Nine months ago I was planning a trip out west to help my son and his wife with their little ones while they went to the hospital to have their 3rd baby. Was I beyond excited? Yes! Was I ready to go? Not really. There was so much I would need to do to be ready to take care of their two older children ages 4 and 1 1/2 so I knew I needed to be prepared. I knew that from minute to minute my attention would be pulled from one thing to another so I needed something that would help me to hold their attention and corral them when I needed to. How was I going to do it? With a playlist.
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I knew that a playlist on my phone would be key to managing my munchkins while we were driving around in the car or just hanging out together at home. Music has played a large part in my life because my parents encouraged my siblings and I to be trained on an instrument and we always had some sort of music playing in our home. Is there anything else that you know of that has the power to calm, to encourage, to make you happy and help you to focus? Well, and to redirect little personalities that can sometimes be uncontrollable? Nothing that I know of.
The idea to make a playlist turned out to be such a fun thing to do because I added songs they would be familiar to the kids but I also added songs from their dad’s childhood and some from mine as well. I had songs from children’s t.v. shows, movies, nursery rhymes, folks songs and church songs. Go crazy, friends. Put it all in there because the kids are going to love it.
When we got into the car to go somewhere I would immediately plug my phone in and ask them what kind of music they wanted to listen to. At first, they didn’t have a preference but when they would get bored while were were driving they would ask me to skip a song. They sang along and danced in their car seats as we rolled on down the road. One note of warning – you will be asked to play a song over and over and over again so be prepared to put a favorite song on replay!
When we were at their house, we couldn’t just play a game, fix a meal or clean up a mess without turning our music on. It was a great way to keep them busy and interested in what we were doing. Music truly does help to keep them in the moment so I am glad that I made a very large list! Another thing that music can do is to help cement those sweet memories into their minds. I can remember well dancing around my aunts yard to Neil Diamond songs with my sister. Every time I hear “Sweet Caroline” I want to start doing those great dance moves.
For Christmas this year my husband and I will be going out west to spend the holidays with all 4 of our kids, their spouses and our 6 grand kids and I plan on being just as prepared this time. With 6 kids in the house ranging from 4 1/2 years old to 6 months old, we are going to need a REALLY good list for sure. Christmas playlist, here I come! This is what my Christmas playlist includes so far:
My suggestion to you is to make everyone happy but most importantly the little ones in your life, mix it up! Put everything you like on your playlist and add lots of favorites for the kids. It will help to keep everyone happy and excited about the holiday and all that it brings. Baking cookies, decorating the tree, wrapping presents or just playing games, having a great playlist is going to make your holiday!
What is on your Christmas playlist? I would LOVE to know!