Labor Day:  Wait, What Are We Celebrating Again?

For many of us, Labor Day is associated with the bittersweet emotions that accompany the end of summer. It’s the unofficial harbinger of fall, an excuse for retailers to hold massive sales, and traditionally, the rather arbitrary national deadline for wearing white. But Labor Day has far more significance—and a more sobering history—than its present-day observance would imply.

Continue reading “Labor Day:  Wait, What Are We Celebrating Again?”

Sing Like a Pirate!

Sing like a Pirate

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Ahoy, mateys! Did ye know? Tomorrah is National Talk Like a Pirate Day! Huzzah! Hoist the main sail! Batten down the hatches! WHERE’S MY PARROT?! It’s fun to talk like a pirate…ye just need an extry big bucket of RRRRRRRRRRRs!

Here in Kindermusik land, we be doin’ a bit more than just talk like a pirate! We sing like pirates! How do we do that? Well…ye came to the right place!

Arrrrrrrrgh![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Happy Birthday in Pirate

Our first test…know someone with a birthday tomorrow? Why not sing the traditional Happy Birthday song in Pirate instead of boring old land lover language? Let’s give it a go. It’s pretty simple…

Happy Birthday to ye,
Happy Birthday to ye,
Happy Birthday dear Blue Beard!
Happy Birthday to ye!

Easy as an albatross pie! Let’s try another one…[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]sing like a pirate[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Mary Had a Little Lamb? No…She Had a Ship…and a Parrot!

The pirate version of Mary Had a Little Lamb has Mary out on the high seas looking for treasure! Here be a link for some accompaniment music for ye!

Mary had a little ship,
Little ship, little ship!
Mary had a little ship
And sailed the seven seas!
And Everywhere that Mary went,
Mary went, Mary went!
Everywhere that Mary went
Her sails would catch the breeze!

She found some treasure on the beach,
On the beach, on the beach!
She found some treasure on the beach
And split it with her crew!
Her parrot asked her
“Where’s my gold? Where’s my gold?”
Her parrot asked her “Where’s my gold?
A bird deserves gold, too!”

Did ye ever hear tell of a parrot demanding gold? Well, this be a pirate parrot. Always best to do what a pirate parrot asks of ye!

Try makin’ up yer own verses![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Traditional Sea Shanties

What be a Sea Shanty, ye ask? Well, I’ll tell ye – but listen up, mateys! Capt’n Dr. Boyle doesn’t like repeatin’ his-self. I’m busy tryin’ to talk a parrot out of his gold.

A Sea Shanty is a work song – used to get a group of people to complete a task that requires cooperation – or in pirate speak, a song to make us move as one, like a school of fish swimmin’ in the sea….ARRRRRRRRRRGH!

Here’s a classic – Haul Away, Joe![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBigLvMyKzU&index=1&list=PLC161314B67D41FE1″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]There be some great songs about pirates, and Ward, the Pirate is probably one of the finest ye’ll hear. Take a listen to Ralph Vaughn Williams’ setting of the story of Capt’n Ward. Here be the words of the song! Ye can listen to a recordin’ below…

Come all you gallant seamen bold,
All you that march to drum,
Let’s go and look for Captain Ward,
Far on the sea he roams;
He is the biggest robber
That ever you did hear,
There’s not been such a robber found
For above this hundred year.

A ship was sailing from the east
And going to the west,
Loaded with silks and satins
And velvets of the best,
But meeting there with Captain Ward,
It proved a bad meeting;
He robbèd them of all their wealth
And bid them tell their king.

O then the king provided a ship of noble fame,
She’s call’d the “Royal Rainbow,”
If you would know her name;
She was as well provided for
As any ship could be,
Full thirteen hundred men on board
To bear her company.

‘Twas eight o’ clock in the morning
When they began to fight,
And so they did continue there
Till nine o’ clock at night.
“Fight on, fight on,” says Captain Ward,
“This sport well pleases me,
For if you fight this month or more,
Your master I will be.”

O then the gallant “Rainbow”
She fired, she fired in vain,
Till six and thirty of her men
All on the deck were slain.
“Go home, go home,” says Captain Ward,
“And tell your king from me,
If he reigns king on all the land,
Ward will reign king on sea!”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeZh_xnwZyo”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Rupert the Wrong Word Pirate
Rupert the Wrong Word Pirate

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]So there ye be! Enjoy the day and have fun singing like a pirate. If ye want to talk like a pirate, just be sure it’s not like our friend, Rupert. He get’s the words wrong all the time. Ye can learn about his tale in the book, Rupert the Wrong Word Pirate.

