it would be useful to have them as 'part of the package'. This I feel would be helpful both for busy teachers and parents alike, especially if the book is aiming for an EFL market. Along with this, although the book is claimed to be for both teachers and parents it appears to be geared more to the professional side, the cover is bright and colourful but inside this is not matched. The drawings however are a fun and helpful visualization of the written instructions. And finally, the pages of the book are glued. Not a problem if this was a once-in-a-while-dip-into book, but it isn't, it's practical, so if you're working with young kids who will also be interested in looking at what you're looking at, or simply through extended use, I've a feeling the pages are going to fall out quite quickly.

    Generally, even though it's not a dedicated EFL book, there are some fun and interesting ideas to explore with young children, along with music that is well produced, and which in some cases could stand up on its own account.

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