With the invention of tablets and the influx of home televisions, it quickly got a lot harder to get kids moving. Why go out and play with our friends when we can play video games with them from the comfort of our couch? Why go out and spend money to actually bowl, when we can use our Wii and play in the middle of the living room? We get it. But, sometimes you need ways to run through all that pent up energy and guarantee a good night’s sleep. The one thing all kids have in common: They love to dance! These dancing games will channel their competitive sides and get them movin’-movin’.
1. The Emoji Dance
They key here is to have a versatile playlist ready to go. Each time you change the song, encourage kids to dance in a way that expresses the emotion of the song. Don’t just go for happy, energetic songs. See what happens when you put on something sad or angry, too.
2. Find the Leader
Have one person be “it” and leave the room. Next, select a leader to lead everyone in a silly dance — encourage them to be as silly as possible and change moves often. When “it” returns, start the music. Everyone should do their best to follow the leader’s moves while trying to not look directly at him. If “it” can figure out who the leader is before the end of the song, then leader becomes “it” and you start over.
3. Popcorn Dancing
Grab a beach ball or other light ball and crank some music. When you toss the ball to someone, they have to dance. Then they can toss the ball to any of their friends to make them dance.
4. Animal Dance
How would an elephant dance? A monkey? You can either have everyone dance as the same animal and keep changing it up, or encourage them to dance as their favorite animals (without making the noise) and try to guess. Either way, it’ll expend plenty of energy.
5. Body Part Party
Have your kids circle up and then you can start some music. Lead by example with this one and start by “dancing” one part of your body (like your arms or even just your right arm). Everyone else in the circle should mimic your dance. After a few counts, “pass” the dance to the next person who must “dance” that same body part but in a different way. After you’ve went around the circle, pick a new body part to make dance.
6. Remote Control Dance
Think of the buttons on a DVD player: Play, fast forward, rewind and pause. Use those as commands while your kiddos dance to whatever music you play. The last person to pause when you tell them to is out.
7. Create Your Own Hula
Start by teaching your kids a bit about Hawaiian culture and how hula dances aren’t just a cool way to dance but that they actually tell a story. Have them come up with their own hula motions to dance out a story of their own.
8. Freeze Dance
Be the DJ or designate a kid to do the job. Turn on the music and get everyone loose and wiggly. When the music pauses, so should the dancing. Anyone who keeps dancing when the music stops, is out on the game until the next song starts.
9. Ribbon Dancing
All you need is one of those sticks with a ribbon on it. You can buy an official one or just start with a craft time and have your kid(s) create their own fancy ribbon sticks from a twig or dowel and some leftover ribbon. Next, turn on the music and show them how to swish, squiggle and swirl to the tune.
10. Balloon Dance
Remember playing keep it up with a balloon when you were bored? Mix that with music and dancing and you’ve created a whole new game. If the balloon falls before the music stops, they’re out of the game.