A Mommy-Blogger in the British Isles came up with the most wonderful idea for sharing cultures with her kids through music. As Christmas approaches, Crystal (from Crystal’s Tiny Treasures) vowed to learn one new seasonal song; in a new language, with her kids each week. She keeps the focus on fun and lets the kids get into the spirit as they laugh, sing and learn the new song pick. What a great way to prepare for the holidays, learn a new language, celebrate diversity and encourage kids to be world citizens at the same time!
Since this super-mom blogger participates in a local Japanese holiday party, one of her first choices was learning Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer in Japanese.
Want to learn along with her? Here’s a videos with subtitles to prompt to through the song.
And here are the lyrics (in Japanese):
Makka na o-hana no tonakai-san wa
Itsumo minna no waraimono
Demo sono toshi no Kurisumasu no hi
Santa no o-ji-san wa iimashita
Kurai yomichi wa pikapika no
Omae no hana ga ni tatsu no sa
Itsumo naiteta tonakai-san wa
Koyoi koso wa to yorokobimashita
Will you be learning a new holiday song with your children or your classroom?
I’d love to hear about it here. Drop me a line (dariamusic at yahoo dot com) or leave a comment and it may be featuring in an upcoming post or appear on my next holiday children’s album!
Want to check out the fun at Crystal’s Tiny Treasures. Here’s a post about last year’s party at her local Japanese society!
Crystal’s Tiny Treasures
One of the most wonderful things about making music with young children is that it easily becomes part of an active day. Who can resist making a parade or dancing around the house or the classroom when they are carrying a marching jingle stick? Best of all, the materials needed for this craft are often trashed (extra ribbon, tape, cardboard wrapping tubes, stray jingle bells) so this craft encourages you to upcycle, exercise and make music all at the same time. What a great way to begin the holiday fun!
Here are the supplies to assemble:
A jingle stick – look for a cardboard tube from wrapping paper, 3 foot ruler or large stick
1 (or more) pipecleaners
6 – 10 jingles per pipecleaner
Colorful electrical tape or duct tape
Optional: Paint, stickers, yarn or duct tape, for decoration.
Begin by stringing any number of jingles onto a pipecleaner. Use electrical tape to fasten the pipecleaner into place on the stick. It helps to fasten the pipecleaners to the stick between the jingles as well. If you like, make several pipecleaners strung with bells to add to different parts of your stick.
Once the jingles are in place, decorate the rest of the marching stick. Use paint, more tape, colorful ribbon, yarn or stickers to make it unique and wonderful.
Other then using the jingle stick to lead a parade, there are lots of ways to get creative with your new instrument.
Sing any of your favorite holiday songs along to a beat created by your marching jingle stick.
Try tapping the stick on the floor while marching and use that sound as part of the rhythm being created.
Use marching jingle sticks as part of a holiday music presentation.
Try playing the jingle stick at a particular part of the song (like the chorus) or when you hear a particular word in a holiday song. For instance, a class can jingle the bells only when you hear the word “jingle” in the song “jingle bells”.
If you like, try it along to this version of Jingle Bells which shares lots of different ways to say “Happy Holidays” in different countries around the globe.
Jingle Anklets – Free PDF
4 Easy Jingle Bells Instruments For Holiday Fun – Craft Booklet from TeachersPayTeachers ($2.99)
4 Easy Jingle Bells Instruments For Holiday Fun – Craft Booklet from DARIA’s Little village Store ($2.99)
We recommend creative crafts and some of the classic kids songs and rhymes as ways to connect with the changing seasons and focus on a creative and whimsical celebration of Halloween.
Make A Silly Monster Rattle
Have any extra egg cartons?
It’s easy to make this kids rattle inspired by a real jawbone instrument from Peru. In the actual instrument – called a quijada – teeth rattle in the sockets making the percussion sound and keeping a beat. Spooky, huh?
In our version, one object goes into each egg space creating the same type of rattling effect. Here are some suggestions that make great noise-makers for this Halloween craft:
Once you’ve counted to 12 and sealed up your rattle, it’s time to give it a mask! Pick a bright, colorful mask or get out crayons and markers and use the black and white versions to color your own. Complete directions and masks are all on the free pdf at the link below.
5 Little Pumpkins And Five Little Turkeys
I love how kids enjoy these simple poems. They are so proud to find they’ve mastered the skill of counting to five and can hear how the words work as a rhyme! Here’s two of our favorite “5” rhymes:
5 Little Pumpkins
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate.
