Updated November 2013: These DVDs are no longer available, but other options are. Read more about Zumba for kids.
If you're looking for a fun, dance-based workout for your tween, you might want to know that the superpopular Zumba fitness classes are now available on DVD, including a special boxed set for kids. My 7-year-old and I reviewed one of the DVDs in the Zumbatomic collection, which offers three DVDs, an audio CD, and a comic book. The DVD starts off with a cartoon done in a funky, hip-hop style, which we thought was pretty funny (it was about a mad scientist who was trying to find the secret of happiness in increasingly silly ways, while a much wiser mouse acted as his lab assistant).
The workout itself offers 30 minutes of nonstop dance moves, emphasizing "contemporary urban styles such as hip-hop, reggaeton and pop." Word to the wise--there is no instruction. This isn't like a more traditional aerobics class or dance workout where the steps are broken down and you learn them in parts, then put them all together. No, the dancers on the DVD just jump right in to their Latin dance-inspired moves and have faith that you'll be able to jump in and follow along. This old mom was no match for the energetic dancers, but my daughter kept up pretty well, sticking with the DVD for the entire 30 minutes without getting frustrated.
The company says this product is aimed at 4- to 11-year-olds, but I think it would be pretty tough for a kindergartner to grasp. My 4-year-old had little interest, even though he loves music. But for an older child who's into dance, I can see this being a favorite. And yes, we definitely worked up a sweat testing it out!
Product photo: Courtesy Zumba