Form an Impromptu Band

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I love musical play with babies – they take to it so readily! Today, we struck up a band for Veronika as a family, using two types of instruments: real ones that we’ve accumulated over the years, and some improvised ones, too.

Because what is a pot and spoon if not a drum?

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Or a rolled piece of paper if not a horn? Big brother Travis loved the way this one sounded.

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We got jamming and handed Veronika instruments to play, too.

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Travis found a new way to play on this pot – with a kazoo as the mallet!

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Then we shifted our focus from playing the instruments to dancing to some tunes.

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Wiggling is such a funny thing for babies both to see and feel. Set your music player to Music Together’s “Wiggle” and, well, wiggle! I wiggled my fingers, my arms, my legs.

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Travis got into the moves wiggling his whole body.

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By the time we wiggled Veronika’s own toes and fingers, she was giggling with delight. Wiggle your hands all over baby’s body, too, for more giggles.

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Don’t forget to just pick up your baby and get your whole bodies into the rhythm. We danced from room to room.

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Now that she’s older, the dance moves can be more active than those with a newborn; we went up and down, spun around, stepped back and forth, you name it. Dance it up!

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Entertain With Dances

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Today, I got silly for Veronika!

Moms and Dads, set aside your inhibitions, prop your little one up, and get dancing. I promise you that your baby won’t judge; he or she will just love the show.

To make things fun for Veronika, I picked kid-friendly dance music, pulling from Travis’s music mix (think: the type of songs you hear at a Gymboree over and over and over).

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For added effect, I even put on a “costume” – a top hat and feather boa.

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Now it was time to pull out dance moves from back in my high school theater days – jazz hands and chorus line feet were in heavy rotation. The hat made a perfect peek-a-boo prop mid-dance!

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She seemed so into it, if perhaps mildly startled at mommy’s antics at times!

I also tapped her little feet along to the rhythm, so she could feel it in her body.

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Bottom line: don’t feel silly – get silly! Your baby will love the entertainment.

Dance to a Rhythm

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Today’s activity with Veronika was as simple as can be – we danced!

With Christmas music on repeat in our home, I was reminded o take a moment for a gentle dance party.

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Veronika and I put on mellow Christmas tunes and I rocked her to the rhythm. We started out with her in my lap, just swaying to the beat. It was hard to catch her smile on camera, but she seemed to love it.

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Then we got up and danced around the room (photo credit to Travis!) for even more movement. Music and rhythm is so innate in young kids, and it’s never too early to expose them to how it feels to move to a beat.

Whether it’s holiday tunes, classical music, or your other favorite dancing tune, I hope you get up and dance with your little one, too!

Ribbon Wands

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My son loves gadgets. My son loves music. Was this project the perfect mix of the two? Hint: it involves a power tool.

In general, musical props like scarves or wands help kids enjoy movement and music that much more as they find the rhythm and beat of a song. So get drilling and put together these cute dancing wands!

The wands are simple, but you will need a drill, as well large craft dowels. Make sure you don’t buy thin dowels, or your drill bit will be much too large to bore through.

Adults: Make sure the dowel is on a tool bench or otherwise clamped down, and carefully drill a hole near one end, going all the way through.

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Travis loved watching (with safety goggles on!) and sweeping up the sawdust after. Use sandpaper to smooth down any rough edges or splinters.

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Next, I cut lengths of ribbon for Travis, until we had a nice pile and variety.

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Help your child guide the ribbon through the holes of the dowels until you’ve filled each with 4 to 5 ribbon pieces. Gather into a knot and tie off.

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And now it’s time to dance!