31 Days of Great Children's Music: Schoolhouse Rock!


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Welcome back to 31 Days of Great Children's Music!  This is the big posting challenge I'm participating in that involves blogging every day in October covering just one topic.  It's also where you'll find some super suggestions for children's songs the whole family can enjoy.  

Find the Other 30 Days Here


Ah, Saturday mornings of years gone by.  Up before my parents and sneaking out to the family room to get my fix of Looney Tunes, The Littles, and Pac-Man before heading outside to choreograph my latest roller skating spectacular or jump ramps on my bike with the boy down the street.  And sandwiched in-between the morning's veg-a-thon of shows would be the Schoolhouse Rock! cartoon shorts.

Who needed school?  Science, Math, History, and Grammar - they were all covered during these 3-minute educational segments!

This collection of children's songs is yet another that has been solidly planted in my musical library for years and years.  And remember, Gv has only been around for the most recent of those years, so obviously these are tunes I enjoy listening to even without little ears being present.

Interjections! is probably my favorite ditty from the collection, and might possibly be the cause for my over-use of these fun little word phrases to this day!

I also have always loved Telegraph Line - I think because my dad worked for the phone company, I had this crazy notion that it was my own personal song (along with others, like Wichita Lineman).  Dit diddle diddle dit...

The Body Machine is another good one - perfect for a quick 3-minute workout to bop along with while you're chasing after a fast-moving toddler!

Activities

  • How could I not push everyone to go ice skating in honor of the song Figure Eight?  Long gone are the days when figure skaters like me spent hours tracing these designs on the ice, but that shouldn't stop you from getting out there and reinstituting them yourself! 
  • Play Unpack Your Adjectives - fill a "suitcase" (converted box) with index cards covered in nouns, then have each player draw a card and see how many adjectives (s)he can come up with to describe that noun.  Each adjective earns the player one point and the player with the most points wins.
  • Adverb Action - listen to Lolly Lolly Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here and then get ready to play this lively game.  Make up a set of index cards with different action verbs on each one (choose some that would be easy to act out) and then make up another set of index cards with adverbs on them.  Players take turns drawing a card from each pile and then acting out the resulting directive (like skipping nervously).  This could lead to some very silly pantomimes!  
  • Have fondue while enjoying The Great American Melting Pot.  We enjoy the gooey, cheesy (have I told you how much I love cheese?) fun at home with this:
  • Do the Circulation!  You could do any activity to get your heart rate up while listening to this song, but I vote for jogging in place so you can match the characters in the cartoon.

To Watch

You can buy separate DVDs and get everything, but this is a good collection:





You can also watch many segments free on YouTube, like these classics:




More Music

You can buy these separately, but we have the collection of all 4 discs.  There's also a "Best of" album that's a little more affordable.






Did you grow up singing these scholarly children's songs in-between episodes of your favorite Saturday morning cartoons?  I'd love to hear - leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.



31 Days of Great Children's Music: Picnic Playground


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Welcome back to 31 Days of Great Children's Music!  This is the big posting challenge I'm participating in that involves blogging every day in October covering just one topic.  It's also where you'll find some super suggestions for children's songs the whole family can enjoy.  

Find the Other 30 Days Here


We have a serious collection of world music in our house.  This makes sense, since G and I both love traveling and learning languages so much.  Our albums range from Turkish to Hindi to Hebrew to Arabic to Latin to French to Scottish and Irish as well as many others.

A good chunk of our spanning-the-globe tune hoard comes from Putumayo World Music.  The company's motto is "guaranteed to make you feel good" and pretty much every album does just that.  You can imagine how excited I was to discover that they have an entire line of children's melodies that are just as good as the others.

Besides having cover art that is as spunky as the music found within, these CDs also include trilingual liner notes - in English, French and Spanish.  Oooh, look at that, a free language lesson while you listen!

I love all the songs on this album, but my favorite is easily Ice Cream.  I can't help but sing along, especially the part that wails, "Ice Creeeeeaaaammm!"

Activities

  • Go on an Ice Cream outing - or hold a sundae party at home.  Pick up this ice cream maker to create your own treats (it's so easy!) and grab this book for some fresh flavor ideas:
 


More Music

Here are just a few others that are available (we own 5 of these listed CDs!):



Have you sampled any of the children's songs on these CDs before?  You can usually find a display of them in the middle of Whole Foods and sample some of the sounds while gorging yourself on food samples - it's practically a free meal!  I'd love to hear what you think - leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.  


 

31 Days of Great Children's Music: Classic Moments from The Bill Gaither Trio Especially for Children


If you want to support what I’m doing with this blog, just follow any of the product links and order whatever you want at no additional cost to you.  That’s it and I’ll get a little bonus.  Thanks so much for clicking!
 