The first one said, “oh my it’s getting late.”
The second one said, “there are witches in the air.”
The third one said, “but we don’t care!”
The fourth one said, “let’s run and run and run.”
The fifth one said, “I’m ready for some fun!”
OOOhh OOOhh went the wind And out went the lights
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.
5 Little Turkeys
The 5 Little Turkeys went out to hunt for food.
The 1st one said, “I’m in a THANKFUL mood!”
The 2nd one said, “Let’s go eat some corn!”
The 3rd one said, “It’s a beautiful autumn morn!”
The 4th one said, “I’m filled with GRATITUDE!”
The 5th one said, “I need to change my attitude!”
Then the 5 Little Turkeys ate the corn and sat to rest;
Counting harvest joys and how richly they are blessed!
Halloween Finger Play Fun!
And here’s two Halloween songs and rhymes that work perfectly as fingerplays, too!
Ten Little Witches
One little, two little, three little witches
Four little, five little, six little witches
Seven little, eight little, nine little witches
Ten witches in the sky
Ten little, nine little, eight little witches
Seven little, six little, five little witches
four little, three little, two little witches
One little witch, bye bye!
(Finger Play – Use fingers to count up to ten and then back to one.)
Gobbling Turkey Finger Play
The turkey is a funny bird
His head goes “wobble wobble”
And he knows just one word
Gobble, gobble, gobble!
(Finger Play – Pretend your hand is a turkey – with the thumb as the head and the fingers as the feathers. Wobble the head for the second line. Use your hand to point make a “1” with the “just one word”, then use your hand to pretend to gobble for the last line of the rhyme! )
Make Your Own Silly Monster Rattle
We’re pleased to have a guest post this month by noted Indian-American Author, Meera Sriram. In this short article Meera shares ways she stays in touch with her birth culture and makes it a welcome and enriching part of her children’s lives.
It’s been almost two decades for me and my husband in a country on the other side of the world. We had our challenges, big and small – navigating through grad school, finding what we liked to do for a living and adapting to new ways of life in the U.S. But little did we realize that the climb in the learning curve was yet to come. The joys of parenthood came with the responsibility of keeping our children aware of our roots in India, and to constantly foster a connection between two diametric continents.
As an effort in that direction, we have been spending most of our summers with family in India. Besides providing great cultural immersion, it also helps my children find answers to why we do certain things the way we do in our home in the U.S. But how do we keep them in touch while we go about our lives here? Food is one way. I often put in the extra effort to learn and prepare traditional recipes besides standard fare. Books have hugely helped us learn about the places and people of India. Holidays and family traditions periodically help us celebrate our culture and customs in fun ways. To add to this list is music. While I come from a family of well-trained classical musicians, my knowledge of Indian classical music is still limited (strange, but that’s a story for another day-:) And since we don’t watch Bollywood, film music is not the staple. However we do expose our children to classical (Carnatic) music and Indian film music now and then. But there are some songs that cannot be boxed into either of these, but have better appealed to their senses. They have also opened up beautiful passages to connect with the music and culture of India. Here are some of them:
Favorite Songs For Sharing With Kids
Both my kids have been soothed to sleep by the comforting and melodious songs in this collection of traditional lullabies by Bombay Jayashri. Interestingly, each song is in a different regional language of India.
Karadi Rhymes was my first find to consciously introduce cultural elements of India to my first born, when she was a toddler. The songs are set to folksy tunes and the lyrics bring out the flavor of the country through simple themes like mangoes, chai and Diwali.
Vaishnava jan to tene (Preview) is a song I often listen to which caught the attention of the kids as well. Interestingly, one of the reasons for this song’s claim to fame is that it was a favorite of Mahatma Gandhi. Maybe this tidbit is why they are fascinated? I’d never know!
Lately, our palette has grown to include fusion music as well, the kind where East meets West. Some recent favorites are A.R. Rehman’s Zariya (Preview) , Maatibaani feat. JoyShanthi (Preview) , Karthick Iyer’s Clown’s junket (Preview) and Shankar Tucker’s Jaane Kaise (Preview) .
Vande Mataram is an eternal favorite at home – a patriotic song that celebrates the diverse landscapes and people of India with amazing visuals that reinforce the love for the land. Here’s a Youtube version of that song:
During the month of October 2013, you can find a wonderful October in India children’s feature on the DARIAMUSIC WEBSITE. Color a sitar or a dhol drum. Win a pair of special ankle bells. Find craft versions of instruments from India and much more at: