christmas Stocking
Photo by Jrisher

By Carrie Thompson

Stuff your children’s Christmas stockings with music and dance gifts this year, and you may soon discover that your kids have talents that will blow your socks off.

Most kids love toys that make noise, and most kids have an abundance of energy. Those are givens. The gifts found on this list of kid-proven and parent-approved toys can encourage your little ones to direct their energy in a positive direction while developing their natural talents and knowledge at the same time.

Everyone’s happy!

Many of the musical gifts we have selected are Orff instruments. The Orff method is a popular way to introduce and teach music to children using all the things kids love; dancing, chanting, movement, percussion, improvisation, play, fun, singing and drama. There’s a good chance that your children will be introduced to it in school, and that makes Orff-based gifts even more valuable in the home.

8-note Glockenspiel

Every child needs a little xylophone to explore the musical scale. This one uses the Orff color-code system, so it dovetails well with most school music programs. Kids from age three on up will enjoy composing their own little songs.

Jingle Bells

Here’s an Orff instrument that crosses over into Santa territory. Your child will have hours of fun shaking this handheld percussion instrument, and the bells will prompt visions of Santa and his sleigh. Maybe Santa’s elves made this for your child by reaching into the stock of jingle bells that are used for the reindeer collars.

Hand drum

The wooden construction of this Orff drum gives it a mellow tone that is very pleasing to everyone in the house. It can be played either by hand or by using mallets. The drum can be used by children as young as eight months old, but older kids will love including it in their rhythm bands.

Colorful Recorders

Many schools introduce younger children to music by using the classic soprano recorder. These recorders from Yamaha are made in bright translucent colors. Not only do they sound great, but also, they look amazing.

Dazzler Ribbon

We’ve seen the beautiful ribbon routines performed by Olympic rhythmic gymnasts. Give your young dancer a head start with this well-constructed 6.5-foot dazzler ribbon. A colorful ribbon flying overhead adds drama to any child’s improvised choreography.

Hot Pink Ballerina Leg Warmers

A tutu is a no-go without a pair of leg warmers. These stretchy, knit leg warmers come in hot pink,of course,and provide the ideal finishing touch to any budding ballerina’s outfit.

GiggleBellies Musical Adventures

Bring all the elements of singing and dance together and then add learning and animation to the mix, and you’ll get a feel for this award-winning collection of DVDs. Seasoned teachers will tell you that they could teach the entire contents of Wikipedia to kids if they could just put it all to music! These videos teach a multitude of early education concepts using excellent animation in a fast-paced curriculum. Kids will learn the alphabet and numbers in no time with this GiggleBellies video.

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Encourage all of the children on your Christmas list to develop their creative talents and give them a solid educational foundation with your stocking stuffers this year. These are truly gifts that you can feel good about gifting.

About the Author:

Carrie Thompson enjoys watching a little tyke’s eyes light up with a laugh. When not traveling with her family, Carrie enjoys building sandcastles with youngsters or pushing a kiddo in a swing. It’s the little things in life that make Carrie happy, like watching a kid enjoy life. Connect with Carrie on Google+.

Geraldine Jensen

Publisher and Editor of Families Online Magazine. Our experts provide warm, loving, and generous advice for you, your family and children, no matter their age -- infants, school age, 'tweens, and teenagers. Features include:Parenting, Ages and Stages of Child Development, Child Support, Cooking, Health, Children's Books, Nutrition, Christian Parenting, Relationships, Green-living, Education and School

Ms. Jensen is a leading advocate for families and children and was the founder and president of ACES, The Association for Children for Enforcement of Support.
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