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Best-Loved Songs For Children – Feliz Navidad!

Feliz Navidad – What a wonderful way to wish someone a merry Christmas.

This upbeat Christmas song written by Puerto Rican composer, Jose Feliciano is a great way to bring out holiday cheer and maybe even learn a few new words in Spanish at the same time.

The lyrics are very simple with the first verse in Spanish:

Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Feliz Navidad
Prospero Año y Felicidad

And the second verse in English:

I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas

I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas
From the bottom of my heart

Need a Spanish/English cheat sheet?

Navidad is Christmas

Feliz is happy

Año (pronounced anyo) is year

Año Neuvo is New Year

Prospero means prosperous

Felicidad is Happiness

And best phrases for Holiday greetings?

Merry Christmas is ¡Feliz Navidad!

Happy New Year is ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

To wish someone a Proserous New Year – Prospero Año

Or to put it all together and say

I wish you a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year

Te deseo una feliz navidad y un próspero año Nuevo. 

And that’s exactly what I’ll be wishing for you!  Here’s the full video to enjoy!

Links and Resources

Feliz Navidad Lyric Sheet Print Out
http://www.dariamusic.com/feliznavidad.php
DARIA’s Feliz Navidad on I tunes
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/celebrate-season-multicultural/id344193347
DARIA’s Feliz Navidad Amazon mp3
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00302IO26/ref=dm_dp_trk2

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Favorite Holiday Songs From Around The World – Jingle Bells in Chinese

jingle bells chinese 1 Have you ever heard the song, Jingle Bells in (Mandarin) Chinese? It’s irresistible! And it’s a perfect way to introduce your child to a beautiful new language as part of their musical play and exploration!

I learned this song from a wonderful Mommy blogger named Lina Dickson who is actively “bringing up baby, bilingually”. Since the winter festivities are close at hand, it can be a perfect way of combining music, learning a new language and holiday fun.

Even if you don’t attempt the whole song, the chorus is very easy to learn. Instead of Jingle Bells, it is:

(Pinyin) Dīng dīng dāng Dīng dīng dāng
(English Translation) Ding ding dang, Ding ding dang,

(Pinyin) Líng’ér xiǎng dīng dāng
(English Translation) The bells jingle

(Pinyin) wǒ men huá xuě duo kuài lè
(English Translation) We have lots of fun sledding

(English Translation) Riding of the sleigh
(Pinyin) wǒ men zuò zài xuě qāio shàng hei

jingle bells chinese 2Check out the video animation below or head over to Lina’s Best4Baby site to see a version that has the perfect word by word translation. Lina’s site also has a pdf teaching the complete lyrics in Chinese through the actual Chinese characters, through pinyin and the English translation. If you aren’t familiar with pinyin, it is a system developed to write out how Chinese characters or words are pronounced including the correct inflection to use.

http://www.best4future.com/blog/chinese-childrens-song-jingle-bells

Jingle Bells Lyrics in Chinese Characters, Pinyin and English Translation form Best4Future Website

http://www.best4future.com/blog/Songs/jinglebell.pdf

Jingle Bell Craft Booklet pdfWant to make some jingle bells to jingle along with the song – no matter what language you’re enjoying it in? My monthly song page has a free craft booklet sharing 4 different ways to create homemade jingle instruments from recycled materials.

Stop on over, get your copy and you can … jingle all the way!

http://www.dariamusic.com/monthly_song.php

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAwC0GorjCs&w=500&h=375]

Favorite Holiday Songs – Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer In Japanese!

 別名花の

Screen shot 2017-12-11 at 10.33.44 AM

 

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 you  through the song.  Give it a try!  The video plus the lyrics below makes it really easy even if you don’t speak one word in Japanese!

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

http://crystalstinytreasures.com/wordpress/japan-society-christmas-party/

Jingle Marching Sticks

making jingle sticksOne 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!

Make Your Own Jingle Stick

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.

Screen shot 2013-11-15 at 3.05.34 PMBegin 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.

Time To Play!

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.