Welcome back to 31 Days of Great Children's Music!  This is the big posting challenge I'm participating in that involves blogging every day in October covering just one topic.  It's also where you'll find some super suggestions for children's songs the whole family can enjoy.  

Find the Other 30 Days Here

 

I can't even begin to guess how many times I listened to these records as a kid, so I made sure to hunt down the CD versions several years ago.

This is vintage gospel at its finest - quality never goes out of style.  You might be surprised at how enjoyable these children's songs can be, even though they are, ahem, old.

My favorite song is I Am a Promise, but God Can runs a close second.  I can recall the lyrics to either one at a moment's notice.  What I like most about these songs is the fact that they are unique.  It's nice to have a little variety in your life.

Activities

  • Go fishing!  God Loves to Talk to Little Boys (While They're Fishin') is great inspiration for an actual fishing trip.  Or, play a game of Go Fish with these cards if you don't have a local fishin' hole nearby:

  • Listen to Jesus, I Heard You Have a Big House and create your own shoebox house.  Use a separate box for each room and build furniture for each one out of pieces of cardboard or card stock.  Use paint and wallpaper samples and fabric from remnant tables to decorate everything.

To Read

There are so many wonderful children's Bibles out there, but this is one of our favorites:



To Visit

Looking for cute Bible stories on the web?  Here are two sites to check out:


More Music

There are two volumes of these uplifting children's songs:


Have you heard of The Bill Gaither Trio?  Are you looking for children's songs that teach little ones about God's love?  I'd love to hear - leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.  
    

31 Days of Great Children's Music: Disney


If you want to support what I’m doing with this blog, just follow any of the product links and order whatever you want at no additional cost to you.  That’s it and I’ll get a little bonus.  Thanks so much for clicking!
 

Welcome back to 31 Days of Great Children's Music!  This is the big posting challenge I'm participating in that involves blogging every day in October covering just one topic.  It's also where you'll find some super suggestions for children's songs the whole family can enjoy.  

Find the Other 30 Days Here

 

This was the first CD I owned.  I didn't even have a CD player (but my parents did) and although I bought Madonna's True Blue on vinyl and Phil Collins No Jacket Required on tape, I knew this album was special and needed to be of the highest possible quality.

You see, I grew up, not only in the time of The Wonderful World of Disney and The New Mickey Mouse Club, but also when every educational filmstrip shown to us in school seemed to feature some facet of enlightenment for Goofy or Donald.  And to top it all off, I grew up just minutes away from the mouse himself in Orlando, where my first trips to The Magic Kingdom were practically free (admission was like $3) and the most difficult decision I had to make was which one or two rides to use my E-Tickets on.

So the music from the Disney parks is pretty special to me (specifically Magic Kingdom and EPCOT), as are songs from all the classic Disney movies.  

These three albums



aren't being produced any longer, but there are many others out there to choose from, most of which include a mixture of classic tunes along with those from the newer movies.

These children's songs are all such a part of me; I can't manage to choose even a couple to highlight for you.  Besides, who doesn't know a few Disney songs, right?  Explore not only the tunes from your favorite movies (past and present), but from the parks, as well.  Even if It's a Small World never leaves your head, these songs should be a part of every family's musical library!

Activities

There are more activities to go along with all things Disney than the scope of this blog could possibly cover, so I'll leave it to you to Google them yourself, depending on your personal level of Disney geekiness.  But the activities are out there, my friends, I assure you.  

To Read

There are a gagillion books related to Disney, too.  These two, however, were my favorites (which I still have and am able to share with Gv):


More Music

Like I said, there are many, many albums of Disney songs out there now.  I have quite the collection, but did notice that some of these newer compilations include some classic songs that I'm missing, so I might have to explore expanding my library a bit.  Here are a few to start your hunt:



Classic Disney, or the newer generation?  Songs from the movies, or from the park rides?  What are your favorite Disney children's songs?  I'd love to hear - leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.  

31 Days of Great Children's Music: Meltdown!


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Welcome back to 31 Days of Great Children's Music!  This is the big posting challenge I'm participating in that involves blogging every day in October covering just one topic.  It's also where you'll find some super suggestions for children's songs the whole family can enjoy.  

Find the Other 30 Days Here


Apparently Justin Roberts is another popular purveyor of children's songs, but I'd sure never heard of him!

This is a peppy, smart album with a fun sound and intelligent lyrics that kids and adults will both enjoy.  My favorite song on the album is More Than Just a Minute.  How often do our "just a minutes" really last more than a minute!

My Brother Did It reminds me of this.

And the title track on the album, Meltdown, has a line that takes me back to my school days - "I'd stop the world and meltdown with you" - can you name the band this points to?  I just love it when I discover references like that!

