Thursday, September 11, 2014

Happy Kids Songs {Schoolhouse Review}

Do your kids like music?  Are you trying to teach them positive behavior and character traits?  Are you looking for a fun and memorable way to combine these two?  How many times do you get the lyrics to a song stuck in your head?  There's just something about dancing and singing to a catchy tune that makes a lesson more memorable, especially for kids!  If you're wanting some music that is both kid-friendly and adult-approved, you might want to look into Happy Kids Songs.

Happy Kids Song Review

What is Happy Kids Songs, you ask?
Happy Kids Songs is an award winning series of full-production songs brought to you by Dr. Mac.  You may be be familiar with Dr. Mac already, an award-winning songwriter, and director of music behind the children's PBS hit Jay Jay the Jet Plane!  Also a child psychologist, school consultant and lecturer, Dr. Mac designed Happy Kids songs to help children develop stronger social and emotional skills.  The music is also meant to bridge the gap between preschool music, which some kids might find "babyish" and mainstream artists who typically have lyrics and themes that are definitely inappropriate for children.  As parents, it is our responsibility to make sure the music our children are exposed to is not just entertaining, but also purposeful, edifying and appropriate for the maturity level of our little listeners.  Dr. Mac makes that easy!

The Schoolhouse Review Crew was recently asked to review three downloadable albums:  Friends & Sharing, Happiness & Attitude, and Manners & Character.  The sets each have five songs and are available for $4.95.  They come with a free download of the lyrics, as well as coloring and activity pages.

Happy Kids Song Review

Also made available was a physical workbook called Happy Kids Songs Workbook:  Hands-on Activities to Build Character, Social & Emotional Skills.  This book ($12.56) has 125 pages to cover all 8 albums from Happy Kids Songs.  It includes the lyrics and a coloring/activity page for every song, as well as over one hundred lessons and activities, which include everything from arts and crafts, games and kinesthetic activities!  I love that they have included activities that will appeal to different learning styles, because we all know that every child learns differently.  Between the music and the variety of activities, this is certainly a multi-sensory program.

Happy Kids Song Review

Friends & Sharing includes songs that cover topics such as being a good friend, including others in your play and saying goodbye.  The playlist:
Sailing on the Seven Cs
Everybody Wants to Find a Friend
Sharing Friends
Happy as Happy Can Be

Happy Kids Song Review
The songs on Happiness & Attitude are about positive thinking, complimenting others, and knowing how to handle limitations. They include:
Shake it Out and Dance
Who Knows What's a Kudo?
I Don't Understand
Be Good to Yourself
Better Together

Happy Kids Song Review

Some of the themes on the Manners & Character album include honesty, appreciating differences, learning your manners and having consideration for others.  The five titles:
The magic Word
The Golden Rule
Six Little Kids

As you can see, Dr. Mac understands the types of issues and behaviors that children this age struggle with, and has worked to create a unique way to reach them.  The songs are performed by children and adults alike, and the program is geared for children 3-8 years old, but the music may have appeal to older and younger kids as well!  You can listen to the samples for yourself, but even my toddler liked to bop along.

Aside from the three albums I've already mentioned, there are five other titles in the Happy Kids Songs series!  Here is a list of the full collection, so you can see how encompassing the program really is:
Friends and Sharing
Social Skills and Bullying
Feelings and Fears
Practice and Success
Talking and Listening
Manners and Character
Happiness and Attitude
Respect and Responsibility

In addition to family use, this would be perfect for the car or even quiet time music.  With listening the music, singing along, dancing, and thee workbook component, this would also make a fun class for a co-op!

You can find more information about Happy Kids Songs on their website, FacebookTwitter or YouTube, and of course you can read more crew reviews!

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