Sail on, me hearties! Sail on![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Music Listening With Your Kids: Find the Center

Music Listening

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]One afternoon, I walked into the living room and my very active 3-year-old daughter was just laying on the couch with a blanket. “What are you doing? Are you OK?” I asked her. “Yes mama, I’m just listening to the music,” she replied. And she stayed there for a good 20 minutes. Mind you, this is the child who barely sat down for more than 30 seconds at a time.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Listening to music is something of a lost art. Taking the time to just LISTEN with your child can help you to reconnect after a long day and teaches them that listening to music can be the main activity and not just background noise. Babies and young children especially benefit from mindfully listening to music. We forget that they are also exposed to stressors during their day and that relaxation is a LEARNED skill that we need to teach. It doesn’t have to be very long, try listening to 1 or 2 songs, especially if your child is very young and on the move! The idea isn’t to get them to “sit down and listen,” but to create an environment where they are able to enjoy the music.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Music Listening[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

A Few Tips for Mindful Music Listening

  • Start the music and then put your phone and all other technology away and out of sight.
  • Make eye contact with your child and smile.
  • If your child needs movement, try rocking with them on your legs.
  • Add some intentional touch such as rubbing their back or ears, or massaging their feet.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Quietly talk about the music. What instruments are being used? Is it a man or a woman singing? Is the music fast or slow? Does it sound happy or sad? If there are words, what language are they speaking? Even babies and toddlers benefit from you labeling these sounds for them, and children in preschool and beyond will enjoy having a conversation about the music they are hearing.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Make music listening a special part of your daily rituals, whether it’s when you come home from work, or before bedtime. Your entire family will benefit from a few minutes of mindful music listening![/vc_column_text][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Jessica Solares | Bucktown Music
The Solares family at their Chicago studio, Bucktown Music

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Jessica Solares and her husband Luis own Bucktown Music in Chicago, IL, which is recognized by Kindermusik International as one of the top studios in the world. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Elmhurst College and has been a licensed Kindermusik educator since 2008. She joined the Kindermusik University teacher training team in 2016 and is proudly sharing her expertise with the newest generation of Kindermusik educators![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

7 Things: Harvard Psychologists Identify Positive Parenting Points

Positive Parenting

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Recently, psychologists from Harvard’s Making Caring Common Project (MCC) produced a list of seven concepts successful parents tend to consider when raising caring, compassionate, ethical children. The MCC exists to:

..help educators, parents, and communities raise children who are caring, responsible to their communities, and committed to justice.

It’s a pretty wonderful group of folks who truly want to see our kids be the best versions of themselves they can be. Both scientists and parents partner together to foster kindness and a commitment to the greater good. Let’s take a look at their seven research supported “guideposts” for positive parenting.


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1. Work to develop caring, loving relationships with your kids

Sounds obvious, but it’s important. If we want to pass on important concepts to our kids, they need to trust us. The more you express love and demonstrate that you care tremendously about them, they will feel closer to us. In turn, they will be more receptive to learning what we have to teach them.

How can we do this? The folks at MCC suggest planned, regular time together that includes meaningful conversation. Ask questions! The can be basic and simple, but in the end, these questions signal to our kids that we are interested in them and care about them. Try these on for size:

  • What was your favorite part of the day?
  • What was the hardest part? Why?
  • What did you learn today?
  • What is something nice someone did for you today?

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Model love...get love back.
Model love…get love back.

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2. Be a strong moral role model and mentor

We will be our kid’s first super hero. Before they learn about Wonder Woman and Superman, we will fill those roles. They will look to us, especially as we live into the first guidepost, to discern what is right and wrong, what is moral and amoral. We will be their moral hero. They will copy what we say and what we do. We’ll see them try out the faces we make, our body language, and our manner of speaking. Their eyes will always be on us. We must try to give them something positive to emulate.

How can we do this? Reflect on how we speak, how we treat others, and the model we are building for our kids. MCC advocates the following:

Pay close attention to whether you are practicing honesty, fairness, and caring yourself and modeling skills like solving conflicts peacefully and managing anger and other difficult emotions effectively.

