Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Happy Kids Songs {A Review}

Happy Kids Songs sent us Happy Kids Songs Workbook: Hands-on Activities to Build Character, Social & Emotional Skills ($12.56) and downloads to three song sets Friends & Sharing Vol. 1, Happiness & Attitude Vol. 7, and Manners & Character Vol. 6 ($4.95 for each set) for ages 4-8 to review.

Happy Kids' Songs
Each set of songs is available as an MP3 or iTunes download. There are 5 songs on each set and there are 8 sets of songs to choose from. Themes available are:
  1. Friends & Sharing
  2. Social Skills & Bullying
  3. Feelings & Fears
  4. Practice & Success
  5. Talking & Listening
  6. Manners & Character
  7. Happiness & Attitude
  8. Respect & Responsibility
  9. Friends & Sharing
Friends and Sharing include the songs:

  • Sailing on the Seven Cs tells about how you can be a good friend by being caring, considerate, committed, communicative, concerned, curious, and cooperative. 
  • Everybody Wants to Find a Friend discusses three children and how they want to find a friend because "everybody want to find a friend."
  • Sharing Friends is about sharing your friends with their other friends and even playing all together.
  • Happy as Happy Can Be tells about how lovely friendship can be, that friends are 2 things that go together like a bee and flower or a cup with tea. 
  • Together discusses how nice it is to be together with your friend and that the time spent together is "like home." It can be hard to say goodbye, but friends will come together again.

Manners and Character include the songs:

  • H-o-n-e-s-t-y is about the importance of be truthful and even lists reasons why you should be honest: people will trust you, you get freedom and respect. 
  • The Magic Word reminds you to use the "magic word," please to get the things that you want. (And maybe the things you really don't want..."Mrs. Huyett, may I please have some more homework?")
  • Quirks are things that people do that may be different (sniffling, snorting, gurgling, smirking, kissing gerbils) from the things that you do. The song encourages you to see them as something unique in people that need understanding.
  • The Golden Rule focuses on doing to others what you would have them do to you and to "say somethin' nice or nothin' at all." 
  • Six Little Kids focuses on different points of view by adapting the fable "The Story of the Blind Men and the Elephant." The song has a 6 kids with eyes closed.
Happiness and Attitude include the songs:

  • Shake It Out and Dance is about not saying, "I can't," and instead encouraging kids to say, "I can."
  • Who Knows What’s a Kudo? focuses on giving compliments and thanking other people for the things that they do or "something nice and new." 
  • I Don’t Understand explains that it is important to ask questions when you don't understand something. 
  • Be Good to Yourself encourages children to say good things to others and to yourself. 
  • Better Together focuses on how it is okay to be by yourself, but it's better to be with someone.

After listening to the songs, we came up with our favorites. The Top 3 favorite songs by Ceesa, Jo-Jo and Li are...

~Shake it Out and Dance from Happiness & Attitude
~The Magic Word from Manners & Character
~Who Knows What's a Kudo from Happiness & Attitude

The songs are allowed to be burned to a CD so that you can have access to them from the device they are downloaded on and when you are on the go. We listened to them from our computer at different meal times and when working together on family chores.

Happy Kids' Songs Workbook
The Happy Kids' Songs Workbook contains lyrics to all of the songs from each of the 8 volumes (40 total) with coloring or activity pages to go along with the songs and a learning activity to work on together.

The coloring and activity pages may be reproduced and used with all of the children in your family. Learning pages include drawing, crosswords, mazes, questions, book report, picture hunts, connect the dots, tracing, color codes, writing, word scrambles, tic-tac-toe boards, diagrams, word search, and matching.

We found that there were pages that were appropriate for all ages throughout the book, each song has one page that goes along with the song. So Li could work on the coloring pages and the girls could work on the activity pages.

Ceesa and Jo-Jo especially love working on puzzles. When their great-grandmother visited with them in May, she brought a puzzle book and they would sit with her and work on the puzzles together. When she visited again this summer, she brought them their own books. So now whenever they find books of puzzles, they are so excited to work on them.

The learning activities include arts and crafts, movement, drama, and games. Some of them suggest basic materials from around the home. If you do not have an item, an alternative may easily be thought up to use instead of the suggestion. 

Friendship Bracelets went along with the song Everybody Wants to Find a Friend. Ceesa and Jo-Jo love making and receiving friendship bracelets and we just so happen to have lots of string and beads.

We would say that the workbook was necessary for us. We needed the lyrics that are printed in the workbook to sing along and the activities in the book were my children's favorite part.

What to Investigate
To decide if the songs are a good fit for your family, we'd recommend listening to the samples available here and signing up for the free song and activities here.  

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

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