Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Favorite children’s songs —Mary Had a Little Lamb

We’re going to start featuring some favorite children’s songs on our blog posts, so that you can learn about each tune’s history and why they can be so beneficial for your children to learn.

Nursery rhymes are excellent tools for helping children to develop their language and comprehension while helping to build their vocabulary. Mary Had a Little Lamb is the perfect example of a nursery rhyme style classic that is a favorite of children across the globe.

Before it became one of the most popular children’s songs of all time, Mary Had a Little Lamb was originally published as a poem by Sarah Josepha Hale in 1830. A really interesting thing about this song is that it was the first thing ever recorded on Thomas Edison’s newly invented phonograph in 1876. It’s pretty cool to think that today you can hear the same song on an array of different Mp3s and DVDs with baby music.

A cool legend about this song is that it was inspired by an event that happened in real life.  A young girl named Mary Sawyer had a pet lamb, which her brother suggested she bring to school one day. Of course, the appearance of a lamb at a school incited quite a commotion, and drew the attention of a reverend’s nephew, who wrote the three original stanzas of the poem and gave it to the writer, who augmented it and then published it as a poem. Sara Josepha Hale went on to become a successful writer, publishing her first novel, Northwood, in 1827, and serving as the editor of Godey's Ladies Book, one of the 19th century’s most popular women's periodicals. She spent the majority of her life writing about and championing women’s education and development.

Mary Had a Little Lamb is often referred to as the "best known four-lined verses in the English language,” which makes perfect sense why it’s featured on so many CDs and DVDs with baby music. What are some of your favorite children’s songs?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Baby music sing-a-longs

It’s pretty obvious that toddlers and infants alike enjoy themselves immensely when baby music is played and sung to them. And when they start to speak and sing along too, then the fun quadruples for everyone involved—because honestly, even as adults, you’ve got to admit that it’s hilarious fun to sing along with your children’s favorite songs.

The even greater thing about baby music sing-a-longs is that they offer a multitude of benefits for strengthening and developing your child’s mind. Only the best toys for babies can be fun and beneficial! Research shows that when children engage in musical activities, including simply listening to music, it involves their brain at nearly every level. The more infants and toddlers are exposed to music, the more that their verbal, spatial and emotional intelligence increases. In addition, their coordination and body movement improves. Another pretty obvious benefit is that their vocabulary acquisition skills will be greater than children who don’t listen to baby music or participate in sing-a-longs.

When children are exposed to all types of music earlier in life, they will be better at singing in tune and recognizing rhythm and beat. An added bonus is that they’ll also have a stronger ability to understand music theory and possibly play musical instruments—in other words, you could be grooming a baby Mozart!

What’s phenomenal about singing along to your children’s favorite songs or musical baby books is that these activities feel like play to both children and parents, but are truly helping to develop children’s minds and de-stress mom and dad. So that clearly sets playthings involving music apart from the rest, making them some of the best toys for babies. Incorporate music whenever you can, during bath time, meals, playtime and in the car—and, of course, the time-honored tradition of lulling children to sleep.

image credit: landeth@flickr.com

Friday, January 11, 2013

How a baby DVD can save the day

Have you ever been on a road trip or family vacation that was plagued by your antsy toddler or baby that cried incessantly? While we all love our children to death, when you are trying to decompress it can be frustrating when you’re unable to soothe your child or lull them to sleep. However, there are some productive measures you can take to calm your little ones and create a more relaxed atmosphere for everyone. If you’re looking for an example one of these techniques that is super easy to implement, simply pop in a baby DVD!

When you think of musical toys for your baby or toddler, you probably imagine a loud
toy piano or guitar. While those toys are lots of fun and can be very educational,
a baby DVD will stimulate several of your child’s senses and engage them for the
duration. Fortunately, if you’re traveling in a car without a built-in DVD
player, your child can view musical programming on an iPad or laptop. Ahh, the benefits of cutting-edge technology!