Activities

  • In the spirit of Cartwheels & Sommersaults, go outside and tumble around for some fun physical activity.  See how many of each you can do in a row before getting dizzy.
  • Write your own story about an Imaginary Rhino.  Think of clever ways to illustrate it - how do you "show" the rhino, without really showing it?
  • After listening to Get Me Some Glasses, go make your own!  Picklebums has these cute printables for personalizing your own pair.  Or, dress up like Superman in honor of a clever line in the song:

To Read

Let Our Imaginary Rhino inspire you to read this:




Dine on some bamboo shoots and read one of these after listening to Koala Bear Diner:

More Music

Like I said, Justin Roberts is another artist with about a zillion CDs of children's songs.  Here are a few for you to check out:



So, did you figure out the group that line was referencing?  Let me know and if you get it right, you might win the imaginary rhino award!  Justin has other clever lines in his children's songs, which have you discovered?  I'd love to hear - leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.  

31 Days of Great Children's Music: Miss Ella's Playhouse


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Welcome back to 31 Days of Great Children's Music!  This is the big posting challenge I'm participating in that involves blogging every day in October covering just one topic.  It's also where you'll find some super suggestions for children's songs the whole family can enjoy.  

Find the Other 30 Days Here

 

Gv immediately began dancing when the first song started playing and didn't stop until the end!  Well, she'd pause in-between songs, but only to point to the stereo and exclaim, obviously wondering where the great music went.

Now, I do have to say that we're big Ella Fitzgerald fans around here, and we listen to quite a bit of jazz (G is a huge fan) and big band music around the house, so Gv is kind of already used to this type of music.

Gosh, I can tell this is going to be one of our favorite albums - great Ella children's songs that sound just like normal Ella songs.

I really liked pretty much every song, but my favorite was the spunky track The Hot Canary. The only thing I didn't like about this album was the fact that I hadn't discovered it years ago.

Activities

To Read

Did you know there's a Bubble Gum Day in February?  I didn't, but here are several books to commemorate the occasion:

More Music

I am hoping to look further into these other jazz albums for kids, but in the meantime, check them out yourself:



This isn't a contemporary album, but one full of classic music.  Ella Fitzgerald never goes out of style - and the fact that she's singing children's songs is an added bonus.  Is this album something for you to get excited about?  I'd love to hear - leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

31 Days of Great Children's Music: Catch That Train!


If you want to support what I’m doing with this blog, just follow any of the product links and order whatever you want at no additional cost to you.  That’s it and I’ll get a little bonus.  Thanks so much for clicking!
 

Welcome back to 31 Days of Great Children's Music!  This is the big posting challenge I'm participating in that involves blogging every day in October covering just one topic.  It's also where you'll find some super suggestions for children's songs the whole family can enjoy.  

Find the Other 30 Days Here


Don't let Dan Zanes' crazy asparagus-looking figure scare you away - this guy makes some seriously good music!  This album actually won a Grammy, and there's practically no artist that Zanes won't welcome into the studio to sing children's songs along with.

I think my favorite track is Let's Shake because it's so catchy and always gets Gv and I up and dancing when it randomly pops up on my iPod playlist.

Or Loch Lomond, because it takes me back to when I hiked along its very banks when I backpacked across Scotland many years ago.   

While the Music is Playing makes me smile (especially the line "I don't want to go home"), because I remember how when I was in elementary school, I'd have a friend over and we'd be having such a grand time playing together that we wouldn't want to stop when it was time for her to go home.  So I would ask to walk her back to her house and then when we got there, she'd ask to walk me home, which would lead to me asking to walk her back home again and in our minds, maybe this would never end and so we could be all sneaky and end up spending all this extra time together.

To Do

  • Make a "train" inside the house with chairs while listening to Catch That Train.  Did anyone else spend hours transporting dolls and stuffed animals to far-off destinations from the comfort of a column of dining room chairs while growing up?  I obviously did - it and blanket forts were probably some of my favorite things to do.  This could even involve some dress-up play:

  • Take a train ride for real.  I realize some of you might live in areas where trains are no big deal and you ride them all the time, but that was not the case for me.  In fact, I think I was in high school before I rode my first train.  We took this great family vacation that centered around just taking the train to a not-too-far-away city and making a whole trip out of that journey.

To Play With

If you're not up for letting your little engineer construct a train out of your antique dining-room chairs, then try this, instead:

To Watch

Apparently you can often spot Dan Zanes on television, but in case you miss a chance to see him, check out this DVD:

To Read

As if creating a zillion different music albums wasn't enough, Dan Zanes has also written two books:

More Music

It seems like Dan has a zillion other great albums, ranging from Spanish to Broadway to sea shanty themes and more.  Here are just a few for you to explore:



 From what I've read, Dan Zanes concerts are great fun for children as well as their parents.  Have any of you ever attended one?  I'd love to hear - leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.