Happy Kids Songs Foster Social & Emotional Skills
Super Hero and I received a set of various songs from Happy Kids Songs for free, in exchange for my complete and thorough review. Happy Kids Songs aims to foster a positive attitude, character-building and happiness in children ages 3 to 8. These are the brainchild of Dr. Mac, whom you may recognize as the music director for the PBS show, Jay Jay the Jet Plane. Super Hero, 8 now, used to watch that show when he was littler.
What We Received
We received MP3s of three different albums:
- Friends & Sharing (Set 1)
- Happiness & Attitude (Set 5)
- Manners & Character (Set 6)
There were 15 songs in total, 5 per set.
We also received a print copy of the accompanying Happy Kids Songs Workbook Hands-on Activities to Build Character, Social and Emotional Skills.
What to Expect
The download from dropbox was smooth and straight forward. Once I had the MP3 files on my hard drive, I loaded them into iTunes. I like to keep it visual in iTunes so I know exactly what’s playing at a quick glance. Thus, I went ahead and downloaded each of the album cover images too.
Of course, none of this is necessary. You can play it right from your desktop if that’s how you like it. It’ll work just fine. Or you may burn the music into a CD or transfer it into an MP3 player.
How We Used
We listened to the songs directly from my computer as we worked on our lessons or just during our “spare” time. (My “spare” time, and Super Hero’s spare time).
I thought some of the songs had the same feel as those in the Barney show, but Super Hero disagreed. “No, they don’t sound anything like Barney, these are fast paced songs” -he said. Regardless of who or what they resembled, we do agree –Happy Kids Songs are nice and fun! Of course there are some songs we like better than others.
Most of the tunes are quite catchy, and the lyrics make you want to pay close attention. Some songs blend humor in as well. For example during “the magic word” song, many children sing different phrases. “Can I please have some more?”, “May I please be excused?”, “May I please go to the bathroom?”, and so on. At last, a girl sings –”May I please have more homework?”. All the kids burst out laughing.
The message is consistently positive:
- Be good to yourself
- Share a kudo –what’s a kudo? it’s something nice and honest you tell others
- I’m okay by myself, but it’s better with you
- Everyone wants a friend, and it’s okay if someone says no, just ask
- I say yes – sharing with friends
- Together, no matter where we are, it seems like home
The workbook contains many worksheets with games, coloring pages, fill-in blanks, drawing, mazes, etc. They reinforce the concepts taught with activities specific to each song. All the workbook’s content is available for download at their website for free. The workbook gathers them all for convenience.
Our Opinion About
Happy Kids Songs is professionally produced music –no doubt! Many different children sing throughout the albums keeping them interesting and varied. The songs are positive with encouraging lyrics and catchy, upbeat music. They are secular. They talk about developing good social and emotional skills in a completely non-religious manner. This is a big plus for us, who are secular homeschoolers. And I suspect even religious families can enjoy them and build upon them with their own faith and beliefs.
The target audience Happy Kids Songs has defined, kids ages 3 to 8, is right on. Children older than that might find them a bit too babyish.
In a Nutshell
It’s been pleasant to listen to Happy Kids Songs, and I appreciate the opportunity we had to listen, enjoy, and review them. We will continue to play these songs each time we need a dose of positive, upbeat music. If you’d like to listen to a sample, there are plenty in Happy Kids Songs website. Or if you’re ready, you can buy an individual album for $4.95 or a single song for 99¢. The workbook’s price is $12.56.
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