So when you consider musical toys for your baby or toddler, remember, you’re not limited to physical items that take up lots of space. You can easily tune your child into some exciting programming that keeps them engaged and also offers them a wide range of developmental benefits. Talk about multitasking! Letting them watch vivid visual scenes coupled with fun baby music will help them develop listening and language skills, while building their vocabulary. In addition, they will feel an inclination to move and wiggle to the music, which promotes coordination and the refining of their motor skills. Another incredible benefit of watching a DVD is that children will start to associate words with their meanings and
even learn to recognize how tone and enunciation affects a word’s meaning or expresses

Monday, January 7, 2013

One of the all-time favorite children’s songs

One of the most interesting children’s songs that is actually an all-time favorite is Pop Goes the Weasel. While the majority of children and adults have heard this song and know it by heart, most people don’t know the history of this funny tune. In fact, when we did a survey to find out who knew what this tune was about, most thought it originated at a sports event. Wrong!

This song, which is included in many CD compilations and DVDs with baby music to this day, originated in Britain back in the 1700s. This nursery rhyme became a music-hall ditty for a lengthy period of time—something few children’s songs can claim—and later became the theme of a popular game children’s game in the 19th century.

Some intriguing trivia about this song—the lyrics state “Up and down the city road, in and out the Eagle. That’s the way the money goes. Pop, goes the weasel!" The “eagle” they are referring to is actually the The Eagle Tavern, a pub in Hackney, North London that Charles Dickens was known to frequent. Also interesting is the fact that in cockney slang, “Pop goes the weasel,” is thought to mean “Pawn one’s coat.” Hmm…

Considering the fact that this song has transcended centuries and is still ubiquitous on both CDs and DVDs with baby music, it’s safe to say that it’s an all-time historical favorite.

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year’s resolutions for your baby genius

It’s that time of year again—the period during which we resolve to lose weight, save money and live life to the fullest. Yet how does your baby benefit from this time of year? While infants and toddlers are too young to make their own New Year’s resolutions, the good news is, you can focus on a few ways to boost their development. A fun and extremely beneficial way is through the use of baby music!

We know that music affects a child’s mental, physical, social and emotional growth; something few toys can do on their own. Why not come up with some ways to integrate music into family’s activities and to spice up ordinary activities, such as bath time or meals? The great thing about children’s music is that it’s very low cost, and sometimes even free. How hard is it to sing a song to your child or along with them? It makes for a fun and bonding experience that de-stresses the adults involved as well.

Incorporating songs and children's music into your infant or toddler’s life is also as easy as popping in a baby DVD or CD for them to watch or listen to. Watch what happens—they’ll be wiggling around in no time, giggling and smiling to no end. Plus, they’ll simultaneously be improving and developing their coordination, vocabulary, language skills and rhythm—all of which will benefit their academic learning.

In our next post, we’ll pose some ideas for resolutions involving the use of baby music. In the meantime, come up with some ideas of your own and send them to us. We love hearing the different ways that parents everywhere augment their children’s learning and development.

image: zazzle.com

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Honorable mentions—Christmas children’s songs

Christmas melodies are a favorite when it comes to children’s songs. In past weeks, we covered some of the all-time traditional favorites that appear on everything from DVDs with baby music to CDs for adults. As one last hurrah for the holiday season, here are a few ditties that we think should, at the very least, get an honorable mention.

Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer. Who doesn’t love this song? Recorded in 1979 by Randy Brooks, this is one of the youngest holiday children’s songs when it comes to those that are considered traditional or classic. It’s lighthearted melody and comedic lyrics bring laughter to all those that hear it and sing along with it.

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. It’s no surprise that this fun-filled song was first recorded by a child, Jimmy Boyd, who was 13 when it was performed in 1952. The song could only be sung properly by a child if you think about it—it tells the tale of a young boy who sees his mother kissing his Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. Little does he know that “Santa” is actually his own father, dressed up to deliver his children’s gifts.

Here Comes Santa Claus. Originally performed by Gene Autry in 1946, this is another favorite that’s been included on Christmas compilation CDs, DVDs with baby music and even films. Autry also wrote the song, apparently inspired after appearing in a Christmas parade. The idea germinated after he kept hearing people say “Here comes Santa Claus” when the parade passed.

image credit: babble.com