I recently had a few mom friends and their little ones over for a jam session, and it was SO. MUCH. FUN! The moms brought their ukuleles, I brought out some of our favorite rhythm instruments, and we all had a good time singing, dancing, and playing. The best part is that this is fun for all ages and skill levels.
Ready to host your own playdate jam? Here are a few tips based on what worked for us:
- Sing songs that lend themselves to improvised lyrics — If You're Happy and You Know It, Old MacDonald, and Down by the Bay (I'll have video tutorials for all of these soon!) are great options where everyone can take a turn coming up with verses
- Give the kids some choices. I set out some kid instruments (of course), but also a big car ramp toy with some toy cars and some markers and coloring pages so they could switch gears when they needed to. The kids would take occasional breaks to go color or eat a snack, and when they did, we moms had a great time chatting.
- Be flexible. We didn't have a particular agenda or schedule we were trying to follow, other than just play and have a good time.
- Keep them contained (ha!). I've tried hosting uke jams at playgrounds, with the idea that the kids could climb and swing while the grown-ups strummed, but for whatever reason those don't tend to go as smoothly. But at the house, the kids felt comfortable and settled in really nicely. I was so impressed by how well everyone was getting along, too!
- A roundup of my favorite kid instruments
- Ukulele colorings pages: Psychedelic Uke and Uke with Dino
- Family Jam Time: More tips and encouragement for singing and making music with your kids, plus a jammable Disney-themed playlist
Do you host family-friendly jams? How do you incorporate music into family life at home?
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