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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Happy Kids Songs - Review

Happy Kids Songs is exactly what you think it is.......happy kid songs!

We got to instantly download three sets of songs meant for ages 3 to 8, for a total of 15 songs.

Friends & Sharing
Sailing on the Seven C's
Everybody Wants To Find a Friend
Sharing Friends
Happy As Happy Can Be

Happiness and Attitude
Shake It Out and Dance
Who Knows What's a Kudo
I Don't Understand
Be Good to Yourself
Better Together

Manners and Character
The Magic Word
The Golden Rule
Six Little Kids

We also got the Happy Kids Songs Workbook, but we didn't use it too much.  I mostly used it to clarify some of the lyrics we heard, but weren't quite sure what they were saying.  It is 125 pages and covers all 40 Happy Kids Songs.  It has lyrics and coloring activities in the front section and more hands on activities and ideas in the back of the book that go along with each song though, so in another setting this would be a really handy workbook to have.


The songs are by Dr. Mac (also known as Don R McMannis, Ph.D).  He is a child psychologist, teacher, author, clinician, school consultant and, if that isn't enough important sounding stuff....he is also an award winning songwriter.  You may even recognize his name from his work on PBS' Jay Jay the Jet Plane.

The songs themselves were very eclectic in style.  Some sounded country.  Others sounded like folk music.  Others sounded more traditionally pop-like.  Some sounded like "kids" music.  I liked the variety.  But, most of all, I liked the messages.

I tried, unsuccessfully, to burn these onto a CD so we could travel with them....but, I couldn't figure out how to do it on my, we just listened to them from my computer when we were hanging out in the living room.  Sometimes, we listened to them as background music when we were doing other things, like drawing or doing puzzles.  Sometimes, we would listen intentionally, so we could talk about the words and the message in the song.

Most of us know how powerful music can be in relation to memory making.  Give me a good, old 80's power ballad, and I am back on the cafeteria dance floor in high school, awkwardly swaying with a classmate.....or pretending I had to go to the bathroom, so I wasn't awkwardly standing on the sidelines watching everyone else dance, but me.  Notice the frequency of the word "awkward"?   Emoji

I still remember the Old Testament books of the Bible, by singing a song (inside my head, of course) and, I still sing the abc's, in my head, when I am trying to alphabetize something.

Okay, let's be really  honest here and talk about Barney's "Clean Up" all have that one stored away in there...whether you like it or not, don't you?

Music definitely helps solidify stuff in your head.  Happy Kids Songs helps solidify things like character, attitude, kindness, understanding, and how to actually be a friend.  Yes, there are some songs/tunes that I wish weren't stuck in my head, (but, I can also say that about the fact that I still know the words to Like A Virgin, Mickey, The Safety Dance, and The Final Countdown to just name a few).....but the kids are having fun with them.  And, we can remind each other of some of the messages if we are having a hard time.

Some of our favorite songs were:

Shake It Out and Dance - This is one of the up beat, fun songs that talks about getting bad thoughts of "I can't" out of your head.  Catchy and really has a good message....even for grown-ups.  This one gets bandied about when we hear each other start to talk negatively.  "Just shake it out and dance!"

Quirks - This one had the message that everyone has little quirks that might seem weird to us, but they are just quirks.....and we should accept them, as they are.....because EVERYONE has them.

Six Little Kids - Honestly, my kids liked this one because we have 6 kids in our family.  I liked it because it has the message of 6 people touching an elephant and describing it in completely different ways, but nobody was wrong.   They just had different perspectives.

Be Good To Yourself - This pick was for me.  This one talks about being good to yourself and that "you and everybody else, need kindness".  Sometimes I need a reminder from a Happy Kids Song, that I need to be kind to myself and not just others.

We just got access to 15 of the songs, but there are other albums/themes available too.

Social Skills and Bullying
Feelings and Fears
Practice and Success
Talking and Listening
Respect and Responsibility

I can see these being great to have in a homeschool or public school setting for elementary and preschool aged kids.  My niece is a school counselor, and I am going to tell her about these songs/resources.  I think this is something that is totally up her alley and will give her another way to teach some of these concepts to her kids.  There are just lots of good messages portrayed in these happy little songs.

You can get these happy little songs for your household for  $4.95 for each 5 song set.  This also gives you downloadable lyrics and activity sheets. Or, you can go ahead and get the Happy Kids Songs Workbook for $12.56, and have all the lyrics and activities in one handy place.

See what other TOS Reviewers thought of Happy Kids Songs.