Does your child love to dance? Dancing can be fun and great for staying fit mentally and physically. Here are some enjoyable activities around music and dance to keep your little one on her feet
By Srividya Anish
We all want our children to have a healthy mind in a healthy body. Dance is a great way of ensuring this because it has a relaxing effect on the mind while ensuring a healthy workout for the body. When both mental fitness and physical exercise come together there can be lots of fun, so parents can encourage their children to take an active interest in such activities. According to the London-based Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD), dance is one activity that is perfect for kids and it can improve flexibility and strength. So, let's make them dance for boosting their confidence and keeping them healthy. Dance is always fun, irrespective of age.
Learning dance improves determination, concentration, confidence, creativity, mental strength and balance, flexibility, body stamina, tones muscles and increases metabolism. Studies have found that dancing can reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. It can also boost children's self-esteem.
Apart from learning in formal dance classes, children can be engaged in some interesting dance activities at home by parents for some fun and bonding --
Kids love jumping. Jumping is a simple activity and needs no props. Jumping can be done anywhere, anytime and on any music. This gives lots of stamina to the body and mind and is the best warming up exercise. There are a variety of jumping activities such as tuck jumping, Bhangra jumping, island jumping, jumping for distance and many more.These can be lots of fun for toddlers or even older children and will improve their motor skills.
Making active kids sit and read their school books is not an easy task. So here’s what you can do. Make them just dance to study. Yes! It will work like magic. If the child is going to dance classes, ask her to do the dance steps and parents can help them to sing the subject content with a nice rhythm along with the movements. Example: Children can say arithmetic tables like “one ones are one…” instead of “Tat-tai-tha-ha" of Bharatanatyam or recite any poem or a rhyme. This improves their memory and the dance practice is also over!
Team activities can do wonders and develop a great bond with parents and friends. Nature can always be an inspiration, so here is one dance activity you can do as a team -- imitate the movements of a snake, butterfly, lion, peacock, deer, frog, kangaroo and so on with a suitable music. This activity will be a lot of fun and will teach children to coordinate in a group.
Children love to hear stories. Be it mythological or futuristic tales, they find them quite enthralling. Young minds can let their innate creativity to blossom when they enact their own stories in dance form, complete with expressions and movements. This can increase their non-verbal communication and teach them the importance of the right gestures. Discussing the story with parents also helps them connect.
Take everyday household items and make your little ones improvise by using these to dance to the tunes of some music. Let them choose the props and decide how they want to use it in their dance. They could use brightly-coloured ribbons or even utensils and garments such as sarees to create their own performance piece. This will boost the creativity of your little ones and teach them to use their imagination to think out-of-the-box.
Dancing comes to us with lots of dedication, devotion and perseverance. When children are involved in dance-based activities, they have a lot of fun, while learning new things. Both teachers and parents can use these activities to enhance their child’s creativity.
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