Halloween Book Review: Bats in the Band

Halloween Book Review

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Bats in the Band, written and illustrated by Brian Lies, is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and is available in digital (free for kindleunlimited members), hardcover, and audio formats.


Bats and Music – What’s not to Love?

This. Book. Is. Everything. Educational? Check. Fun to read? Check. Beautiful illustrations? Check. A fun story? Check. But it’s so much more. As Mr. Lies says, “Come on – look alive!”

This isn’t just a rhyming children’s book about bats. It’s a book about musical bats! Musical bats of all types…choir bats, a bat string quartet, country singing bats…blues, rock and roll, you name it. There’s even a bat paying bagpipes and a “one-bat” band.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]I[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Here's our one-bat band. Lies does make him look pretty tired while playing all those instruments!
Here’s our one-bat band. Lies does make him look pretty tired while playing all those instruments!


Coming Together to Make Music

The Bats come from all over to make music in an old barn-like theatre. Vacated by humans, the bats take over late at night. I think my most favorite moment is when the bats are getting their instruments ready for the evening’s festivities.

Not every bat comes prepared, so Lies lovingly illustrates bats making due with various items – a spoon string bass, a comb harp, hairpin drumsticks, and even a straw for who knows what? Only the bat knows. This teaches kids that resourcefulness is a valuable skill to possess, and not just for bats! We in the Kindermusik world know you can make music with ANYTHING![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Halloween Book Review
Music with spoons and straws, right along guitars and violins!


Fun to Read, Fun to Listen, Fun to Look!

Lies provides a lyrical, rhyming text accompanied by fun illustrations that make the bats just a little less scary, even if it is Halloween. These flying creatures are often misunderstood, and Lies does much to normalize them! Bats in the Band is part of a series of Bat Books, including Bats at the Ballgame, Bats in the Library, and Bats at the Beach. As you might have guessed, we at Kindermusik are partial to the music-making bats![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Musical Activities for Halloween!

Halloween Activities

The holidays are always a special time to enjoy special activities together. Here are a few simple kid-friendly, giggle-approved suggestions for spending some quality time together making memories with activities inspired by music and powered by imagination.

Play Dress-Up

Pull out all of the dress-up clothes and props.  And in the spirit of Halloween, maybe add a little face painting.  Nothing inspires imagination and pretend play like playing dress up, especially if siblings or parents join in the fun too.

Sing New Words to Familiar Favorites

Instead of “Do You Know the Muffin Man,” how about “Do You Know the Pumpkin Man”?  This works with so many favorites! Here’s another one…”Did you ever see a ghost, way up close, down by the bay…”

Download the free Kindermusik App to stream “Do You Know the Muffin Man,” “Down By the Bay,” and other adaptable tunes.

Make Pumpkin Spiders, Egg Carton Caterpillars, and More!

Check out this video playlist of craft activities, leading off with an adorably spooky pumpkin spider!

Make a Paper Plate MaskPaper plate masks

This super simple craft is sure to foster lots of fun creativity and delightful pretend play. Here’s how to make the masks, brought to us by the folks at Artful Parent. Consider making several different masks to add to the choices for dress-up play.  Oh, and don’t forget to turn on some music during craft time.

Enjoy a Little Vocal Play 

Have fun with a little back-and-forth vocal play with all of your favorite Halloween words, either singing or speaking.  Vocal play is great for developing a sense of rhythm and enhancing language development.

Read, Read, Read

Reading literacy and musical literacy go hand-in-hand.  Search “Halloween books for preschoolers” and you’ll find lots of book lists, including Halloween-themed books from some of your favorite literary characters like Peppa the Pig.

Be Safe

We want you to have fun this Halloween, but we also want you to be safe. Here’s a link to a list of great safety tips for the day found over at Safe Kids Worldwide. And these aren’t just for the kids! Adults should be extra careful driving around when your community is trick-or-treating. Keep your eyes peeled for little ones trying to fill their candy bags.

Have fun out there and be safe!

Why Halloween Should Last 365 Days a Year

child playing dress up

child playing dress upIt’s Halloween! In many parts of the world, this means dressing up in costumes and pretending to be a cowboy, ninja, ballet dancer, or even a cowboy ninja ballet dancer. (Hey, it could happen!) While the stores—and Pinterest—overflow with costume options for children this time of year, truth be told, children love dressing up and pretending all year long. And they should! It’s good for them.

Pretend play develops imagination, creativity, social skills, and language

Imitation is the first stage of pretend play and begins as an infant when a baby mimics an adult’s facial expressions. As children grow and imitation evolves, pretend play becomes more imaginative. Children use pretend play to re-examine life experiences by adding or changing what actually happened. Pretend play lets children try out their ideas and solve problems as they create characters and “rules” in their imaginary world.
During pretend play activities, social interaction between children—and participating adults—is usually characterized by a heightened use of action and language, helping to develop children’s language and social skills. In addition, pretend play helps children learn the difference between reality and fantasy, and even experience emotional support from parents as they pretend along with kids.
So, don’t put up those Halloween costumes on November 1. Keep them out all year round. After all, you never know when you might need a cowboy ninja ballet dancer to come save the day.

Learn more about Kindermusik at www.Kindermusik.com.

Contributed by Lisa Camino Rowell, a freelance writer in the Atlanta area.


Music for Halloween Knights, Princesses, Engineers, and more!

Are you having a Halloween Party for your Kindermusik or ABC English & Me classes? We have a few albums and songs in mind to help you and your little ones enjoy a little musical play with their holiday costumes — and here’s the trick: sneak in a little musical learning along the way!

Sir Henry the Polite Knight

The Polite Knight

He might be shaking under his armor, but Sir Henry the Polite Knight always uses good manners. You can find out how to make an easy, no-sew costume here, and play the Knight-themed music while you and your little one get ready for Halloween!

Listen to song samples and download the music on play.kindermusik.com

Rupert the Wrong Word Pirate

Rupert the Wrong Word Pirate

Pirate costumes are always a favorite around Halloween, and with a few pirate-themed songs sung in English, you can help your little pirate capture a treasure chest full of fun, music, and stories in English. And don’t worry, Rupert always uses the wrong word, too, but that’s how he learns! Look here for a simple no-sew pirate costume and “Ahoy! Mateys! Trick or Treat!”

Listen to song samples and download the music on play.kindermusik.com

Tressa the Magical Princess

Tressa the Magical Princess

Almost no one in Tressa’s family believes she’s a princess, until she uses her magical princess powers to quiet down a crying baby brother! Find some princess themed stories, songs, and activities to lend a little musical magic to your child’s no-sew princess costume.

Listen to song samples and download the music on play.kindermusik.com

10 in the Bed

Favorite Farm Animals

Find more songs about farm animals and animal-themed games in “Old Macdonald.” Find some super easy, no-sew animal themed costumes and play simple counting games, sing songs together, and make animal noises while you go from house to house.

Listen to song samples and download the music on play.kindermusik.com

All Aboard!

Calling all Airplane Pilots and Engineers

Transportation-themed sound effects abound when you search for music by the “transportation” theme in the online music store.

Listen to song samples and download the music on play.kindermusik.com