“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.” -O. Fred Donaldson
Quarantine day number...well, I've lost count. How are you holding up, mama?
Last week, we had a super fun movement class with Baby Steps Dance Asheville as part of our kid's class activities on Thursdays. Suzie Rogerson planned and lead an amazing high-energy class for all ages of kids. Afterwards, I asked her to share her top 5 music activities to get kids moving & here is what she created. I cannot wait to try all of these with my kiddo.
This is a fun activity your kids can easily enjoy anywhere! The rules are simple- when the music is on, dance! When the music stops, freeze! You can play Freeze dance songs that instruct you how to move, or use your child's favorite songs and pause them on your own! Mix it up by playing various styles of music and explore the different ways it makes your body move. Use scarves, ribbon wands or stuffed animals to dance with and mix it up!
Songs to use:
- Party Freeze Song- The Kiboomers
- Wiggy Wiggles Freeze Dance- Hap Palmer
- Freeze Dance- The Fresh Beat Band
These are some of my favorite activities for kids, not only because they are silly and fun, but they also focus on a variety of skills. With action songs, children are encouraged to listen, follow directions, focus on spatial awareness and perform various fine and gross motor skills. They also encourage kids to explore various ways of moving their bodies while tapping into their creativity and imaginations! Action songs instruct and guide your little ones verbally, so as a parent you can follow along as well without having to come up with the activities on your own (we all need a mental break these days!) There are so many wonderful action songs out there to choose from, these are some of my favorites:
- Exercise Game #1- Mark D. Pencil
- Action Dance- Kate Kuper
- The Goldfish- Laurie Berkner Band
- Late Last Night- Joe Scruggs
DIY Shakers and Rhythm Songs
This is two activities in one! I use egg shakers a lot in my classes to explore rhythm and musicality with the kids. Perhaps you already have them at home, but if not they are easy to make! Let your child decorate a paper plate with crayons and stickers, then fold it in half like a taco shell. Pour some dry beans/rice/coins/cereal into the "taco" and then staple the ends shut so that nothing will spill out. Voilà! You have your very own shaker! There are lots of great songs to dance and shake to! You can explore stop and go with your shakers, following the beat and shaking slow to fast! Have a parade with your shakers!
- Let's All Shake Our Shaker Eggs- Miss Jamie
- Shake It Baby, Shake It- Rainbow Songs
- Country Classics Stop and Start- Hap Palmer
Obstacle courses are a really fun way to get your kids moving and keep them entertained! You can make a course inside (or outside) using various household items. Line up stuffed animals to see if your little one can step or jump over them. Lay a hula hoop/paper plate/large book on the floor and ask your child to practice jumping feet together on the object and feet apart off the object. If you don't have a kids tunnel, line up some chairs to crawl under or some empty large boxes to go through. Now, see if they can get through the obstacle course before a song is over.
Who doesn't love some bubble fun?! I like to use bubbles as a chance to slow down, focus and relax after being really energetic! Put on a slower-paced song, dim the lights, take some deep breaths and enjoy! Encourage your child to find different ways to pop the bubbles- with their toes, nose or elbows! Maybe it feels good for your little one to lay down and watch the bubbles float around them. Can they count how many bubbles there are? Can they use their body to float around the room like a bubble? It's ok if bubbles excite and energize your kids, too, they are really fun!
- Bubbles- Marya Stark
- Bubbles- Moey's Music Party
- Rainbow Connection (Instrumental)- Lance Allen, Avery Bright
Did you know Baby Steps Dance Asheville offers dance and movement exploration classes for families in WNC? We began by offering monthly babywearing dance classes and quickly grew into weekly Baby Boogie classes for toddlers and caregivers.
Currently, Miss Suzie is still hosting virtual Baby Boogie (designed for toddlers) classes on Facebook every Wednesday morning at 10:00am, airing live from the Baby Steps Dance Asheville FB page. Families are able to connect and dance virtually with Miss Suzie, and all videos are readily available so that you can access them at any time!
Keep an eye out for some fun "Kids DanceMix Live" virtual classes, too, which are designed for kids 5+! These are focused for ages 5 and up to dance, groove and get their energy out! Our first Kids DanceMix Live class is on Tuesday, April 14th at 10:00am.