Obviously we aren’t angels 24 hours a day. We make mistakes, but these can occasionally be used as teaching moments, too (depending on the subject at hand). Here are some suggestions from MCC:

  • Engage in community service and include your little ones when appropriate.
  • Be honest – Talk with your child when you make a mistake that affects them
    about why you think you made it, apologize for the mistake, and explain how you plan to
    avoid making the mistake next time.
  • Talk things through with friends – do you have someone with whom you can talk with when things may prove challenging? It’s great to be able to have a dialogue with a fellow parent who might be able to provide a different perspective.

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3. Make caring for others a priority and set high ethical expectations

We live in communities. Life on our planet is really about interacting with others. We are, by and large, social creatures. Learning at an early age how to practice empathy and compassion is very important when trying to raise kids that will care about others. With our first two guideposts in place, we are in a good place to help these little ones develop and understanding of these concepts and and put them into practice in their world.

How can we do this? Help our children live into the commitments they make – even the most simple commitments. Making their bed…practicing kindness with a sibling…sharing toys with others…these are all basic commitments we can help them realize.

We can help them stand up for important principles like fairness and justice, and always encourage them to be respectful. Here’s MCC’s list to help with this guidepost:

  • Consider the daily messages you send to children about the importance of caring. For example, instead of saying to children “The most important
    thing is that you’re happy,” you might say “The most important thing is that you’re kind and that you’re happy.”
  • Prioritize caring when you talk with other key adults in your children’s lives. For example, ask teachers and coaches whether your children are good community members in addition to asking about their academic skills, grades, or performance.
  • Encourage kids to “work it out.” Before letting your child quit a sports team, band, or a friendship, ask them to consider their obligations to the group or the friend, and encourage them to work out problems.

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Opportunities to interact with others and practice kindness are great - like a Kindermusik class!
Opportunities to interact with others and practice kindness are great – like a Kindermusik class!

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4. Provide opportunities for children to practice caring and gratitude

Have you ever gotten proficient at a skill without opportunity to practice? Most likely…no. And friends, putting these concepts into practice is a skill. Ensuring that our kids have ample opportunity to exercise these skills in the real world and not just as ideas in their head is key. When you are at the store, have your child thank the cashier and the bagger. At a restaurant? Let your little one order, complete with please and thank you. Take every chance to express gratitude, to demonstrate compassion. MCC’s list of suggestions includes:

  • Help with chores around the house. This should become routine. Praise uncommon acts of kindness. Expect routine – these actions will more likely become ingrained.
  • Make caring and justice a focus. Start conversations with children about the caring and uncaring acts they see in their daily lives or on television and about acts of justice and injustice they might witness or hear about in the news, such as a person who stood up for an important cause or an instance of sexism or racism. Ask children how they see these actions and explain why you think these actions are caring or uncaring, just or unjust.
  • Expressing thanks. Consider making expressing gratitude a daily ritual at dinnertime, bedtime, in the car, or on the subway. Encourage children to express appreciation for family members, teachers, or others who contribute to their lives.

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5. Expand your child’s circle of concern

It’s a simple concept, really. If we’ve been successful with guideposts one through four, our children will already have a great foundation in compassion, caring, and empathy. Normally though, this readily extends to the close circle of trusted adults – immediate family and close friends. The idea here is to help our kids care about those outside the circle, thereby expanding it. We want our kids to be compassionate and empathetic with the new kid in class or someone that might look different than they do, whether that be, for example, race or ability.

How can we do this? MCC states:

It is important that children learn to zoom in, listening closely and attending to those in their immediate circle, and to zoom out, taking in the big picture and considering the range of people they interact with every day. Children also need to consider how their decisions impact a community. Breaking a school rule, for example, can make it easier for others to break rules. Especially in our more global world, it’s important, too, for children to develop concern for people who live in other cultures and communities.

Here are some specifics from MCC:

  • Encourage children to consider the perspectives and feelings of those who may be vulnerable, such as a new child at school or a child experiencing some family trouble. Give children some simple ideas for taking action, like comforting a classmate who was teased or reaching out to a new student.
  • Use newspaper or TV stories to start conversations with children about other people’s hardships and challenges, or simply the different experiences of children in another country or community.
  • Emphasize with your child the importance of really listening to others, especially those people who may seem unfamiliar and who may be harder to immediately understand.

