Shall we dance?

mabeldancingThis winter we had many days that were just too cold to do anything outside. All of these days posed a real threat that my 4 year old and 2 year old would gather all their pent up physical energy and literally spin out of control. So almost every night this winter around 5 pm (the universal time a young child starts behaving in such a way that caregivers begin to count down the minutes until bedtime) I would turn on “ballet” music. To my children, any classical music qualifies as “ballet” music. The rounds of interpretive dance that ensued helped my children get out all that pent up energy in a way that was manageable indoors. Of course, switching up the genre of music is always fine with my little ones, as long as we all bow and applaud each other with the reverence of ballet dancers.

I’ve been wanting to get silk play scarves to add to the dancing (oh, and all the possibilities one can imagine when playing with silk scarves…). But I still haven’t bought any, and I’m not as proactive as my best friend who made her own. Instead, we have made-do with my winter and spring scarves as well as my children’s favorite blankets.

Maybe this is why my kids love Mabel Dancing by Amy Hest so much. I have loved this story and Christine Davenier’s beautiful illustrations for years now. The book brings me back to all the times as a child I sat at the top of the stairs, when I was supposed to be in bed, because I didn’t want to miss the grown-up party downstairs. Don’t be deterred if you have sons. I first found this book when I was teaching 5 – 6 year old boys. They loved it because they could relate too. (As a side note, I find it quite important that boys as well as girls are exposed to books that have strong female main characters.)

Dancing is a fantastic indoor activity that children of all ages can enjoy. My 2 month old prefers I sing while I dance with him cheek-to-cheek. I’m taking advantage of that before it changes!

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03 2009

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