How are you hanging in there as you’re hunkering down? I’ve been trying to start each day with some movement for my girls and weave it in throughout the day. Because, of course, it is healthy and builds good habits in their developing bodies and minds. And also, my sanity.
As the weather has made going outside challenging, one of the easiest ways I’ve found to get them moving indoors is by playing music. While I haven’t researched any effects of music on people with DS in general, I know it has aided Grace’s speech and gross motor development – as well as providing her great enjoyment!
Though a kid’s station on Pandora or Spotify sometimes works, to promote an extended dance party (especially when mom may not feel like joining in), I’ve found lots of movement songs on YouTube that do the trick. They also promote visual imitation and verbal direction-following. These are some of our favorites:
If you have kids, you should know Laurie Berkner. She writes original songs that not only engage and teach kids, but are also enjoyable for grown-ups. My husband and I agree that hers are among the few kids’ songs we don’t mind getting stuck in our heads. Bonus: she often features diverse kids in her music videos.
The Airplane Song
Waiting for the Elevator
Drive My Car
We are the Dinosaurs
Shake your Body Down (There’s no video with this one, but it’s one of my favorites, and I couldn’t leave off of the list!)
Edited 4/9 to mention: Laurie Berkner has started sharing live shows on her Facebook page most weekdays at 10 EST!
Super Simple Songs are catchy and educational. Their videos use a variety of images ranging from animations to puppets to actual people (check out Caitie’s Classroom.)
Patty Shukla is no Laurie Berkner. What she lacks in musicality, she makes up for in saccharine enthusiasm. And she does have a knack for making songs that incorporate movement, learning, and repetition, which makes them accessible (and certified brain worms). But Grace requests them repeatedly, so who am I to argue with that?
And one high energy bonus that always leaves us out of breath:
Shake Your Sillies Out by the Learning Station
I hope you can find a a few new favorites to get your kids moving and blow off some steam. What did I miss? Comment with your recommendations below.