Every American has heard the buzz about childhood obesity and the alarming increase in recent years. Most of us can even list off the long-term damage created by obesity. However, for me, it is personal. Despite being born to active parents, I have struggled with my weight my entire life. I was a bona fide bookworm and the thought of doing anything but reading (or playing with dolls when I was very young) was detestable. That in combination of the misguided advice of the time to load up on fat free diet food created a constant battle of the bulge that I have to fight to this day. I was much older before I appreciated the benefits of exercise, even if I do not truly enjoy the actual mechanics of working out. I am so grateful my children seem to have an innate desire to be active and love being outdoors. Nurturing this desire is a high priority for my husband and me and we are always looking for creative ways to add activity into our day. Mother Goose Time’s add on Dance ‘n Beats accomplishes multiple goals in one adorable little package and aligns with our goals for the family.
Dance ‘n Beats features 21 movements to support the development of coordination, balance, strength and control, resulting in increase postural alignment and spatial awareness. – See more at: http://www.mothergoosetime.com/dance-and-fitness/#sthash.I9LDleGJ.dpuf
Not only is it a creative energy burner, but it also facilitates learning. The 12 songs correspond to the month’s theme and enhance retention. Susan Hallam, affiliated with the Institute of Education at the University of London, explains, “Speech and music have a number of shared processing systems. Musical experiences which enhance processing can therefore impact on the perception of language which in turn impacts on learning to read.” A quick google search on the benefits of music and movement provides countless research showing increased academic success, interpersonal skills, and self-esteem.
September serves as our introduction to the Dance ‘n Beats component of Mother Goose Time. As the summer heat is keeping us primarily indoors, I am mainly excited about the fitness aspect and the musical/academic enrichment is simply icing on the cake!
My son is a high-energy dancing machine, so I anticipated he would be the main benefactor of the DVD. Yet, to my complete shock, he was quite reserved while watching Dance ‘n Beats. After completing the warm up, he kept saying he “didn’t know it.” Despite my assurances it was just about being silly and dancing around, he only randomly participated. I was truly disappointed and do not fully understand his hesitation. The corresponding manual does a great job introducing the moves and providing the lyrics, so I am confident he will “know it” as the month goes on. However, my gut says there is a bigger issue underlying the reluctance but I simply cannot completely identify it to address it. He is naturally very gifted but tends to avoid challenging situations; yet, I have never noticed this attribute become an obstacle during play-based activities.
Quite the contrast, my low-energy (non-television watching) daughter absolutely loved the entire DVD. She intently studied the dancer and gave her best effort to follow along. When she got off track, she just bounced around or asked me to show her how to do a particular move. It has been the first thing she has wanted to do each morning. She usually completes about half of the DVD each day and occasionally requests it again in the afternoons.
Over the past week, my little man has grown to love the DVD as much as his sister, especially “The Scary One” which they want to do over and over!