When was the last time you and your family heard a great song and got up to dance?
Children love to dance. When they hear music, many children naturally clap, jump, and jive. Who doesn’t have a video of their little one bopping to a beat?! Responding to music and dancing begin before words can be formed; it is one of the most basic expressions that is innate to us.
Dancing with family form joyous memories for children. While adults often feel self-conscious dancing in front of others, seeing children dance is a wonderful reminder that it doesn’t have to involve complicated footwork or choreography. Dancing can be as easy as a twist and a shake!
Children learn important skills from dancing to music. Read on to learn about the five benefits of dance for early childhood development.
1. Physical development
Dance supports a child’s physical development and strengthens their mind-body connection. Through dance, kids can improve their overall health and fitness, boosting endurance, coordination, range of motion, balance, and flexibility. Dancing makes exercise fun so kids will grow up to continue enjoying movement and sport. The physical confidence gained through using our own body lays the foundation for a healthy self-image.
In this (adorable) video, watch Tori from @halfway_montessori dancing and jiving with Jooki!
2. Emotional maturity
Through dance, children develop emotional maturity and healthy coping mechanisms. A dance session is an excellent stress-reliever. Jumping and moving to an upbeat song is a guaranteed mood-booster. Cheerful songs like Happy by Pharrell Williams and I Like to Move It by will.i.am are bound to get kids on their feet!
For children who struggle with sitting quietly for long stretches of time, a spontaneous jive session will help release pent-up energy!
To find great dance songs, check out the ultimate Spotify dance party playlist for kids.
3. Social awareness
Dancing fosters social awareness and interactions. It can be a fun and exhilarating group activity across generations with family and friends.
According to research published in The Arts in Psychotherapy journal, we fire mirror neurons when we copy actions performed by others. These neurons let us replicate dance steps we see others doing and are part of the biology of how dances go viral. Further research is starting to reveal how activating these mirror neurons can enhance empathy, attachment, and social bonding in children.
By dancing with others, children practice critical social skills and spread positive feelings to each other.
4. Cognitive development
Through dance, children develop a range of cognitive skills. They can convey their thoughts and feelings and learn how to use their body language for self-expression. By improvising movements, children also use their creativity and imagination.
Many parents will know that when children are fascinated by a song, story, or movie they like, they will play it over and over. With Jooki, children can discover their favorite dance song and practice it again and again. Repeating these dance steps helps them develop their kinaesthetic memory for enhanced cognitive abilities.
This Dance Party! Spotify playlist includes upbeat songs for kids to hop and bop non-stop!
5. Sensory development
Lastly, dance helps children develop their senses. In the screen-filled world of children’s media, animated cartoons in brilliant colors appeal to kids’ sense of sight. However, this sense is often over-developed at the expense of others. Dancing to songs played from Jooki re-centers playtime on sound, touch, and movement. Children learn to coordinate actions with music and develop a sense of rhythm. They also cultivate spatial awareness, learning how to spread and contain their movements to the space around them. Jooki helps children focus their sight on their physical world instead of colors on a screen.
Dance helps children develop the areas of their brain related to movement, muscle memory, balance, rhythm, emotions, and expression. Check out this infographic below for a summary of how dance affects the brain.
Dance is the unspoken voice of our bodies that helps kids nurture key life skills. With Jooki, children can develop a love of dance and music during their formative years.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your whole family dancing with Jooki today!