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6. Promote children’s ability to be ethical thinkers and positive change-makers in their
communities

Kids care about ethics. They might not know the term, but ethics enters into their lives pretty early one. How often have you heard a young child talk about what is fair and not fair? Have you had a discussion with your own child about how they might have been mistreated by another child? What about telling the truth, even when it’s hard? They know. They want to learn. They have a desire to understand how human interactions work. They quickly understand that their choices have an impact on others. So how can we promote ethical thought in young kids?

We can help them work through the ethical puzzles that occur in their lives. MCC uses this example – talking through a situation in which a child is deciding whether or not to invite a new friend to a party when their best friend might not like the new friend. We can help our kids understand how to handle bullying when it rears its ugly head.

The key here is to use the open channels of communication and moral center we have created by employing the previous guideposts.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

7. Help children develop self-control and manage feelings effectively

We’ve talked about this one here at Minds on Music before. Helping our kids develop self-regulation and self-control are key to navigating the journey from toddlerhood all the way to puberty and beyond. If our own challenges can’t be managed successfully, it will be next to impossible to view the world through compassionate eyes. We’ll be overcome by our own ego. If we help our children develop a skill set to manage their own emotions and moderate their interactions with the world, they will more readily understand their place in it. We can aid them as the move through Piaget’s Preoperational Stage, characterized by the struggle to see things from perspectives other than their own.

How can we help them? By teaching our kids to label their feelings, to talk about them. It’s so important that kids learn that feelings, even feelings like anger and sadness are okay. The challenge is in how we express those feelings, how we process them. Some ways are much better than others. From the MCC:

A simple way to help children to manage their feelings is to practice three easy steps together: stop, take a deep breath through the nose and exhale through the mouth, and count to five. Try it when your child is calm. Then, when you see her getting upset, remind her about the steps and do them together.

Practice with your child how to resolve conflicts. Consider a conflict you or your child witnessed or experienced that turned out badly, and role play different ways of responding. Try to achieve mutual understanding—listening to and paraphrasing each other’s feelings until both people feel understood. If your child observes you experiencing a difficult feeling and is concerned, talk to your child about how you are handling it.

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Positive Parenting at its Best

This is proactive, positive parenting. It takes time to employ, but the benefits are long-lasting. I have often told our kids that my main goal is to make sure they make it to adulthood alive. My 14 year-old likes to jokingly quip back when i ask him to do simple things (like turning out a light), “Don’t tell me how to live my life!” I return with, “That’s literally have my job.”

“What’s the other half?” he’ll ask.

“Telling your brother how to live his.”

We laugh. We’re lucky to have a positive relationship. But really, whether our sons realize it or not (and I’m pretty sure they do), what we do as parents goes far beyond making sure they make it to adulthood alive or simply telling them how to live. We try our best to be positive models. We have tried to help them develop a sense of right and wrong, of compassion and empathy. We have had and continue to have discussions over dinner about ethical issues and how to treat others. Hypothetical situations are great conversation starters. Sure, the content of the discussions has increased in complexity as they have gotten older, but we did our best to have age appropriate talks at every point in their lives. When we take the time to practice these guideposts, our kids have the potential to develop as caring, compassionate individuals. And that’s the MCC’s goal, to make caring common. It’s a pretty good goal for all of us.

For more from the MCC, click here.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][class_finder_form css=”.vc_custom_1500605090553{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-right: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;padding-left: 20px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Book Review: Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schnachner

Book Review

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]How could you not love a book with a title character named Skippyjon Jones?! The adventures of Skippyjon Jones are a delightful series of books based on author Judy Schachner’s real-life Siamese cat.

Apparently, Skippyjon Jones is no ordinary pet. Because Skippyjon Jones is certainly no ordinary cat. And that’s precisely what makes the hilarious adventures of Skippyjon Jones so appealing and yet so relatable to adults and kids alike.

“Oh, I’m Skippyjonjones,
With a mind of my own,
And I’ll bounce on my bed for hours.
I know I’m a cat,
But forget about that…”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Book Review[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]The original story in the series, simply entitled Skippyjon Jones, introduces us to this uniquely lovable cat who has exasperated his mother who has to wake up Skippyjon Jones not in his bed, but in a bird nest outside. We immediately know we’re in for a lot of laughs as Mama Junebug Jones fusses at her little darling.

“No self-respecting cat ever slept with a flock of birds,” she scolded. “Or ate worms, or flew, or did his laundry in Mrs. Doohiggy’s birdbath.”

