Posts Tagged “music”

Beat Bugs Toys & Netflix Show Introduce Youngsters to The Beatles

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Disclosure: We were provided a sample in exchange for an honest review. As always, the opinions and content expressed herein are strictly our own. This post contains affiliate links.

Adorable bug characters, called the Beat Bugs, are introducing a new generation of kids to The Beatles and their iconic music. Beat Bugs is a Netflix original series, starring 5 adventurous bugs friends. As they explore their environment and curiosities, Beatles songs are woven into the storyline, creating a catchy and innovative way to keep The Beatles alive. Just as innovated, are the creative playset for children to make their own adventures with the Beat Bug friends. Playsets play 3 different Beatles songs and have a variety of characters to play with.

Below, check out Victoria’s review of the Yellow Submarine toy, which you will also find in our Holiday Gift Guide for this year. There are several playsets, each playing different songs from the famous band, covered by other famous sings such as Rod Stewart, Pink, Sia and more. The Netflix original series is surely one to check out.

For more holiday gift suggestions, please visit our Holiday Gift Guide by clicking below:

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Children's Music Review: The Cat's Pajamas

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Looking for an upbeat kid’s CD with a hint of more? The Cat’s Pajamas’ Backseat Driver album offers a variety of silly, dance-happy tunes.

From Drop Box

Funky Bear is a jazzy version of the Three Little Bears story and Humpty Dumpty makes it easy to sing along with traditional nursery rhymes. Driving In My Car and Just An Old Jalopy are care-free bop-along songs for fun.

Alphabet Soup is cute going through the alphabet with ingredients for soup and a nice alternative to the traditional ABC song. Building A Better World is a simple song with a strong message of community.

My two favorite tracks on this CD are “Take Time Out” and “How Many People in a Family”. “Take Time Out” holds a great message about staying in control of emotions in frustrating situations (ex: losing at baseball). Kids should have a release outlet for frustrations and this song offers a perfect backdrop for holding such proactive discussions – not that parents couldn’t use a small reminder too. I also really took to “How Many People In A Family” for a very personal reason. When my ex and I separated, I often viewed my single parent household as “broken”. And while this was heartbreaking and difficult, it wasn’t until I finally resolved that our mother-child status was in fact a complete family, were we blessed with the perfect addition to our family. Designed for children, but it sure brought me back and I wish I had come across this song many years ago, and perhaps it would have saved a couple buckets worth of tears.

The Cat’s Pajamas’ Backseat Driver CD can be purchased via Amazon or download individual songs here. Look for additional mention of their albums on Homeroom At Home.

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Second Hand is a Helping Hand… Consignment Blessings

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Sale, Discount, Bargain… Consignment

Easily these signs get me excited because like most, I love a good bargain. Finding toys, books and clothing at a fraction of a price, just makes my day. Naturally, I jumped at the invitation to a presale event with Just Between Friends Consignment earlier this week. Check out my video below for a peek at my sale finds.

Consignments sales are perfect for building your personal library of resources. Creating a lesson plan around animals or pirates, multiplication practice or chemistry… definitely check out the treasures to be unburied at these sales. I like to look for educational puzzles and games, items for teaching geography, tools for learning states & capitals, and period costumes. I picked up some items to round out our Adventure Series: Horsing Around lesson, including an American Girl riding outfit – cap, boots and all. I also grabbed a toddler Renaissance outfit and a microscope, among some other toys and shoes for everyday events. Beyond the learning toys I found, I also came across larger sizes of Renaissance dress-up wear (girls and boys), pirate costumes, 20’s Flapper Dress, arts & craft supplies, science experiments, and building kits. There was such a variety!

Microscope found for $5

Tables and tables of games and toys

Just Between Friends makes shopping (and consigning) easy with two fall events:

JBF Western Main Line (Oaks)

Thurs, Sept 13 – Sat, Sept 15

Greater Philadelphia Expo Center – Hall C

AND

JBF Reading Fall Event

Thurs, Sept 27 – Sat, Sept 29

Greater Reading Expo Center

Saturdays at both sales are Half Off Days!!

You must check out these articles on this event with excellent tips for shopping on consignment and the advantages of becoming a consignor.  Super Exhausted with Sherry and Delco Deal with Kelly and A Life In Balance with Barb.

Disclosure:  I was invited to a presale blogger event at JBF Consignment and given a shopping credit in exchange for this post.  All the opinions and tips expressed here are strictly mine.

