This article is sponsored by Jungle Joe’s.
Movement in young children is such an important part of a healthy, happy childhood. One recommendation encourages parents to ensure children 6 and up to get at least an hour of vigorous movement in every day, with children between 3 and 5 also moving frequently during play. But in the midst of schedules, school activities, school, homework, and commutes, it’s hard to ensure that children get enough vigorous movement every day!
Jungle Joe’s, a local, indoor playspace and cafe, is passionate about the role of vigorous play in childhood. It’s a significant part of the reason Angela Holt, the owner, was excited to create such a fantastic indoor playground. The climbing, crawling, bouncing, and tumbling made possible by their play structure allows local children to happily engage in important play even on days when the weather is less than cooperative.
Bonus – Jungle Joe’s cafe space makes it easy for parents to read, write, or work on their laptops while their children play happily and safely nearby. But we can’t make it over to Jungle Joe’s every day (although we’d like to!). So what are some ways that parents can encourage lots of vigorous movement in play?
Did Someone Say Dance Party?
One of the easiest ways to do this is to turn on some music. There are lots of ways to use music to encourage family bonding and kiddo movement, but sitting on Spotify for an hour trying to create a playlist instead of spending time with your kids sort of defeats the point.
So, in partnership with Jungle Joe’s, we’ve made this family dance party project really easy on you! We’ve compiled a list of songs that are kid-approved, kid-appropriate, and will really get your blood pumping and your little ones moving.
All that’s left for you to do is open your favorite music app and turn up the volume. Ready?
1. Happy by Pharell Williams
2. Everything is AWESOME by Joli
3. I Just Can’t Wait to be King from “The Lion King”
4. Footloose by Kenny Loggins
5. Everybody Talks, the Glee Cast Version
6. Shake, Shake, Shake by Bronze Radio Return
7. Feel Again by OneRepublic
8. Long Live by Taylor Swift
9. Forever Young by John De Sohn
10. Wild Things by Alessia Cara
11. I Lived by OneRepublic
12. On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons
13. Best Day of My Life by American Authors
14. Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen
15. I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas
16. Twist and Shout by The Beetles
17. Dancing Queen by ABBA
18. Surfin’ U.S.A. by The Beach Boys
19. Jump by Van Halen
20.Jump in the Line by Harry Belafonte
21. Party All the Time by Eddie Murphy
22. Under the Sea from “The Little Mermaid”
23. Be Our Guest from “Beauty and the Beast”
24. Centerfold by The J. Geils Band
25. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers
26. Baby Shark by Pinkfong
27. I Like to Move It from “Madagascar 2”
28. What I Like About You by Flo-rida
29. All Summer Long by Kid Rock
30. All Star by Smash Mouth
31. Can’t Stop That Feeling by Justin Timberlake
“I Like to Move it, Move it”
Just turning up the volume is often enough to encourage kids to get moving, but if they need more encouragement, turn it into a HIIT workout. Pair 30 seconds of a “move” with 30 seconds of deep breathing or resting. Start with the actions below and let the kids take it from there:
- Starfish jumps (or “jumping jacks”)
- “Elephant” marching – While marching, raise each knee as high as you can and slap it with the corresponding hand during each step.
- Hula-hoop swirling
- Tuck jumps – Jump as high as you can, raising your hands to the sky and tucking your feet up to increase the distance between you and the ground.
- “Freeze” dance – Perform random dance moves until the designated person yells “freeze!” and then hold your awesome dance move for 30 seconds.
Thanks to Jungle Joe’s, there’s no excuse to be bored on a rainy, cold or hot day anymore. Turn up the music, burn off some energy, and then head over the Jungle Joe’s Cafe for a delicious snack and more activity.