Friday, August 22, 2014

Learning Character Through Songs With Happy Kids Songs {A TOS Review}

Happy Kids Songs Review
I don't know about your children, but mine sure do enjoy singing songs and playing music. I've mentioned before that we enjoy learning with things set to music. So what better way to learn such important things as character and social skills.  I thought it would be fun to set our other character study aside for the summer and have fun with some enjoyable song sets from Happy Kids Songs. Through the Schoolhouse Review Crew we have been able to access 3 out of the 8 MP3 downloadable song sets available from Happy Kids Songs. We have been enjoying listening to Set 1: Friends & Sharing, Set 6: Manners & Character, and Set 7: Happiness & Attitude.  Not only were we able to download these songs, we were also sent a copy of the Happy Kids Songs Workbook: Hands-on Activities to Build Character, Social and Emotional Skills
Happy Kids Songs are brought to us by Dr. Mac who is an award-winning songwriter and producer. In fact, if you have heard of Jay Jay the Jet Plane on PBS, you may be interested to know that he is the music director and songwriter for the series.
These Happy Kids Songs song sets were easy to download and permission is also given to burn them onto a CD. This is something I didn't do, as I wasn't exactly sure how to (I am not a very computer/technology friendly person). I wasn't too worried about it, as I figured we would just listen to them on the computer. 

Before I go any further, I would like to share the titles of the songs that are in each set, along with a little about each song. 
Set 1: Friends & Sharing
Happy Kids Songs Review
  • Sailing on the Seven Cs - A song about the 7 Cs of friendship (caring, consideration, commitment, communication, concern, curiosity, and cooperation).
  • Everybody Wants to Find a Friend - This song encourages children to approach others to play and make friends.
  • Sharing Friends - A reminder that we can share friends.
  • Happy as Happy Can Be - This is a song of things that fit together, just like friends.
  • Together - A song about wanting to be together with a best friend.
Set 6: Manners & Character
Happy Kids Songs Review
  • H-O-N-E-S-T-Y - An investigative look being "reported" from the playground, where children state reasons why honesty is important.
  • The Magic Word - A song about the importance of saying please
  • Quirks - A reminder that no two people are alike and we shouldn't judge others.
  • The Golden Rule - A reminder that being a friend means doing to others what you want them to do to you.
  • Six Little Kids - A song that replaces children with the blind men in the story of The Blind Men and the Elephant and teaches that all the points of view are true.
Set 7: Happiness & Attitude 
Happy Kids Songs Review
  • Shake It Out and Dance - A song about the importance of getting rid of those negative thoughts and thinking positively.
  • Who Knows What's a Kudo - This song is about telling others nice things about themselves and what they have done, to encourage them.
  • I Don't Understand - A song that shows it is okay to ask questions if you don't understand and that not understanding doesn't mean someone is "dumb."
  • Be Good to Yourself - The importance of seeing the best in everyone, including oneself.
  • Better Together - Reminds children that it is great to have time to yourself, but it is also a good thing to have a friend to play with.
There are 5 songs in each award-winning album, all geared toward children ages 3-8, though children slightly younger or older will probably enjoy the songs. The issues dealt with in these songs are ones that confront children in this age group. I have three girls in this age range, and I know that one of the main issues that they are facing are making/learning to be friends. Of course, we want our children to have manners, be honest, treat others how they want to be treated and have a positive attitude too.

Along with these songs, Happy Kids Songs provides lyrics, coloring pages, and activities. These can be accessed by signing up to be on their mailing list. Doing so would also give you a download of the song of the month. While these PDF downloads of the activities are available for free, Happy Kids Songs also offers a 122 page Workbook.
Happy Kids Songs Review
You may be wondering why you would want to purchase a workbook when you can have access to the downloads for free. Well, first of all, it would allow you to have the material nicely bound and ready to be used without having to download and print. Though, if you have more than one child, you are still going to need to make copies. So, really, that is not the most exciting thing about having the workbook, in my opinion. What I loved was the idea of the additional activities in the back section of the book. While the Kids' Lyrics, Coloring and Activity pages are the same as the downloadable pages, there is a 36 page section filled with other learning activities to do together.
The majority of the time we listened to these songs was just during random times during the day while the children were playing. The children did mention that it was hard to pick up the words to the songs just by listening to them. I am very glad the lyrics are available for this reason. I then decided I would give them each the lyric/coloring sheet and we would listen to the song while reading along. 

Then the girls could color and do the related activity page while listening to the song again.

Not only do these songs teach good lessons, but they are upbeat and fun to listen to. I loved hearing Amelia break into singing parts of "Sailing on the Seven Cs" while we were in the car the other day. It helps show that the songs are sticking in their little brains.
You can hear samples of the songs by stopping by the Happy Kids Songs website. Additionally, while you are there, don't forget you can sign up for their mailing list and receive the free song of the month and access to the PDF downloads of the lyrics, coloring sheets and activity pages. 

These Happy Kids Songs sets can each be purchased for $4.95 and you can also purchase each individual song for 99 cents. The workbook is available for $12.56.

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