Cold winter winds, snow, rain…days stuck inside with two kids under the age of four. What’s a mom to do? Get your groove on! Dance like no one’s watching! Revel in the glory of being goofy, letting loose, and just enjoying a bit of time with your kids!
We were really lucky when Jake was just turning one to take a Saturday morning music class together. Truthfully, one of the play group moms had found an “indoor playground” that happened to also have music classes. This “playground” allowed us to sit and have a cup of coffee together, while giving our kids a place to run, play, and socialize for a few hours on a Saturday morning. So we decided to give the music classes a shot.
Many parents shy away from the kid-specific CDs, opting to let their kids listen to the music that they listen to. This is a good way to ensure that your car CD player isn’t constantly stuck on a Barney CD to keep your kids happy, but I found that the music out there today for kids can be kind of cool. What I also learned is that it doesn’t take much by the way of props to turn a good song into an interactive activity – scarves, a blanket, some foam balls, and shakies. Yes, if your kids doesn’t have a shaky, I suggest you go to the store now and get one.
On those rotten days when we are stuck inside, it’s Dance Party USA. Pop a CD in and get your groove on. There is nothing better than watching your youngsters dance their hearts out – Morgan likes to stomp, shake, and bounce. Jake is more of a swayer, and occasionally pulls out a Wiggles move or two (thank goodness for Henry the Octopus). And while we enjoy dancing to U2 and Dave Matthews, let me recommend a couple of really good kids CDs as well. You won’t know until you try!
Family Favorite: Snacktime, Barenaked Ladies
If you love the group as an adult, I promise you’ll love the kids CD. Filled with lots of goofy goodness, such as 7,8,9 (where six is afraid of seven, because seven ate nine), and Canadian Snacktime Popcorn (pull out the blanket and foam balls and let the popcorn pop away), this CD has it all. My husband’s favorite? A sweet, sing along melody called Pollywog in a Bog. My son’s favorite? A raw, rocking song illustrating the many issues with allergies. My daughter’s? Eraser, by far (the song starts out with a very long E and I think she found it easy to sing). Me, I kind of like them all. I wouldn’t say I was a huge Barenaked Ladies fan in the past, but they got me on the kids CD!
Mom’s Favorite: Ralph’s World (Debut CD)
I can’t say enough about this CD. It’s one of my favorites, because it’s got a lot of upswing and some downtime tunes as well. However, the kids get WAY into all of the songs. From Freddybear the teddybear with clapping, and kissing; to Choo Choo (we just like to yell choo choo over and over), to drivin’ in my car with lots of hand movements including driving, waving, beeping, this disc has it all. My ultimate dance party favorites? The Marching Medley, a wonderful medley of Ants Marching and Captain Brown, and Take a Little Nap (which is a kids’ rendition of Shake Your Booty – yes, get those shakies out and have a ball!)
Top Artist Pick: Laurie Berkner Band
We first met Laurie Berkner while watching “Jack’s Big Music Show” on Noggin (now known as Nick Jr.). She had “music” videos that were often featured on the show. Her tunes were catchy, fun, and the kids loved them. The CD cover pictured here is one of many – I don’t think any one is better than the others, so find one that looks right for you!
We received a full length DVD with her videos from a friend, and I can’t rave enough about it. The kids love trying to mimic the dance moves – everything from fish brushing their teeth, to dinosaurs going to sleep, to walking along the river. Her voice is fun and engaging, and the bright colors used in the staging and props makes it visually interesting for the kids. However, if you are anti-TV, I can honestly say the music is enough fun in and of itself. My only hope? That she actually tours near us someday. I already signed up on the website to get her to our area – yeah, you can all thank me later.
Those are our favorites. If you are a family that likes to let it all hang loose once in a while, give them a shot! And if you are a family who hasn’t tried letting it all hang loose, well, it’s time to get your groove on!