So, I've written about Just Dance before. In fact, it was just about three years ago that I wrote about our trip to visit family in northern California and they introduced us to Just Dance. We played it - we loved it - and we laughed and sweated and were stunned that we couldn't dance better than we thought we could. It was a very sobering experience for both Charlie and I.
Well, as it turns out... they have a Just Dance for Kids.
And it's easier for us to play.
("Us" as in "me" and "Charlie.")
(I'll let you in on a secret: When at first you don't succeed - go for the little kids' version. Same theory applies with road races, triathlons and high-jump contests.)
Now, I'm going to go out on a limb here and admit that our family really isn't in to that much "screen time." While the kids do watch movies every so often and do know how to navigate their way around the PBS Kids website, we really don't want them playing computer or video games. We bought this house - on this lot - with this yard - so the kids could be outside playing in it.
NOW GET OUTSIDE!!
Except for those times when it's freezing cold and/or raining and/or dark and/or we decide to have a Family Dance Off. Enter Just Dance for Kids. What I especially love about this game is that it gets the kids up and moving. And it gets US up and moving. And it brings about a sense of fierce competition that in small doses, can be very good for relationships.
What I especially don't love about this game is that our children are quite good and make us look like we've got two left feet. Case in point: "When The Ants Go Marching In" might seem like it's a really easy dance, but here's my husband who just realized he was taken to lunch by his once three-pound premature daughter.
Here are their scores.
This is Charlie's score.
This is Carolyn's score.
The difference is 1136 points and Carolyn knew right away that she had won.
In the background I was saying, "No Charlie, your remote is NOT broken. It works just fine - those are brand new batteries. Your little girl is just a better dancer than you!" My husband demanded an instant rematch but this time he took off his flannel shirt so he could get his groove on....
It didn't matter. Carolyn won. AGAIN. And when she did, she asked her father who had sweat dripping down his brow, "Daddy, are you just letting me win because I'm a child and you love me?" Charlie was out of breath, so I responded on his behalf, "Oh Sweetheart. While Daddy does love you with every fabric of his being, he'd never let you win just because you are a child. Ask your cousin, Diana."
So not only is this an aerobic game that helps with coordination, stamina, family bonding and math skills (subtracting the big scores), it also helps keep certain grown-ups humble.