One of the biggest challenges of being home with my kids in winter is their intense need to run around and be active. An hour or two outside is simply not enough. This simple, but common reality can really aggravate my need for an intact home. The furniture and the dog are most at risk, but there are also times I worry about a hot frying pan in the kitchen getting knocked over or the baby getting pummeled with an errant foot. So, anytime I can channel some of that energy into a positive activity the better.
Dance ‘n Beats
Mother Goose Time has an awesome Preschool Music and Movement Dance Program called Dance ‘n Beats. The dances are to the music that comes with the monthly theme. For instance with our “Going on Safari” theme this month we danced to songs like “Grassland” and my daughter’s personal favorite “Baboon.”
Twelve new dances come every month. All the dances use modified versions of 21 basic dance steps. This makes them simple to learn and very fun to do with your kids! You can view a sample dance and see the 21 basic steps here.
When I first started using Dance ‘n Beats I had one major reservation: Screen Time! This program comes with a DVD and I’m big on limiting screens. The very first time I put on the DVD my kids sat down and watched it. Not a single one of them got up to dance! I felt like Dance ‘n Beats might be a bust for us.
Imagine my surprise when the very next time I put the CD into the player my kids started using some of the dance moves they had seen on the DVD. I guess they were just absorbing some of the new information. Since so much useful information can be gleaned from how to videos these days I was happy to see them developing this skill.
The DVD also allows you to just play one song at a time. So, we limit the DVD usage to learning a new song. Then we dance with our own unique embellishments to the music CD. I’ve also been known to watch the DVD myself to try out some new dance moves that I can then bust out with the kids for our dance parties in the kitchen! Total win!
Dance ‘n Beats also comes with suggested games and activities to compliment the music selections. This has been especially helpful for getting the kids moving and learning. There are so many studies that show young kids learn best when movement is involved. Mother Goose Time capitalizes on this knowledge with some fantastic and innovative ideas.
Each Dance ‘n Beats track comes with
- dance movements
- skill based activity
- free dance suggestion
Here’s a fantastic example of my kids enjoying one of our favorite songs this month.
1. Jumping Dance Movements
What body parts do you use to jump?
The dance features the movements: squat, jump, and reach.
Suggestions for simplifying the movements or making them more challenging to fit the needs and abilities of our children are included in the Dance ‘n Beats training video.
2. Measuring High Jumps
How high can you jump?
This dance focuses on building the following skills: measurement, gross motor, and self direction.
- Large paper
- Finger paint
- Measuring tape
- Tape a large sheet of paper to the wall.
- Invite the child to dip his hand in his favorite paint color.
- Play the song and encourage him to jump up and slap the paper each time he hears the word “jump.”
- Measure the highest jump and record the number in inches.
- Play the song again but use a different color paint to slap.
- Which color has the highest jump?
3. Free Dance
Tape marks all over the floor. Play the song and invite children to jump around from one tape mark to another. Try jumping on one foot.
If your preschoolers are climbing up the walls and you’ve spent as much time outside as you can stand give some of these activities a go. Your kids will have fun, you’ll have fun, and you might just learn a little along the way.
If you are interested in reading more about our experience with Mother Goose Time, check out our curriculum page!
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As a blog ambassador for Mother Goose Time, I am happy to share preschool curriculum ideas, activities, and crafts with my readers. Mother Goose Time provides our family the opportunity to use their curriculum free of charge in exchange for honest and authentic stories based on our personal experience.