When we were at my family’s home in August I was surprised at how Emily and Nathan spent their time. In a big house with lots of fun toys they chose to dance to music blasting from a kids electronic keyboard. All day long.
Listening to a handful of songs on the keyboard all day was NOT my idea of a good time. But I hatched this idea to get the kids a CD player and cds that they could have complete control over using.
First I checked amazon and eBay for good deals but was disappointed with the prices and lack of good reviews. Next stop: goodwill! It took a few trips to find a good option. We bought a CD player that worked for a week but then would only play certain cds. It turned out to be a kareokee machine with flashing lights so I didn’t feel even a little bad returning it (14 day return policy with the receipt and sticker). We ended up with a fantastic CD player/radio combo for $4.99.
It took about a week but now they choose and change the music as they wish. This isn’t as often as i would like and some of my favorites are becoming less so. I also found classical composer CDs with about 70-80 minutes of music from a single composer. This was a fantastic goodwill find with each one at a $1 each = $10 well spent. Right now they just listen to them occasionally but in a few years I want to do composer study with the kids.
Unexpected outcomes from giving the kids more autonomy in the music department:
- There is a lot of spontaneous dancing and laughter filling our home. If we are having a rough day suggesting the kids turn on a cd turns a day around.
- Emily is gaining an appreciation for what is Sunday music and what is music for the rest of the week. The Sabbath has some marked differences.
- The kids love a swing dancing CD I picked up in high school. After dinner one night Andrew told the kids that if they quickly cleared their dishes he would come swing dance with them after the kitchen was clean. We had a solid 30 minute swing dancing party, which is quite uncharacteristic of this Jackson clan. Now it is becoming a more frequent occurrence.
I strategically introduced the CD player in the fall as part of our preparations for a winter indoors. I’m hoping this will be a helpful resource while we are adjusting to life with a new baby and there is lots of energy to be expelled.
I’ve tried to capture some of the kids dancing over the last few weeks. Here is some dancing in a dress I made Emily from a pattern my neighbor developed using a grid! Phoebe is amazing (her blog!). I learned how to line a bodice, sew button-holes and buttons, and sew a gathered skirt.
Emily rarely wears it though because the dress Uncle Sam made her is WAAAAY better for spinning and looks more like a pioneer dress.
Nathan looks so grown up! He left the table while we eating lunch to show us some moves of his own. He looked so happy I just let him be.