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Hullabaloo Review of "Raise A Ruckus" CD

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Hullabaloo’s new CD, “Raise A Ruckus” (set to release September 4th) is an awesome addition to any children’s music collection.  Right from the start we loved this collection.  The third song mentions chimpanzees and so was perfect for our recent Monkey Madness play date.  We played all sorts of songs having to do with monkeys, chimps, apes, etc and so naturally I was excited when I discovered that Hullabaloo’s “Look At You” would be a perfect fit and of course a playful hit.

I love the title track “Raise A Ruckus” as it is catchy and fun.  Sometimes (and especially at the tail end of summer) kids need to just let some energy loose. Actually most of this album serves that purpose… to just have a silly great time.  “Bit Her” is about a brother who bit his sister’s toe – just silly.  “Trash Is My Treasure” is an adorable story of a seagull that recycles food scraps for his meals.  He finds yum-yums in dumpsters and local trashcans – again silly fun nonsense.

“Out Standing” is a cute song about playing in the rain.  Great for a rainy summer day when kids are stuck in the house, although be fore warned… they might just prefer to follow the lyrics and stand in the rain.  haha

“Rocket Shoes” will be added to our Solar System lesson as an entertaining song to keep the theme light and fun.  It’s exactly the kind of thing I look to play while doing art and crafts, or to stay with the theme without being overwhelming. It is essential to mix things up between stories, crafts, music, museums and this little number is perfectly upbeat and entertaining to keep their interest.

“Raise A Ruckus” is just fun and appropriate for kids of all ages.  I’ll be swapping out some favs in the car for this one…. yeah it’s that good!! Hullabaloo has some upcoming concerts (although on the west coast) but be sure to check out their website for information on performances and the their other CD’s. Their website is http://www.Hullabalooband.com.

(Disclosure:  I was given a complementary copy of this album for review.  The opinions expressed here are strictly my own.)

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East Coast Bruce Springsteen Collection & Giveaway

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Bruce Springsteen Exhibit At the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia

Come explore the “From Asbury Park To The Promised Land; The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen” exhibit at the National Constitution Center as a temporary but extraordinary showcase. This must see time capsule includes clips of Springsteen’s early music with the band “The Castiles”. Other early exhibit pieces include the band’s scrapbook and record labels. Following the exhibit space through Bruce’s personal collection of belongings tells many stories of the Americans people. Many songs are centered around specific events, like the September 11 attacks or life during the Vietnam War. Album after album, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band tell one compelling story after another, even if it is the everyday story of the everyday working class family. That is their charm; their legacy. With artifacts ranging from clothing pieces to concert photos and the large guitar collection, there is something for everyone to reflect on.

As for me, well, if I’m being totally honest, I’d have to admit prior to admission, I didn’t know much about Springsteen’s music or his political views or have the ability to even name more than a handful of his songs. I knew my father, John, could of course. My Dad related well to many of Springsteen’s themes and loves his unique and raspy rock & roll style. I’m glad I asked my Dad to join me. While we toured the exhibit, I got to glance back in time to things that mattered to my father’s generation. While my childhood concerns included learning to ride a bike and cutting gum out of my hair, Springsteen was writing about the working people of America and the everyday struggles they faced; my parents included. Never had I appreciated all this more than walking side by side with my father, reliving some memories and experiencing others for the first time. Springsteen’s talent with words and music simply transcends generations as well as, backgrounds, race and industry. His music simply speaks of the people and it was ever-so fitting that this exhibit sits at the National Constitution Center in historic Philadelphia.

Bruce Springsteens 1960 Chevrolet Corvette

On my tour, I was the child with my parent, learning and appreciating new things around every corner. As a parent, I encourage you to embrace the beauty of Springsteen’s musical ability to tell a story, open our hearts and actually teach a thing or two to your children. The exhibit held several interactive features including musical videos, a trivia game centered around major historical events that he wrote and sung about, musical clips of his earlier performances and his Oscar for “Streets Of Philadelphia”. His “Born In The USA” album cover outfit is available on showcase as well as, many other interesting and engaging items. Be sure to take an extra moment to reflect on the lyrics which are blown up from his original notepad to poster size.

