I love being with my kids and playing with them, but sometimes I just can’t get into every pretend scenario my 3 year old has concocted. I think it has something to do with the fact that I am with them every day, all day. N’s preschool hasn’t opened up again since the first lockdown. Toronto has entered a second lockdown so I don’t know when her preschook will open up again. That means I will have both kids home with me for the forseable future. There is only so much pretend cooking in a kids kitchen that I can do.
Children can also get bored just like adults do. I imagine it’s hard for kids to be at home a lot of the time and away from friends and peers. I know it is hard for me. We go to the park and N has a couple of friends who she plays with there, so at least there is that. However, the weather is getting colder and that means we won’t be able to go to the park everyday because of a snow storm or other days it may just be too cold.
Something we have been doing a lot, especially in the evenings after dinner, are dance parties. I find that the time between the end of dinner and bedtime is hardest for me. By this point I am tapped out. Tom and I alternate nights where one of us cleans up after dinner and the other entertains the kids until the other is done. If it’s me, I either sit on the floor and have them crawl all over me or we do a dance party. I usually pick the floor option when I am just too tired to move.
The dance party option is good when we all need a mood boost, or for when the weather has been bad and we haven’t been out, or if we just need to burn off a little energy. It’s always a good way to keep everyone happy and entertained. Since we have been doing a lot of dance parties recently, I have come up with a bit of a guide to help with your next dance session with the kids.
My dad was a DJ back in the 70’s and 80’s. My sister was also a DJ and had her own radio show for a while. Music is something my sister and I have inherited. It is part of our DNA so music and making playlists is kind of my thing. I love making playlists. I make playlists for almost everything. I basically dj’d my own wedding by making awesome playlists for each portion of the night. I tried to tailor them not just to my taste in music but to all the guests. It was a small wedding so it wasn’t too hard, just a lot of work.
I have the perfect kids dance party playlist. At least for my kids! I wanted to make it something that was obviously kid friendly, but also did not consist of kids music. You won’t see any Baby Shark on my playlist. It is an eclectic mix of music from different genres and generations.
Here it it:
I usually stream music off my phone onto my home speakers or straight off my tv. You can make playlists on virtually any music streaming service, even on the free non subscription levels. I like iTunes because they have a function that shows you the lyrics of the song you are playing so you can turn your dance party into…….a karaoke party! A great option if you have older kids. Or you can make a playlist on YouTube and have a video dance party like in primary school in the 90’s.
I am totally aging myself here.
You can have a dance party virtually anywhere. If you have a phone you can just put on some music and do it in the kitchen or the kids bedroom. We usually do them in the living room. This is also the place where the girls play so there are usually toys everywhere. When the impromptu dance parties happen I have to remember to clear the floor of toys and spilled cheerios or throw pillows from a fort we made earlier because the kids are bound to trip on something. They are such wild dancers.
Atmosphere and Props
If it’s nighttime then turn off the lights and get some flashlights. N loves this. She dances around waving the flashlight in the air. E really got into this and just started pointing it around. She had never seen one before. It was super cute.
You could add some twinkle lights to the room for a festive flare. Glow sticks are another good option when you turn the lights off. You can get them at party supply stores or the dollar store. Baby raves are the best.
It is also good to have some musical instruments around. Nothing too noisy that you get a headache. A tambourine and some maracas are always a good option. You can also find these things as playsets in the dollar store if you don’t have any on hand. I also found these really fun microphones that are not connected to anything. They aren’t actually electronic. It just sounds sort of like an echo when you talk into it. They are super fun and not too annoying.
You COULD just dance with the clothes you have on, BUT you could also put on old Halloween costumes and have a dress up dance party. You could also do it in your pj’s when you wake up or before bed. I love a good pj dance party. Extra points for the use of footie pajamas.
I love music. Music lifts my spirits and reinvigorates me in a way that nothing else can. A dance party doesn’t have to be planned. In fact, an unplanned dance party is the best kind of party. I find that the best time to do it is when things are getting to be a bit too much with the kids or you are bored and have run out of things to do. Just turn on some music and shake it off. You will see that dancing will instantly change everyone’s moods.