Resources

Jingle Anklets –  http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/jinglebells.pdf

4 Easy Jingle Bells Instruments For Holiday Fun  – Craft Booklet from TeachersPayTeachers http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/4-JINGLE-BELLS-CRAFT-ACTIVITIES-940926

4 Easy Jingle Bells Instruments For Holiday Fun  – Craft Booklet from DARIA’s Little Village Store http://dariasvillagestore.storenvy.com/collections/34585-all-products/products/3498803-4-jingle-bell-craft-activities-booklet

Halloween Musical Fun!

monster rattlesMusic is a great way to share the lighter side of Halloween.

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:

monster rattles - innerds12 pebbles or stones
12 acorns
12 jingle bells
12 buttons
12 pieces of dried pasta
12 marbles

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
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

http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/MONSTERInstructions.pdf

Sharing The Culture Of India With Your Children

meeras india graphic

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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRPpSgRqtRc

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Color The Instruments From India!

dhol imageYou can find coloring pages including the dhol drum and the Indian sitar on DARIA’s world music for kids site, in the activity and craft section here:

http://www.dariamusic.com/crafts.php

 

Make And Play Your Own Dhol Drum

dhol image

Almost every culture has a special kind of drum to call its own.  In Northern India, the dhol is a two-headed drum worn around the neck, often decorated in very beautiful ways.  It is played with two beaters (sticks) and can be a fun way of encouraging coordination between right hand and left hand as well as exploring new rhythms or the culture of India.

Supplies

dhol supplies To create a homemade version of a dhol drum, you need a few simple supplies:

Round (cylindrical) cardboard container (from oatmeal, bread crumbs, corn meal, etc.)

Felt, construction paper or poster board (large enough piece to fit around the cylinder).

Duct tape

Piece of sturdy ribbon, bric-brac, old belt or recycled strap from a purse.

2 pencils

2 plastic spoons

Materials for decoration (if desired)

Crayons, markers, stickers, or glitter and glue.

Yarn for tassels

dhol half madeMake Your Own Dhol

Start by cutting a length of ribbon or strap so that the “drum” that will fit comfortably over your child’s head and hang at about stomach height.  Duct tape the strap into place onto the cylinder.

Next, cut a length of felt, construction paper or poster board to fit over the cylinder.  Decorate it with crayons, markers, glitter and glue or similar materials, if desired.

When you’ve completed your design, tape the felt or paper into place.

Create two beaters for the drum.  Since sticks can be a safety hazard with young children, I encourage parents, teachers and caregivers to tape two plastic spoons to unsharpened pencils and dhol drum - completeduse them as beaters.  They are the right length for dhol drum beaters and don’t leave any sharp edges exposed.

Tassles?

Many dhol are decorated with colorful tassels.  If you want to add some to your drum, simply wind your favorite colors of yarn around a small length of cardboard.  Slip the yarn off the cardboard, and tie one side creating the “head” of the tassel.  Then cut the strings on the opposite side so they will hang down as fringe.

And attach to your drum!

Playing the Dhol

Allow your child to put the drum “on” and experiment with striking each side with a beater.

josef plays dholTry striking back and forth slowly and then more quickly.

Try making up patterns like: “Left side, left side, right!”

Or more complicated ones as well.

Try walking and playing your dhol.

Discover some traditional dhol rhythms and see if you can imitate them.

The Traditional Dhol

Want to discover some traditional rhythms played in this drum? You can see and hear them here:

Other Instruments From India – Indian Ankle Bells

Check out this fun and easy craft – making Indian-style ankle bells called ghungroo: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Instruments-From-India-Make-Your-Own-Ankle-Bells-Ghungroo-486879

Links:

Color a Dhol  http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/Dhol%20Coloring%20Page.pdf

Dhol Drum mini-poster and coloring page from TeachersPayTeachers http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Dhol-Drum-Instruments-From-India-904625

Creating Meaningful Music Experiences For Children

Looking for creative ways to combine music, play and learning for young children?

We love the recent article by Carla from Preschool Powol Packets (nice blog!) with 5 different activities young children and their and parents can do to explore music together.

Plus, there’s a give-away of a DARIA cd and a beautiful, authentic fair-trade rattle from Africa.