A fantastic addition to a fabulously interactive historical museum. While visiting, be sure to stop by the popular “Six Word Memoir” and “Signers’ Hall”. Inside the main exhibit, you’ll find fascinating facts about our nation’s governing roots and our founding fathers’ struggles to create and sustain the government that is still in existence today. The National Constitution Center offers many hands-on activities, lectures, interactive displays and tools for education. Be sure to pick up the fold-out worksheet on Bruce Springsteen, as it ties his musical legacy to our nation’s constitution in an easy to understand manner. The worksheet has activities for your child to think through while taking in the exhibits, both the main floor and Springsteen exhibits. Additionally, the brochure titled “From Darkness To A Dream” features some of the photography of Danny Clinch and Frank Stefanko as they capture Springsteen’s journey in an artistic manner. Art is available on display in the exhibits and reproductions available for sale through the Morrison Hotel Gallery. And something as simple as the visitor’s guide has a couple of quick tips under the “Top 10” section… for a quick review/highlight.

Giveaway

Enter here for multiple entries to win a family four pack. The family four pack includes admission to the National Constitution Center, live performance of “Freedom Rising”, Signers’ Hall, and “From Asbury Park To The Promised Land; The Life and Music Of Bruce Springsteen” temporary* exhibit. (*Please note this exhibit is open now until September 3, 2012.) Be sure to leave a comment with your favorite Springsteen song and its significance to you.  Giveaway entries open until July 18, 2012.  Winner will be announced via email and must respond within 3 days to remain eligible.

The National Constitution Center is located at 525 Arch Street, Independence Mall, Philadelphia, PA 19106.  Visit their website at www.constitutioncenter.org for more information, educational tools and museum store items.

In full disclosure, I had been offered a pair of complementary admission tickets to experience the Bruce Springsteen exhibit and tour the National Constitution Center. The ideas and opinions expressed here are solely mine. I was not compensated further for this review.

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Embracing Music With Children's Rock Concert

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WXPN hosted the Kid’s Corner Music Festival on March 10th in Philadelphia. My nephew joined my daughter, husband and I…and oh boy did we have a good time. As quests to this event, we were very excited to see what all the buzz was about. As soon as we entered the Union Transfer building there was so much energy! We quickly established ourselves and headed for the concert floor where Rolie Polie Guacamole was playing. My daughter jumped in with both feet and started dancing with no warm-up. Rolie Polie Guacamole was a very lively group and showcased nicely on the colorful and risen stage at the Union Transfer. We enjoyed songs like “This Land is Your Land” and our favorite from this kid’s group: “Upside Down”. Be sure to visit there site at www.roliepolieguacamole.com for info on the band, purchasing music via iTunes and upcoming shows. Speaking of which they will return to our area Saturday, March 31st in Wilmington, Delaware at the World Cafe Live @ The Queen!! Grab your tickets.

       Warming up to the crowd and band

Between acts families were getting a bite to eat, visiting the balloon man for creative balloon designs or taking advantage of the crafting tables for the children. My nephew was excited to make a bookmark with stamp art. They had several art and craft project tables each with staff/volunteers to help the children with their artwork. Although it may be difficult to talk over the bands, much less keep up with all of the excitement, you might want to take advantage of meal time or the car ride home, to point out such things as number of band members, how many instruments they each played, what instruments were used/liked and so on. This is such a great teaching tool being a hands-on experience for music. With my two in attendance being tots we didn’t discuss much as we focused mostly on finding the potty and not wandering off… but for school-aged kids, please take full advantage (and take many pictures!).

  

The second children’s band was our dancing favorite! The Fuzzy Lemons were a terrifically loud and energetic ROCK band and had us moving the entire time. We jumped and bopped to “Skunks In My Shoes”, “Yes You Can” and “Jump Wiggle and Shake”. And then of course my daughter’s (ok, ok, mine too) favorite song of theirs “Girls Rock”! Here’s their website to purchase music, arrange for a private party or see what else they have going on: www.thefuzzylemons.com.

The Fuzzy Lemons

We grabbed a quick bite ourselves and then headed back to the main floor for more dancing action. By this time, the crowd wasn’t as full… so we got close up spots near the stage… and good thing too because that’s where all the action was!!  We kicked up our dancing shoes to Roy Handy and The Moonshot children’s rock -n-roll group. This group engaged the audience with story and background info before starting each song. A couple of the songs we like from this band include “I Am A Dog”, “I’m A Vampire” and “Shopping List”. Our favorite song of the day was from Roy Handy and The Moonshot titled “Socks Are Overrated!” Be sure to check them out at www.royhandyandthemoonshot.com.

  

Dancing our little hearts out.

                      

Many thanks to WXPN and Kid’s Corner for sponsoring our attendance and providing us with such an awesome afternoon of singing/dancing fun. The thoughts, experiences and opinions expressed here are my own. I was not compensated for this review.

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