Indoor Boredom Buster-Dancing!

As much as I love to either bundle up the kids and head outside in cold or rainy weather, sometimes it’s just too cold or too rainy to go out. What is a parent or caregiver to do on day three of a series of bad weather days? Here is an idea that requires only a few materials. Set up and clean up only takes a minute. The solution is……DANCING!

Put on some upbeat music, push back the coffee table to clear some room and dance, dance, dance. Young children love to move to music. They can’t help themselves as their bodies get carried along with the beat. Small children do not have any inhibitions yet so they feel comfortable trying out new dance moves and just letting the music guide their bodies.

My daycare children enjoy dancing with bright silk scarves. They are easy to hold and the silk flutters and streams out in the air. It is beautiful to watch and fun to move the scarf in time to the music. My daughter has a few silk scarves from an online source called, ‘Sarah’s silks’. They are called play silks and they can be used for a wide variety of different activities. These silks are perfect for dancing and are long enough to create a mesmorizing effect in the air. I highly recommend them!

We are very lucky in our home because the daycare playroom connects to the kitchen and the front entrance. This creates a wonderful loop where we can march, skip and gallop around in a circle through the three rooms. The children have utilized this path for years and there hasn’t been a child in our house who didn’t enjoy this loop. If your house does not have a natural circular pathway you can use, try creating one. You could march a path out of one room through another and then around a coffee table to retrace your steps. This is all the children need. A pathway and a common direction for everyone in the conga line!

Dancing is a the perfect foul weather indoor activity because it is aerobic and fun. Children’s bodies need to move about, the faster and more vigorously the better. We dance quickly, we dance crazy, we jump, roll, skip, shake and flap about. Whatever comes to the children’s imagination is perfect. I encourage the children to make big sweeping movements and to include their whole bodies in the dance. I also demonstrate dancing up high and down low.

Some children have a harder time getting into silly dancing than others. One strategy you can try is to have the children pick an animal or a piece of food and dance like it. Move like a monkey, a snail or a fish. Move like spagetti, popcorn or honey. You can also choose vehicles, sports or types of weather to imitate. Dance is interpretive, you can make anything work if you use your imagination.

So even if you feel a little awkward, push through those feelings and dance like you did when you were a kid. Let the music carry you away and know that the children don’t care if you have any rhythm. In their eyes, you are a role model who knows how to have fun; someone not afraid to be silly and who can dance like the wind!