Thursday, August 21, 2014

REVIEW: Happy Kids Songs

We were recently given the opportunity to review some music from Happy Kids Songs.  Dr. Mac, who wrote the songs, is also the music director and songwriter for the PBS show, Jay Jay the Jet Plane. I've watched many an episode of that program with my son.

We received three albums, a total of 15 songs, along with the Happy Kid Songs Workbook. The songs and workbook are intended for children ages 3-8 years.

The three albums we reviewed are:

Friends and Sharing (set 1):
  • Sailing on the Seven Cs - Understanding Friendship
  • Everybody Wants to Find a Friend - Reaching out to others
  • Sharing Friends - Including others
  • Happy as Happy Can Be - Being happy with a friend
  • Together - Being together and saying goodbye
  • H-O-N-E-S-T-Y - Being honest
  • The Magic Word - Using "magic" words, like "please"
  • Quirks - Celebrating diversity
  • The Golden Rule - Treat others as you would like to be treated
  • Six Little Kids - Honoring different perspectives
  • Shake It Out and Dance - Thinking positively
  • Who Knows What's A Kudo? - Giving and receiving compliments
  • I Don't Understand - Asking questions
  • Be Good to Yourself - Being kind
  • Better Together - Being together and apart

The workbook includes lyrics for all the songs on all 8 albums available from Happy Kids Songs, and an activity page for each one. Sometimes there is a coloring page, sometimes a puzzle like a word search, etc. In the back of the book, there is a section for each song, which tells the focus of the song, social and emotional concepts, and then presents some coordinating activities.

I had some kind of an issue downloading the songs, but I'm not sure what it was. I had my husband take a look at it for me, and he assured me it was user error. He was able to get them downloaded just fine, and I put them on my phone for easy listening in the car.

I have to be honest: "kid music" is not my thing. When my girls were small, I thought it was a requirement of a good parent to tolerate kid music, so we listened to far more Elmo and Wiggles than I care to remember. After I had a particularly annoying song stuck in my head for a month or more, I decided that we were not going to listen to it anymore. I just couldn't take it. We learned to listen to other things we could enjoy together. I confess, though, that my nearly-7-year-old boy really seems to like the songs. He asks to listen to "kid songs" every time we get in the car, much to the dismay of his older sisters. :-)

These songs would be a nice addition to character education materials, and would work well in a preschool setting. Although the songs are presented from a secular viewpoint, you could incorporate them into Bible and character materials. The workbook would be a nice resource for a classroom setting, as well, although it was a bit of overkill for us.

You can purchase any of these products through Happy Kids Songs. Each 5-song album is $4.95, and individual songs are available for 99¢. The workbook is $13.95 list price, and is available for purchase through Amazon ($12.56 at the time of this review). You can hear samples of each song on their website. Also, once you've purchased an album, you can download the lyrics, coloring activity sheets for the songs once you've purchased them. That would be a great way to try them out to see if you'd like the complete workbook. The workbook does allow copies to be made for home or classroom use (one classroom, not an entire school).

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Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Crew!

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