Sue Parke is an ACTIVEkids.com ambassador, mother of one healthy, ACTIVEkid, and author of the Sparke Family, Fitness and Food blog.
I'm a firm believer that healthy habits start young, especially when it comes to diet and exercise. Teaching our kids from the get-go that being active and getting a little exercise every day helps foster these habits into adulthood.
Two of my greatest passions are music and exercise. The combination of the two creates the perfect recipe for a successful workout, because let's face it, a good beat makes anyone want to get up and move. There's that famous saying, "Music is the universal language." No matter what your race, background or language, we can all understand, appreciate, and love a good melody and beat. Music helps motivate, inspire and encourage babies, kids and adults in a variety of ways, including to get up and move.
It's no secret that music is an effective learning tool for kids of all ages. Exposing babies and kids to music and music education has proven to have profound effects and benefits. From boosting brain power, building confidence, improving memory skills, developing physical skills, and helping develop social skills, studies and research have been showing for years the many benefits of exposing babies and kids to music.
A great way to get your little ones to move is to incorporate music into your daily routine. Think about when you go out for a run or hit the gym – chances are you have headphones in your ears playing your favorite music to motivate and power you through your workout. This goes the same for kids; they're no different, just smaller with growing and curious minds.
Kids learn a lot by doing. Combining music and movement is a fun way to help them learn kinesthetically and develop fine and gross motor skills. With young toddlers and children, starting with basic movements and gradually working your way to more advanced movements helps them learn body awareness as well as their physical capabilities.
|Basic Music and Movement Exercises||Advanced Music and Movement Exercises|
|Wiggling your toes||Jumping jacks|
|Flexing your feet||Dancing|
|Clapping your hands||Running in place|
|Shaking your hips||Side-to-side toe touches|
|Tapping or stomping your feet||Squats|
|Reaching high and low||Barrel rolls|
|Bending your neck||Cat and cow stretch|
|Snapping your fingers||Rocket jumps|
Make Music & Movement Social
If you have several children, whether at home or in a classroom, doing a music and movement circle is a great way for kids to get active and socialize together. As your children grow older, they'll become more comfortable, open and excited about physical activity, music and participating in social events—all of which will encourage them to have an active lifestyle far beyond their childhood years.
The main goal of including music is to help motivate and make exercise fun and enjoyable while teaching kids how to live a healthy and active lifestyle. And don't forget to participate too; leading by example is the best way to get your kids involved.