With the current global crisis and restrictions due to COVID-19 effecting every area of life – kids at home, working from home, schooling from home, no playgrounds, cafes or movies, no physical contact with friends or family and way more screen time all round – it is not surprising that we all have moments of feeling overwhelmed and unable to focus on even the smallest thing.
This is true for our children as much as for ourselves, the world as they know it has been turned upside down and they may not even have any idea why.
So for all of us here are two music activities to bring calm and enable a moment or two of focus on a task at hand.
1. Playlists – Create and Use!
Playlists set atmosphere within a space and can be used to calm or energize a room.
Create a family playlist of everyone’s favorite songs, use the dinner table as a place for discussion around what songs everyone enjoys and compile a list. You could record the discussion so you don’t forget any songs, or pass around a piece of paper for everyone to write them down or even pass around a phone or iPad with a music listening program and create the list as you go.
Create a feel good playlist for yourself, full of music that makes you smile and play it as you go about even the most boring parts of your day. I know it always helps lift my mood when music is on.
Create a child friendly playlist full of action and dancing songs to keep the children entertained and active, they could even get an instrument or a bucket and stick to drum along with. And while they are entertained then you have a moment for a cuppa to yourself! Some days this would be amazing!
2. ‘Squeeze my Hands’ from our album ‘We Can Play 2019’ can be used as a warm-up for both yourself and your children, sometimes we use this as a way of getting us ready to leave the house and head out for a walk or even to get the washing onto the line outside!
You can play the song and give a gentle squeeze to the different parts of the body as directed. This can help children develop an understanding of where different parts of the body are and get the blood flowing as they move in time to the beat. It also allows a moment to stop and focus on one very simple task which enables your brain to reset – so handy right now!
Sometimes we use wiggle instead of squeeze or give each other a shoulder massage as the song plays, or if you are by yourself you could use a stress ball or balloon filled with sand to build some strength and tactile awareness.
You could use the song before specific activities to enable children to be calm and focus for extended periods of time, hopefully even without your assistance so you can do something for yourself.
As we all negotiate life through this season of distance from what we know as normal hopefully some activities like these two can help us all to focus on the good and important things in our world and enable some productivity where needed, even if it’s just space for a cuppa and a chat with a friend.