Eat & Move-O-Matic

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The Eat & Move-O-Matic App is a great way to explore energy balance.

Jump, shake, wiggle and jive with Just Dance Kids

By: Michelle Garza

Just Dance Kids is the “kid friendly’ version in the popular Just Dance trilogy. It offers hours of great fun for kids of ALL ages and adults too. With more than 40 hit pop and hip-hop songs re-recorded by kids, for kids, plus TV-show favorites for little brothers and sisters, Just Dance Kids has the beats to get everyone up off the couch and moving.  Gameplay is just like the original, a simple dancing game where you hold your Wiimote in your hand and mirror the moves in sync with the onscreen characters. This new child-friendly version replaces the original’s glowing silhouettes with video footage of “real kids” who dance along to the 40-plus choreographed dances.

The game features three different modes: regular mode, where you can dance to continuous songs without returning to the main menu, freeze and shake mode where you gain extra points for shaking or standing still when queued, and team play where everyone dances together for one combined score. The team play option is great for younger kids because everyone works together, so no one loses and there are no hurt feelings.

The game also has three main components: Dance, Play Lists, and Parents. In Dance, you have more than forty songs to choose from, each ranked by dance-move difficulty and the amount of physical workout you’ll receive. Songs range from kid friendly classics, such “Happy Birthday” and “I’ll Be Working on the Railroad” to songs made popular by TV-show personalities like The Wiggles and Yo Gabba Gabba and several upbeat songs for the older kids like “Kung Fu Fighting” and “All Star”.  Regardless of your taste in music, the song list is extensive. In Play List mode, you choose from the same selection of songs, though the dances are strung together to create medleys based on various themes, such as animals, humor, and a general party setting.

In the parent component, parents can trach their child’s playtime, how many calories they’ve burned, when they last played, and how many times they’ve played a particular song. Parents can view detailed tutorials in this setting. The parent component also has an interesting part called Philosophy, where Ubisoft, the creator of the game, explains to parents their inspiration and motives behind the game. Some important points of that philosophy are: Just Dance Kids was designed as a safe and fun game to keep kids active, it helps with development of rhythm and coordination and it is a great addition for family nights because it encourages physical activity while having fun. Not only can parents can track how many calories their children burn as they move and groove with their friends, in this healthy game that never feels like exercise,  kids also have the ability to learn to concept of burning calories through movement through the tracking features in this game.

This game is a great choice for schools to use because there are no inappropriate song lyrics or dance moves.

Below is the HUGE kid-friendly song list included in the game.

Younger Kid Favorites

  • Alphabet Song
  • Ants Go Marching
  • Bingo
  • The Hamster Dance Song
  • Happy Birthday To You
  • Old MacDonald Had a Farm
  • Pop Goes the Weasel
  • Can You (Point Your Fingers And Do the Twist?)
  • Hot Potato
  • The Monkey Dance
  • Get The Sillies Out
  • Party in My Tummy
  • I Like To Dance
  • The Chicken Dance
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It
  • I’ve Been Working on The Railroad
  • Wheels on The Bus
  • When The Saints Go Marching In
  • Shake It

Older Kid Favorites

  • One Time
  • Here We Go Again
  • All Star
  • Funkytown
  • Jungle Boogie
  • Kids In America
  • Kung Fu Fighting
  • Magic
  • Mmmbop
  • Naturally
  • Who Let The Dogs out
  • Mickey

Hits for the Whole Family

  • Holiday
  • Hot, Hot, Hot
  • ABC
  • Beautiful Life
  • Celebration
  • Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)
  • Haven’t Met You Yet
  • I Wanna B With U
  • Macarena
  • Surfin’ U.S.A.
  • YMCA

Just Dance Kids is rated “E” for Everyone.

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Funding Information

© 2013. NMSU Board of Regents. All rights reserved. This project was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture through the National Research Initiative (Grant #2008-55215-18837).

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The Exergames Unlocked project includes a multi-state team of accomplished media education researchers, exercise physiologists, medical professionals and doctoral students. Contributing members are researchers in their fields and have helped launch the use of exergames as tools to combat obesity in their communities and beyond. New Mexico State University researchers and their partners have been funded to research the impact of exergames, develop specific recommendations for exergame use, and implement exergaming programs. As part of that project, this website provides access to resources based on research, sample projects, and input from the exergaming community. For more information, contact the project director: Dr. Barbara Chamberlin, Professor, New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service
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Why Exergames Unlocked? Exergames are videogames that encourage physical activity. Here, you’ll find the best and most effective exergames, as well as strategies and recommendations on using them with different audiences and in different locations.