1. Get your Bond On
Social distancing makes it pretty tough to dance en masse, but you can still feel the connection that dancing in sync can bring with your immediate family members. Studies have shown that dancing together increases bonding, which leads to liking each other and trusting each other more. Whether it’s a foxtrot, a samba, a tango, or a toddler two-step, you and your kiddos can feel closer when you cut a rug together. Even babies reap the benefits, too! Pop on your favourite tunes and bop along with your baby to the beat, and you’ll feel closer than ever!
2. Boost Your Kid’s Brain
Has isolation got your brain in a fog? Dancing increases brain power and function, including improved memory skills, which we could all use during this stressful time. Especially now that we’re stuck inside, it’s important to keep moving. Fit kids have better memories and cognitive control compared to kids who don’t get up and move as much. Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) has been found to have a positive effect on children’s cognitive development.
And get this – dancing even stimulates nerve growth factors and neuroplasticity, which means your kid’s brain will be able to re-wire itself and adapt as new information is learned. Neuroplasticity is the science behind growth mindset. It’s the reason we can develop skills and knowledge through effort, practice, and persistence. So dance, dance, dance!
3. Get stuff done
Blasting your favourite jams and getting your shimmy on can help you to feel more motivated! Does your kid need to tidy their room? Shake your tail feather while picking up toys. It’ll make the job a lot more fun, and everyone might actually enjoy it! It can buy you time too if you’re working at home. Get that playlist booming and enlist your kiddos in a little cleaning cha-cha while you tackle your work inbox.
4. Burn, Baby, Burn!
We might not be able to go to the gym, but the good news is that dancing can burn as much as 450 calories per hour! It’s a super fun way to get everyone moving, pump up heart rates and have a fantastic time. Even if annihilating calories isn’t your goal, modelling being active is a smart idea. Show your kids that movement is fun, and you’ll encourage healthy habits long after Lockdown.
5. Get Down, Don’t Melt Down
Having the entire family cooped up all day is bound to cause tension. Thankfully music is a great way to shift a bad mood. Add in some silly humour, and you’re onto a winner. Throw on some tunes and do the funky chicken dance. Or belt out Laurie Berkner’s “Pig on Her Head” and ask your little one to make up new animals, then act it out! Distraction is the name of the game, here, and an impromptu dance party can work wonders at hushing a hissy fit. Once your kid’s calm, you could make home-made tap shoes together! Grab some spare coins and glue them to the bottom of their shoes. Once kids hear the tippity tap sound, tantrums are a long-gone history!
And the number one reason to grab your kid’s hand and dance like nobody’s watching? It’s fun! We hope this takes your mind off stressful stuff and that you and your kids have a blast with some fancy footwork!