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December 23, 2013

Dance to the Music

by Tracy Jensen

After the gifts are unwrapped… After the food has been eaten… The kids have played with their new toys and you’ve caught up with your visiting relatives. You are going on Day 3 of holiday guests, it’s cold, and you’re stuck inside with a bunch of feisty kids. Everyone is getting a little bored and cranky. What are you supposed to do then?

It’s tempting to grab a blanket, climb on the couch, and doze off during your kids’ favorite movie. But I wanted to share with you one of the best times we’ve had in recent years at a Christmas gathering at my house. It was when my daughter got one of those dance games for her video console, and my best friends from high school came with their kids to celebrate with us.

It’s a funny thing about video games. You think you got it for the kids and most days, the game is really my daughter’s domain. But that night, and on several other occasions since, a dance party was declared and I’m telling you, if you get a good-sized group of people up in front of the TV, it can be hilarious. And addicting.

And good exercise. Well, at least for me and my middle-aged friends. We were all flushed and laughing so hard, and the kids were yelling, “dance, old ladies,” as encouragement, I guess. But we laughed so hard no one really “won.” And even when it was not our turn, if the song was good and the dance looked fun, we all got up and danced along with the players, following the moves. We still laugh about that today.

Video games may not be the most ideal form of exercise, but in a pinch, it’s a way to keep everyone moving. Dr. Hansa has some good suggestions here for some other fun ways to keep moving with kids, indoors and out. What physical activities are you and your family into when it’s cold outside or you have a house full of guests?

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