31 Days of Great Children's Music: Christmas


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



Christmas music is universal and can be enjoyed by all ages, but it can also be fun to include some perky children's songs to liven up the festive mood even more.

I had these the Chipmunks Christmas albums on vinyl ever since I was a little girl and I have enjoyed them year after year ever since.

There are plenty of activities to engage in during this season and I couldn't even begin to compose a short list.  I can, however, list what I think are some of the best books, movies, and albums to include in your holiday plans.

To Read

These are some of our favorite books for this time of year (believe it or not, this is whittled down!):


To Watch

I have this whole list of Christmas movies that I traditionally watch every year (G is such a good sport to sit through them with me, although one of them is one he actually wants to watch with me - it's pretty much "our" movie).  Not all of them are appropriate to share with Gv, but here are the ones that definitely are:

Music

And, finally, here are my favorite Christmas albums for children:




Do you go crazy and listen to Christmas music all season long?  If so, do you include children's songs in the mix?  What are your favorite Christmas albums/books/movies?  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: Here Come the ABCs


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 album is all about the alphabet and highlights different letters with different songs. 

I'm pretty excited about the song Alphabet of Nations because I often play The Alphabet Game with countries and get stumped on a couple of the tricky letters.  I'm sure after I've heard this song a few more times, I'll have no problem winning this game in the future.

It will come as no surprise that I like E Eats Everything.  Give me a song about food and I'm generally pretty happy!

While I didn't love the music of Pictures of Pandas Painting, I did appreciate its alliteration prowess. 

I think my favorite tune was Who Put The Alphabet in Alphabetical Order?  So catchy, that one!

Activities

  • This album provides the perfect excuse to play one of my favorite games - The Alphabet Game.  Read this post to see how I used myself as the topic for a round.
  • Use these songs as companions for your letter studies, if you have a little one learning these at home or school.
  • Engage in some art inspired by Can You Find It?  I'm already looking forward to the day I can do these with Gv, because I can't wait to color these myself!

And while these don't involve hidden images, the previous books reminded me of the Roger Burrows Images coloring books that I loved when I was younger.  I'm so excited to see that they've been re-published!

To Read

  • Alliteration fun, inspired by Pictures of Pandas Painting:

  • Set out on a search of your own while listening to Can You Find It?

More Music

Here are some other albums by They Might Be Giants:



They Might Be Giants seems to be a group that's "been around" the children's scene for a while.  Are you familiar with them?  Do you enjoy their children's songs?  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: Nicky's Jazz for Kids


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



After Day 17, I realized there might be more jazz music for kids out there, so I went in search of whatever I could find.

I was pretty excited to come up with several great albums, but this one stood out from the rest.

What I love most about this collection of children's songs (and the other Jazz for Kids album, listed below) is that the songs are real jazz songs by famous jazz musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, and Dizzy Gillespie.  By real, I mean that these aren't songs created just for kids.  These are songs that you'll recognize as great classic jazz tunes - that also just happen to be perfect for kids.

I love all of these songs, but I think I find All That Meat and No Potatoes to be the most fun.  It makes me think of yummy camping food, because that's usually the only time we tend to eat much meat in our family.  Although, now that I think of it, we usually have potatoes while we're camping, too...

I also really like Everybody Eats When They Come To My House.  

Hmmm, I'm noticing a theme here.  I'd say it's just because it's dinnertime and I'm hungry, but that wouldn't be the entire truth, because I just plain love food.

Another great bonus of these jazzy children's songs is that G (being the jazz music aficionado that he is) will listen to these songs over and over and over and not get tired of them, which is great, since he's not so in love with some of the other music selections I've been playing lately.

To Read

Look!  A book all about Nicky the Jazz Cat!  How cool is that?


There are so many great books out there on the big jazz musicians.  Here are a few that we have (or want!):


And here are some other great books about jazz that are just loads of fun:


It's really a fascinating topic to read up on - so much history and musicality - I bet you'll be surprised at how much you enjoy learning more about this subject, too!

More Music

Other Nicky the Jazz Cat musical fun:


Be sure to check out these great albums, as well (the first one is a super-close runner-up for my favorite, and I've already gone on and on about how much I love Putumayo's music, as evidenced by this post and this post):

Do you get as jazzed about jazz music as we do?  Are you excited to check out these jazzy children's songs for yourself?  I'd love to hear - leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com. 

31 Days of Great Children's Music: You Are My Little Bird


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 generally prefer listening to boisterous children's songs, but it's also nice to have a variety of tunes on hand when you're building a good children's music playlist and this album has really grown on me.

Elizabeth Mitchell's clear, pure voice reminds me a bit of Sheryl Crow.  In addition to several newer tunes, Elizabeth brings a fresh sound to many of the classic folk selections that have been around forever.

My favorite song is Little Bird, Little Bird.  I have copies of this song by many different artists, but this soothing version is definitely my favorite.

