Learn, Stay Active and Have Fun with Christmas Music

Winter can be a beautiful time of year.  Crisp snow, hot chocolate, and twinkling lights are some of my favourite things about this season.  As much as I love the winter, it does make it a little more challenging to get out and stay active.

My daughter has been excited about Christmas for months, so when she asked if we could listen to some Christmas music the other day, I had an idea.  We’ve been working on her reading skills at home, so I thought it would be a good idea to print some Christmas carol lyrics and we could read them together.  Then we could listen to the songs, while singing and dancing to them.  My daughter loved this idea.  And who doesn’t love a good dance party?

This activity was easy to organize.  A simple internet search will help you find song lyrics for just about any song you like.  I did edit the text to make the font a little bigger, which helps my daughter focus on each word a little more.  I printed a few different songs and let her pick which one she wanted to read.  We sat on the couch and she read to me for awhile.  My daughter is just learning to read, so we took our time as she sounded each word out phonetically.  Depending on the age of your child and their comfort level with reading, this may not take as long, but I strongly recommend taking your time on this piece of the activity.  After reading for awhile, we broke out the music. We had a lot of fun making up silly dance moves and singing nice and loud.  Even my husband joined in the fun.

We’ve repeated this activity a few times since, and each time it’s a big hit.  To provide a little variety to the dancing portion of the activity, I made small recipe cards indicating a dance “theme” and we would pick a card for each song.  Some examples of the dance “themes” were: dancing like an elephant, dancing like a ballerina, clapping along with the beat and dancing on all fours.  There are lots of possibilities, so be creative.

Another variation to this activity, which is particularly fun when you have a few children participating, is to make a “puzzle” out of the Christmas carol lyrics.  I wrote a few lyrics on a number of recipe cards.  After I had written the lyrics, I mixed the recipe cards up and had everyone grab a card (or a few, depending on how many children are playing), and read their card.  Then the children had to figure out what order the cards needed to be placed in.  If they got stuck, we would play the song, so they could listen to it, and try again.

This activity is perfect for those days when it’s just a little too cold to go outside. It’s great for Christmas parties, too.  Combining reading and physical activity is a win-win!