This is one of those rollicking read-aloud’s that draws you in from the very first page, keeps your attention all the way to end, and then makes you want to keep reading the next story in the series![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Skippyjon Jones waking up with the birds[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]From the way the words are laid out on each page to the colorful and whimsical illustrations, this book just makes you feel like becoming Skippyjon Jones as you read. You just can’t resist reading this book with drama, flair, and even adding in a song or two.

Preschoolers and big kids will especially love this story, and the others in the series because of the way the author invites you into Skippyjon Jones’s huge imagination, and the reader is delighted to discover a story within the story.

“With a walk into his closet, his thoughts took him down a lonesome desert road, far, far away in old Mexico…”

Oh, did I mention that the old Mexico part of the story line becomes possible because Skippyjon Jones is banished to his room after the incident with the birds?!

Skippyjon Jones embodies personality with a capital “P” – much like some of our own children. This story is not just fun for kids, it also helps adults discover all that there can be to appreciate and enjoy in a childhood filled with big imagination and creative play. It’s no wonder the book has won the E.B. White Read Aloud Award and why we wholeheartedly give it a two thumbs up.

Skippyjon Jones, written and illustrated by Judy Schachner and published by Puffin Books, may be purchased at your local bookseller or online at Amazon.com in Kindle, paperback, and hardcover formats.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Shared by Theresa Case who has an award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in Greenville, South Carolina[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

At Home Beach Activities

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Whether it’s a beach stay-cation or an actual trip to the beach in store for you, we’re here with some fun and simple ideas for bringing the beach indoors and creating memories that are sure to bring smiles to everyone’s faces for a long time to come. Best of all, instead of “I’m Bored!”, we bet you’ll even hear that sweet little voice begging with a smile, “Can we do that again, Mom?”


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At Home Beach Crafts

Make a Paper Plate Sun and Pipecleaner Windcatcher  

Beach Activities[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Make a Salt Painting

Beach activities[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Make a Beach in a Bottle

beach_in_a_bottle_vid[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Sand Clay Handprint Keepsake

Sand Art[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

At Home Beach Books

Sand, Sea, Me! by Patricia Hubbell

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]sand_sea_and_me[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]commotion[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Good Night, Beach by Adam Gamble[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]good_night_beach[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]At the Beach by Anne Rockwell[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]at-the-beach[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

At Home Beach Music – Dance, Sing, and Play Along!

All albums are downloadable from play.Kindermusik.com

1, 2, 3 Octopus & Me

Music Makes My Day

Get Up & Move

The next time you need a little something to keep a little someone occupied, pull out one of these ideas and head to the beach – even if it’s just in your imagination!


[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Ideas shared by Theresa Case who has an award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in beautiful upstate South Carolina, where she’s not too far from the beach![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

7 Tips for Making Every Day a Musical Day

7 tips

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Any parent who’s been attending Kindermusik classes for even a short period of time quickly realizes just how enjoyable and powerful singing, dancing, playing, exploring, and making music can be – not just for their child, but also for them!  It’s no surprise then, that Kindermusik Educators are often asked for ideas about how to include more music into daily routines at home during the week in between classes.  With nearly 40 years of research and wisdom backing us, we’re always thrilled to share some ideas.  Here are a few of those best ideas compiled here for you!


Tip #1 – Sing, sing, sing!  

The most beautiful sound in the world to your child is your voice, whether you think anyone else would agree or not.  Over time, you’ll have an entire repertoire from your Kindermusik classes, and you’ll even get skilled at making up your own words for a new verse or two!

 

Tip # 2 – Keep the music playing

Create playlists or simply let the music stream – in the playroom, in the car, before naps, and before bedtime.  It’s really amazing to watch as your child starts to tune in to sounds of instruments (even naming them!), hums or sings along, breaks out into a spontaneous happy dance, or develops strong opinions about favorite types of music.

 

Tip # 3 – Start a collection of musical instruments 

One of our Baby Bags!
One of our Baby Bags!

Start off with the basics – egg shakers, bells, and drums – then add other age-appropriate instruments along the way.  We recommend keeping your instruments separate from your toys, so that even from an early age, children are learning how to listen, handle, and explore the instruments with focus, care, and creativity.  With you there to support and engage, exploring instruments is an especially delightful learning and play activity.

 

Tip #4 – Make your own homemade instruments

This is a fun, rainy day activity that will keep your child occupied, both as you are making the instrument together and later, as he enjoys exploring and playing with the instrument.  Two simple ideas to get you started are making homemade ankle bells or even a homemade guiro.