Activity

Become bird watchers - whether you head out to a local park or preserve, or spend time stalking the blue jays in your back yard, this activity can be a calm way to spend time together as a family and learn something new about nature.

Grab some binoculars like these:




and then gather some great books like these:



before heading outside to hunt for some new feathered friends.  Be sure to bring this mellow CD along with you - it's perfect for a quiet day full of bird-watching.

More Music

Just a few other great Elizabeth Mitchell albums:


Are you looking for children's songs that will be calming for your kids, but are a little livelier than lullabies?  Then this is the perfect album for you - mellow tunes that you can quietly sing along with during more peaceful activities.  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: World Sing-Along


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


Yes, this is the second post in my 31 Days series covering music from Putumayo, but as I said when I highlighted the Playground series, we really love music from all around the world in our household, so having two days of it here makes total sense.

And this album is a bit different, because the songs are more of a sing-along style (although I totally find myself singing along to the Playground songs, too!).  Another thing that sets these worldly children's songs apart from the others is that many songs are performed by popular children's music artists.

My favorite selection from this CD is Jig Jog Gee, performed by none other than Dan Zanes!  I thought it was nifty to realize that I'd already been enjoying some of his songs (there are two on this album) when I came across his albums in my research for this series.

Activities

  • Get inspired by the cultural variety this music provides and hit the road, the skies, or the open water!  Whether your finances and schedule allow for circumventing the globe, crossing state lines, or just exploring the sights in your own backyard, plan a family vacation!  Check out my Pinterest board, On the Road Again, for a great collection of ideas to ramp up the fun factor while traveling with kids.
  • If you're really brave, sell off all your stuff and pack up the family for a nomadic life!  Or, if you're not quite ready to commit to that step just yet, do what I do, and just read about a family who is doing this.  My two favorites are WorldTravelFamily.com and TheArtofSimpleTravel.net.
  • Maybe you'd love to explore a different part of the world, but that just isn't an option at the moment.  Well, then just bring that country to you!  If you homeschool, you can easily turn this idea into an entire week of study, but even if you don't, you could do things like planning your dinner menu around typical food from a certain country, making crafts, and playing festive music to help transport you there in spirit.

To Visit

As I've said before, G and I love learning new languages.  Choose a new one to learn with your family and check out these great free language sites for kids:


and these, for the grown-ups:

To Read

Some of our favorite books that this album calls to mind:



 

More Music

Just a few others in the fantastic Putumayo collection:



Do you love to travel?  Have you had the chance to get out there and do it, or are you more of an armchair tourist?  Have you ever explored music from around the world?  I'd love to hear - leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.  


 

31 Days of Great Children's Music: Sing Along!


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 children's album comes from the lead singer of the band The Presidents of the United States of America and includes all sorts of famous guests, including Weird Al and Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam.

Quirky and folksy, this collection includes original tunes as well as revamped traditional pieces that will be sure to have you singing right along with your children!

The album opens with the catchy Bad Blue Jay - whose "yes sir" and "no sir" responses will have you tapping your feet to its fun rhythm and most likely get you out of your seat for some dancing around, as well.

Wild Wild Time will either remind you of Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata, or Billy Joel's This Night, or both, but it provides tons of animal fun wrapped up in a song, regardless!

My favorite song on this album is easily My Flea Has Dogs.  It cracks me up every time I hear it, but the best part is when he mentions all these dog breeds and then shouts out "Italian Greyhound" as one of them, which, in my opinion, is the best dog breed out there:

Boy, I miss this little guy!

Activities

  • What better game to accompany songs like Funny Bone and Them Bones than the silliness of this classic:


  • If you can manage to listen to I Wanna Be a Snowman without having that other song pop into your head, then good for you!  But if you can't find a way to escape it, then just give up and watch this:


and then turn your own family into snowmen with toilet paper, hats, gloves, scarves, and maybe some pre-cut carrot noses and buttons, like this family did (scroll down a bit in the post to find this activity)

  • The minute I heard Shadow, all I could think of were some recent posts on shadow puppet play at a couple of my favorite blogs:
  • Take some inspiration from Baby Cloud and create your own cloud in a bottle.  There are many variations to this science activity, but here's one that seems to produce great results:

To Watch

There are quite a few cute cartoons to go along with many of these songs - Caspar Babypants even has his own YouTube channel!  Here are a few to whet your appetite:

To Read

  • Ba Ba Black Sheep is a classic that deserves to be in any household.  Check out these versions:

and be sure to read this fascinating book (for adults) that tells the stories behind different nursery rhymes:

More Music

If the other Caspar Babypants albums are as much fun as this one, then you could create an entire library of children's songs from just this one artist:



I just love the cover art on these albums, too (his wife does all the art).  Which cover is your favorite?  I'd love to hear - leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com, then be sure to go check out these children's songs for yourself!