The Benefits of Spontaneous
Family Dance Parties!
Taking the Initiative to Bring Spontaneous Family Dance Parties Into Your Little One’s Life Has All Kinds of Wonderful Benefits
We all know that those little wiggle worms like to boogie down to a good tune. We do too. But did you know that taking the initiative to bring spontaneous family dance parties into your little one’s life has all kinds of benefits?
Let’s take a look at how!
1. Spontaneity and joy benefit a child’s development
Research has shown that playfulness and play-time can help strengthen one’s ability to respond to adversity and cope with stress! Showing children that playfulness can be a valuable experience early on helps them to build space for it into their lives moving forwards.
When you reach for your music app and start playing your groovy tunes like, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, “Dancing in the Moonlight”, or the soundtrack to Encanto on a Saturday afternoon, twisting and twirling around the living room and inviting the kiddos to join, you’re modeling to children that spontaneity, joy, and laughter are important. You’re providing them with a concrete example of how to appreciate silliness, laughter, and family time. This is huge! And wonderful! And simple!
2. How does music benefit children? Let us count the ways:
We all know that healthy levels of exercise are good, but did you know how exercise helps a growing body? When children (and adults) have routine and healthy levels of exercise in their lives it:
- Reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Improves their cardiorespiratory fitness
- Reduces the risk of developing heart disease
- Builds strong bones and muscles
So go ahead: Play your favorite dancing jams and teach those kiddos to shake what their mama gave them! Paring body movements (like dancing) with joyful environments and experiences (like a fun and supportive family dance party) creates a correlation, or neural pathway, between exercise and enjoyment. When children’s brains are developing, providing them with ample opportunities to create these positive neural pathways in their brains helps to set them up for lifelong success.
4. Family bonding
Creating a space where silliness is encouraged (and indeed where you take it upon yourself to look silly first - to break that ice and provide an example of vulnerability and joy) helps to create trust and understanding. Maybe tensions are high in the household and a sudden and nonsensical dance party will help to lighten the mood and pave the way for later conversation and conflict management.
Maybe a child needs space. Learning to discern when is and is not the right time to turn on your 90s jams and teach them to stop, collaborate, and listen is also important. As families grow and evolve together, learning when to be silly and when to be a good listener with individual children is a valuable skill.
We would also like to point out that families can look like many different things. Maybe your family is several generations all living under one roof: parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Maybe your family is chosen and not blood-related. Maybe your family has two dads or two moms. Maybe there are no moms or dads but grandparents who act as the main caregivers. Maybe your family includes foster children, with you for short or long term time periods. Your family could include adopted children, biological children, or both. Your family could include one parent or four parents. Families can look similar to one another or can look different. Families are diverse, unique, and beautiful. No matter what your family looks like: All families benefit from joy, laughter, and valuing each other for who they are.
5. Creates a safe space
No making fun. Being silly, laughing, and practicing your dance moves is wonderful. But be sure to cultivate a dance party where no one is made fun of. It is possible to be silly and goofy in an environment free of malice or projected insecurities. Allowing children to dance and express themselves without the fear of being teased, taunted, or having their trust and vulnerability betrayed is important in any household. It’s also a great way to show children that they need not make fun of others either. Create a safe, supportive, two-way street (or dance-party runway) for everyone in your household.
Providing a safe space in which children and adults know that they can be silly, vulnerable, trusting, dancing-fools creates a healthy environment and tone that can spill over into other areas of children's lives, bolstering their healthy development and sense of wellbeing.
6. Inclusive dance practices for kids with developmental concerns
Participating in spontaneous family dance parties is a fun and joyous experience for ALL members of the family. As with any practice, be sure to include those who may have physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. Folx who are wheelchair bound, movement restricted, or who may experience severe anxiety can easily be included in a family dance party. Remember to always keep in mind the individual needs of each person and to act accordingly.
Creative Content Manager Thomas McNeil, a former Special Education educator, relays that it’s also important to be aware of, “sensory challenges… sound can be tough for some kiddos…adults too… I found being attentive to the child’s behavior by saying ‘I noticed this… can you tell me about it?’ is a great way to not let my own preconceptions get in the way”.
Let’s take a look at some helpful way to include those with disabilities:
7. Helps children to establish ownership of their own body
Having a safe, accepting, and inclusive family dance party can help children to understand, explore, and be present in their own bodies. This is incredibly important to their healthy development. Dance allows children to experiment with movement and with learning how to use different muscles, as well as providing caregivers an opportunity to have follow up discussions on the correct names for body parts, including culturally sensitive parts of the body.
When children are informed, empowered, and present in their own bodies they are better equipped to build boundaries, communicate needs, and to know what feels healthy and what feels like a red flag to them.
8. How Storypod can be used at spontaneous family dance parties
Here at Storypod, we are here for your spontaneous family dance parties! Play some groovy jams that they already love to wiggle around to in their dancing shoes. Kids will love when you join in the dancing festivities with them. You can use your Storypod speaker to play tracks your kiddos know and adore, like on our Tali Tucan Craftie, Uma Unicorn Craftie, or even the iCraftie. Our Ultimate Music Bundle provides dozens of songs your kids know and are familiar with and our Dance Bundle was made for dancing.
Remember, a dance party is not a fix-all or even appropriate for any time, situation, or individual. A spontaneous family dance party is a tool to facilitate healthy growth and an opportunity to bond, be silly, and experience joy with your family. We hope that families, all families, are able to find unique and entertaining ways to connect with and value one another.
Here at Storypod, that is of the utmost importance to us and we hope that we are able to bring some of that musical joy into your home and family.