Almost every afternoon, right before I start preparing dinner, I turn off the television and make the kids take a break from the computer or the iPad or whatever else it is that they’re doing, and we have a 15-minute dance party. I blast music on my little Bluetooth speaker and we all move around the house, getting rid of the day’s excess energy and engage in some silly, kinetic fun.
Besides being the soundtrack for the World’s Funnest Dance Party, music plays a key role in early childhood development. It helps teach kids about the sounds of words and boosts vocabulary, and dancing can improve motor skills and fosters creative self-expression. Bonding over music can also bring you closer together as a family and create lasting memories.
From nursery rhymes to hard rock, here are some suggestions to get you moving and grooving:
Pandora – this free-to-download music-streaming app has been a staple on our iPad for a while, but most users don’t know there are pre-set children’s music channels; here’s a great blog post on the different options. There aren’t any filters so be wary of pop-music channels as they may have content that’s not age-appropriate
Fanlala Radio – also a free download, Fanlala was designed for listeners aged 9-15. Kids can create and share playlists of music from popular artists in a library of over 8 million songs – all profanity free. It is subscription based and costs $1.99 a month or $14.99 but that cost also allows users can share playlists in the online community
Radio Disney – as a companion app to the satellite station, it offers listeners access to all things Disney. Along with clean lyrics and popular artists, users can also get entertainment news , watch videos, and use the app’s alarm clock function to wake up to music
Kids’ Music Player – if you have a library of kids’ tunes already downloaded from iTunes, use this free app to let your little ones choose what they want to listen to. Pictures make it easy for non-readers to pick which songs they want to hear from an adult-selected playlist