September 11, 2007

Cabin Fever Dance Party

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Thump. Thump. Thump. Thus began Unauthorized Bed-Jumping Incident No. 42 for the day. Rainy weather meant we couldn't head outside for a walk or bike ride. The kids were climbing the walls, and quite frankly, so was I.

We'd played games, built forts, and snacked, but the signs could no longer be denied: cabin fever was setting in.

I joke to friends that we sometimes send our boys outside to run as if they're dogs. My favorite part about that joke is that we actually do this. The boys seem to crave that large motor action, sleeping afterward at night like Bassett hounds.

If they aren't active for enough hours of the day, energy builds like hornets in a jar, and they'll start running. It's a happy sound that fills the house: feet pounding from carpet to Pergo and back to carpet.

With the help of www.smartplaylists.com, I got an idea. Instead of yelling at them to stop jumping on the beds (again), I docked my iPod, pulled up Outkast's "Hey Ya!" and yelled, "Dance Party!"

The thumping ceased. Muffled conversation ensued. Moments later, the boys bounded downstairs, as if having a random dance party in the middle of the day was the most normal thing in the world. We shook our groove thangs with abandon, adding a joyful and new kind of Thump-Thump-Thump to our indoor repertoire.

For adult-friendly kids' music, check out "No!" by They Might Be Giants (Rounder, 2002) or "Here Come the ABCs" (Disney, 2005). The soundtracks to kids' movies like "Shrek" or "Over the Hedge" often contain danceable songs.

But don't limit yourself to preschool-centric tunes; dip into genres like funk, swing, and Cajun. The low cost of downloadable singles makes experimental purchases less daunting. Here's a sample playlist to get you started:

  • "Let's Go Crazy," Prince

  • "Rock Lobster," The B-52s

  • "Who Let the Dogs Out," Baja Men

  • "Welcome to Paradise," Green Day

  • "Here It Goes Again," OK Go

  • "She Blinded Me with Science," Thomas Dolby

  • "Hey Ya!," Outkast

  • "All Together Now," The Beatles

  • "Higher Ground," The Red Hot Chili Peppers or Stevie Wonder

  • "Lucky Star," Madonna
  • How do you fight cabin fever? Click the comments link below to find and share ideas.

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