Living life in lockdown means coming up with new - and numerous - ideas to keep children amused.
If you've already exhausted your craft box and done every museum tour going then now's the time to plan an all-singing, all-dancing party. It's a great bonding activity for the whole family and gives youngsters a wonderful way to share their talents through the medium of song.
Plus - it has been proven that singing releases endorphins and these feel-good chemicals will lift everyone's spirits. Your only challenge - getting the kids to share the mic.
Send The Invites
Little kids will love being involved from the start so task them with making the invitations. Don't forget the theme is all about music, singing and dancing. Your first port of call should be Pinterest, where you can find plenty of inspiration and editable invite templates. Or challenge each child to craft one invite each, for a fun activity and a way to get them excited ahead of the big occasion.
Prepare Your Song List
You'll want to be sure you've got something for everyone from Disney hits to classic big numbers. According to Lucky Voice, Bohemian Rhapsody and Dancing Queen both made the top five most sung karaoke of 2019. For kids you'll want the catchiest of songs - why not get them to flex their vocal cords to Taylor Swift's Shake It Off, Pinkfong's Baby Shark or Justin Timberlake's energetic Can't Stop The Feeling? Younger kids will be comfortable with songs they recognise to remove the need to read words off the screen - in these cases, you can't go wrong with any animated film theme tune.
Craft Your Own Microphone
Yes - we know a hairbrush will do it. But with this next step, the kids can make their very own microphones. A few cardboard tubes should do the trick nicely. Get out the paints and glitter and let them stick, colour and paint to their heart's content. DIY karaoke pros go next level by using semi-inflated balloons to imitate the top of the mic.
Props - The More The Merrier
It really is a case of go big or go home (or you know... leave the room). Raid the kids' dressing up box - think wild wigs, feather boas and outlandish fashion choices. Grab some musical instruments too; blow up guitars will work just as well as your little one's xylophone. And let's not forget the glow sticks and glitter balls too! Think of your props as the distraction from the less-than-perfect singing and an excuse for everyone to dance.
Decorate The Karaoke Room
Pre-party, get children involved in the planning. Ask them to write up signs to signal where the karaoke stage is so everyone knows where to position themselves to sing. An older child can also do some song research to come up with a selection for everyone to pick from. The smooth running of your sing-off will come down to the prep. Forget scrabbling around finding Grandma's favourite Vera Lynn song and have them lined up and ready to go. If you can stretch to it and happen to have some old sheets lying around, rig up a make-shift curtain to open prior to each performance. Your little one may also enjoy rummaging around in the Christmas decoration box to fill the room with sparkles and fairy lights for just the right atmosphere.
If you're a Virgin Media customer then you're in luck - there's a karaoke channel that's just made for this type of great entertainment. Find it by selecting 'On-Demand' and then opting for 'Music, News, Sport & More' - you can thank us later. If not, then there's plenty of inspiration online. We love the Sing King channel on YouTube - there's plenty of child-friendly choices including hits from Frozen. Karaoke On Vevo also has over 80,000 hits and special 'Breaking Quarantine' playlists featuring timely classics like Dancing On My Own and I Will Survive.
Get Extended Family Involved
Take your party to the next level by involving the whole extended family. There's plenty of tech to host an online social gathering - top picks include Facetime, Houseparty and Zoom. Set the family group up on your tablet and connect the laptop to the TV so that everyone can see and hear the action. Make sure the whole family is set up with the right technology to begin with; as well as your own online connection, everyone will also need access to another device or the TV so that they can access suitable music videos which also display the words to your chosen tunes.
Keep Them Fed And Watered
A little forward planning will reap rewards with the refreshments. Try preparing some easy-to-grab snacks or buffet food. Chicken nuggets, fairy cakes and vegetable sticks will keep even the fussiest child smiling. Or if you're feeling summery, follow our guide to an indoor BBQ. And if all that singing is leaving your guests a little hoarse it might be time to break out the lollipops. Between the songs, you'll want easy grab-and-go snacks for fuel - mini burgers, bowls of chips and pizzas are good ideas.
Take It In Turns
You'll want to be sure that everyone has their turn in the spotlight (no spotlight? Grab the desk lamp and angle it just so...). Draw up a schedule so everyone knows when it's their turn. If you have a reluctant child you may want to schedule them to perform once the party is in full swing. By then they'll be buoyed up by the energy in the room. Or start the evening off with a group song to ease the nerves. Try introducing little rewards for each song sung too - stickers, bubbles and sweets are all easy-wins to tempt kids to line up for their turn. Make sure you have the right mix of songs - once they hear the opening bars of their favourite song they'll soon be up for a sing and a dance! Why not allocate one person to co-ordinate who goes next and announce the next song?
And if they really love it - try out our top tips for a lockdown rave with your little groovers.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
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