 

Tip #5 – Use a favorite lullaby to calm and soothe

Many parents tell us that there are one or two of our Quiet Time lullabies that really touch them and their children.  Learn the words so you can sing those lullabies at home, whether at those times when your child needs a calming moment, a close cuddle, or back rub and song while she falls asleep.

 

Tip #6 – Enjoy a little impromptu dance party

Tears quickly turn into giggles and smiles as you waltz and twirl around the room together, either to a song you hum or a favorite recording from Kindermusik class.  The type of music you choose can fit the need of the moment.  For example, if your child is fussy and needing your attention, cuddle up for a gentle waltz.  If your little one is bouncing off the walls, go for a lively jig.  

 

Tip #7 – Make the most of your Kindermusik Home Materials

Chock-full of ideas and inspiration for you and engaging musical play for your child, your Kindermusik Home Materials are one of your best go-to resources not only for enhancing your overall Kindermusik experience, but for providing hours of learning, engagement, and interactive play at home during the week.

 

These are simple ideas that are oh-so-easy to incorporate either spontaneously or as a planned part of your child’s day.  Without a doubt, music really can make your “everyday” moments a little happier, a little sweeter, and a little easier!


 

Shared by Theresa Case whose award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in Greenville, South Carolina has been bringing joy to families for over 20 years now.

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Mother’s Day Music Activities

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It’s nearly here! The day we set aside to celebrate mothers and all they do for us. Whether you celebrate by serving up breakfast in bed or making a coupon book for “free hugs,” we all know she’ll love whatever it is you do as long as it’s overflowing with love.Speaking of hugs…

One Mother’s Day, my boys and I cooked up a special gift. We bought a sweater – a simple sweater in a color we knew their mom would love. We then took a picture of the boys hugging the sweater, wrote a little poem, and boxed everything up. The idea was this – anytime my wife wore the sweater she’d be constantly receiving hugs from our boys. It was a big hit!

Mother's Day hug sweater
Our boys and the “Hug Sweater.”

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]That idea is free to the world – but this is a music blog, right? How can we celebrate our mothers in a musical way?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Write a Song!

You don’t need to be a professional musician to write song! Music belongs to everyone! The easiest way to start is picking an existing tune and writing new personal lyrics. Hey – if Weird Al can do it, so can you! Remember, the thought behind the action means so much to Mom! And the simpler the tune, the easier it will be for the little ones to sing along? How about this to the tune of Frère Jacques:

Mom we love you!
Mom we love you!
You’re the best!
Your’e the best!
Thank you for your kisses
Now we’ll do the dishes
After lunch!
After lunch!

It’s silly but singable. You can do it, too! Have fun, be creative, and tell her how you feel![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Make a Mix CD for the Car!

Remember when we were kids? The sweetest thing you could do for someone you liked was to make a mix tape. Well – tapes are pretty much a thing of the past, but we can still make a mix CD…or even a playlist. Find Mom’s most favorite tunes and create a personalized album. You could even create a custom insert for the jewel case with pictures of the little ones. What about adding little recorded messages from the kids between each track – simple things like “Mommy, I love you!” or “Thanks for tucking me in at night!”

A custom CD or playlist complete with little audio notes of love from the kids will be a big hit![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Music and Movement – a Mother’s Day Dance Off!

After the aforementioned breakfast in bed, how about finding some great music – maybe even some Kindermusik tunes – and have a family dance off! Everybody could take part or perhaps Mom can serve a judge and decide who has the best moves. Here are some crazy ideas:

  1. Who can dance like their favorite animal the best?
  2. Who can dance with only their face?
  3. Can you only dance with your legs and not move your upper body?
  4. Who can dance the longest without smiling?

I bet you can come up with your own fun variations on the dance off theme. Get those bodies moving to music as a family![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

dance_off
Dance Off!

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Dinner Time Opera

We’ve done this before. While you’re eating, when you’d normally have wonderful family conversation, sing instead of talking! This is easier than it sounds. Think about Will Ferrell in Elf...everyone can sing. If you can speak, you can make up a tune for that sentence. Believe me, it’s a woot. You’ll have a hard time not giggling as your conversation and melodic speaking develops.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Eto6DU_2oI”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]However you celebrate Mom, the most important part is time together. She’ll love whatever you do if it’s done from the heart. Have fun infusing music into the day…and if you do Dinner Time Opera, record it. We’d love to include a video or two in a future post!

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there from the Kindermusik family![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]