Children and adults naturally move to the sound of music. From soothing music to relax to vigorous music to dance and have fun, we have a tendency to move our bodies when we hear music. The good news is that music helps children (and adults) develop and strengthen their muscles. Physical movement helps balance, coordination, self-esteem and body awareness and music makes us move in fun ways! Have you ever tried a Zumba class at the gym? or a Bellydancing class? Well, you probably had more fun doing that class than working out in the treadmill!
I recently discovered a new Wii game, about dancing. It’s so much fun AND you exercise and sweat a little (or a lot!). I think this “game” is a fun way to incorporate music and movement in your lives. However, not everybody is interested in buying expensive video games and you really don’t have to!
So, here are some ideas to incorporate music and movement in your daily activities!
clap: follow the beat of the song. This helps learn rhythm and it helps children practice the rhythm of same-pace activities such as walking, cutting and bouncing!
play instruments: playing instruments helps develop fine motor skills. Shake those maracas!
use your body as instrument: stomp your feet, snap fingers, or click tongue. This helps children be aware of their bodies and fine tune their muscle movements.
dance, dance, dance: Have fun dancing following the rhythm of the music!
The holiday season is the perfect time to enjoy music and exercise a little while having fun! So turn on the radio and move!
Are you ready to move? Let us know how it goes! I’m going to go dance with Michael Jackson! 😉
My favorite season! Leaves are changing colors, some are already falling off the trees, the weather is changing and I am loving it! I happen to live in a place where I can see all of these changes. Waking up and feel the cool breeze…hmmmm nothing like it! So, this is a great time to go outside and enjoy the outdoors. Children love exploring their surroundings. Why not make it a family event?
Here are some ideas of what to do with your children:
- collect leaves – I know, i know, it was an obvious one. You can take a paper bag and collect a few (or alot!) of leaves. Then, classify them by color, shape, or any other creative way you can think of! Maybe even do some craft work with them after.
- apple picking – Well, it is the season to do just that! Find out where to go apple picking and of course when you get home, bake some yummy apple pie! Everyone in the house can help with this.
- pumpking picking/carving – Another season goodie! With pumpkins you can carve them in different shapes and use them to decorate the house, or you could also bake some yummy pumpking pie!
- go out, hike, walk, enjoy the cool weather – Sometimes it’s just fun to walk with your family and talk about what you see around you. Who knows? maybe your neighbors will join you and it could be a neighborhood activity!
- Rake the leaves into a huge pile and jump in – Well, maybe some parents won’t like this idea, but you know what? sometimes we have to have a little fun too! Join your kids and jump in!
If you don’t live in a place where you see the seasons change or the leaves fall off the trees, what other outdoor activities can you do with your children this Fall?
Summer is the best time to go on a road trip! I am planning my first cross-country road trip and I am very excited! My husband and I have been on a few mini road-trips, usually a 5-hour drive. But even though I get all excited about it, after 2 hours, it can get really BORING! So, I usually start a game.
Car games can really help your child with vocabulary, (even in another language), memory and attention skills. In addition, it keeps them occupied in something else other than asking, Are we there yet?!
Here are some of my favorite car games! (I am not sure if these games have real names, so I am making some of them up!)
- Name what you see in alphabetical order– Name what you see with letter A (airplane) and then the next person has to name what you said with A and then something with B. Every person starts at the beginning naming everything starting from A. This helps with vocabulary and memory skills.
- I spy (ok , this is its real name!) – “I spy something that begins with (the initial letter)”. Helpful for vocabulary and literacy skills.
- 20 questions– One person thinks about an object, a person or an animal. The rest of the group asks up to 20 yes/no questions to try and figure out what it is. Helps build language skills.
- License Plates (love this one!)- Point to the cars with license plates that start with each one of the letters of the alphabet, in order. (This can take a long time!). Helps learn the alphabet, literacy skills and attention skills.
- Counting objects– Choose and object (except cars!) and see how many you can find for a certain period of time. Helps with math skills!
- Alphabet country/city– Name countries and/or cities with the chosen letter. This helps with geography!
- Cloud shapes – Look at the clouds and see if they make any shape. Helps with creativity and imagination.
- Story-making– One person starts with a sentence (“Once upon a time in Rome…”) and each person keeps adding to the story. See what crazy stuff your kids come up with! This is a great activity to develop language and literacy skills.
- Colored cars– Each person picks a color. You get one point every time a car with that color passes by. Helps with vocabulary and attention skills.
As you read this post, I will be on the road! I am going to have so much fun playing these games! I need to increase my vocabulary!
Have you played any of these games? Do you have more to add to the list?