Dancing Away the Last Days of Summer
One family discovers quality time with music.
With the summer winding down, I’m running out of ways to keep the kids entertained.
We’ve become quite familiar with our usual haunts, like the White Oak Library, Ikea’s Smaland and Chick-Fil-A’s romper room. Though the weather has cooled down a few degrees, we’re still spending quite a bit of time indoors.
It’s super-easy for me to fall into the trap of using the television as a babysitter. Whenever I ask Little Miss S to turn off the television, she immediately asks when she can turn it back on again. Yikes. I have been too lax in regulating her screen time this summer.
My answer to weaning my kids off television: music.
Using an online music site, we’ve created our personalized radio station. The station plays a mix of children’s bands, a smattering of songs from kids’ shows and a handful of family-friendly adult tunes. There’s enough “grown-up” music playing so that I don’t end up tearing my hair out over all the Wonder Pets theme songs.
Once the jams are playing, the kids and I have a dance party in our living room. Or their bedroom. Or my bedroom. Sometimes they just bounce on and off the couch.
Our daily dance parties give everyone a bit of exercise. We get all of our sillies out—OK, not all, but enough to keep the kids from bouncing off the walls. After a while, they forget all about the television.
Eventually Little Miss S and Lil J discover some half-forgotten toy or playset and end up amusing themselves. While they play peacefully together, I sneak into the kitchen to prepare our lunch.
It’s been a lot of fun for me, too. It forces me to slow down and enjoy the moment. Instead of worrying about a sink full of dishes or changing over the laundry, I’m having a blast dancing and chasing the kids around our home.
Music is the perfect way to enjoy our last days of summer before Little Miss S becomes a kindergartner.
Thien-Kim Lam prefers loud rock music with fun curse words but doesn’t mind rocking out to Milkshake Band or Yo Gabba Gabba with her kids. Her parent column appears on Colesville Patch each Tuesday. You can also find her blogging all things parenting at I'm Not the Nanny and sharing her love of food and craft at Cup of Creativi-Tea.