(Give-away open until September 16, 2013).

Check out the great ideas for musical play that include making simple instruments, ideas for a rhythm band and creating songs to express feelings.

Stop by to check out the fun and learning here:

http://preschoolpowolpackets.blogspot.com/2013/09/musicactivitiesDaria.html

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Introducing MLK’s message to Young Children – Through Music!

It’s never too early to share important and powerful messages with young children.

This is especially true when choosing books, music and other positive and kid-friendly media that become part of your children’s lives.  In fact, this was exactly the reason I wrote a children’s song based on MLK’s “I Have A Dream” speech made during the March On Washington, whose 50th anniversary is today!

Although most people recall mainly the “I Have A Dream” section, the entire speech is worth reading or hearing.  And MLK’s messages are easy for kids to grasp and live out.  What child does not want to be included and treated fairly?  Every child appreciates an environment that is fair, balanced and gives everyone a chance.   Big concepts such as respect, equality and dignity aren’t lost on little ears.

In honor of the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, I’m offering free downloads of this song on my website (link below).  I’m also encouraging parents to seek out and include books, music and other media in their child’s life that show inspirational leaders, such as MLK.  Find ways to help your children “meet” spiritual and inspirational leaders and their lives will surely reflect these positive ideas and worthy goals.

Remember, no child is too small to make a difference.

“Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve.”

-Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

———

Watch an animation of the I HAVE A DREAM children’s song here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBQ36WnekVM&w=500&h=281]

Links:

Free Download of the I Have A Dream Song

http://www.dariamusic.com/monthly_song.php

Free MLK Coloring Page For Young Children

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/MLK-Rainbow-Coloring-Page-for-Younger-Children-475121

Free MLK Coloring Page For Older Children (With Many MLK Quotes)
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/MLK-Rainbow-And-Popular-Quotes-Coloring-Page-for-Older-Children-475123

Simple Instruments from Africa For Children

Making music with young children is a great way of combining creativity and fun with learning about global cultures.  Whether you are quietly crafting, reading and researching or drumming and dancing, here are some simple instruments that can be a part of any study of the diverse and beautiful cultures of Africa.

this tongue rattle hereMake It Rattle!

Different types of rattles can be found throughout Africa and the world.  They are easy to hold and play for kids of all ages and almost all abilities.   Here are three very different rattles from Africa – one that even can be seen in hieroglyphics that date back to ancient Egypt!  All of these are perfect to be made and played by small hands!

Tongue Rattle

http://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/make-your-own-african-style-tongue-rattle/

Caxixi Rattle

http://tinytappingtoes.wordpress.com/2013/02/05/make-your-own-woven-caxixi-rattle/

Egyptian Sistrum Rattle – Make It From A Recycled Hanger

the Eco-Egyptian Sistrum

Egyptian Sistrum Rattle – Make It From A Tree Branch

the Natural Egyptian Sistrum

Egyptian Sistrum Coloring Page
the Egyptian Sistrum Coloring Page

South African drummer - farahHands On The Drum!

There are an astounding number of different drums and drumming traditions throughout Africa.  Crafting a simple hand drum from recycled materials is a great place to start an exploration of drumming for very young children.

http://www.dariamusic.com/docs/Make%20Your%20Own%20African%20Drum.pdf

Shake A Shekere

In this unique and beautiful percussion instrument, the rattle is on the outside of the gourd.  It can be shaken back and forth, tossed hand to hand or used like a ball in simple children’s musical games.  To hear or color a shekere or find crafting instructions and simple activities, check out the links below.

shekere iconHear A Shekere

http://www.dariamusic.com/shekere.php

Color A Shekere Online

http://www.dariamusic.com/color_Shekere.php

Make Your Own Shekere

http://www.dariamusic.com/make_Shekere.php

Easy Gourd Shekere For A Kid Or A Classroom

http://tinytappingtoes.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/easy-gourd-shekere-for-a-child-or-a-classroom/

Alphabet Shekere

http://www.trueaimeducation.com/2012/10/guest-post-learning-letters-with.html