Category Archives: Family Fun

Learn About Kente Cloth – And Get A Free Kente Cloth Coloring Book!

Screen shot 2018-12-13 at 3.52.24 PMI’ve always wanted to learn more about kente cloth – the amazing woven textile from West Africa. This week, I’ve been lucky enough to talk with William (Kodzo) the founder and owner of KenteCloth.net.  Please, read on and check out his site.  I’m sure  you’ll want to bookmark his amazing free coloring book of kente patterns for kids!

DARIA: What started your interest in kente cloth?  Is it true you traveled all the way to Ghana to learn more?

KODZO: I’ve always admired how beautiful the cloths looked and the rich history behind it. Each cloth has patterns and the patterns have names and meanings behind them that pass down morals and tell stories. I traveled to the Volta Region of Ghana and actually learned how to weave the kente. I was also Kodzo weavingable to visit the kente museum there where I saw a wide variety of Kente throughout the history of Ghana. It was interesting to learn that Kente was originally black and white! The meanings of each design is primarily based on the geometric patterns. Color was later added when dying techniques were introduced. It is all very fascinating.

DARIA: What is kentecloth.net - Can people actually buy authentic kente cloth there?

Screen shot 2018-12-13 at 3.52.34 PMKODZO: KenteCloth.net started of as a site to educate people about Kente. As the site got more and more visitors and there were requests to purchase kente I started selling kente cloth on the site. This was 10 years ago and there is now a dedicated site to purchase the cloths called Sankofa Edition (https://www.SankofaEdition.com).

DARIA: I heard you created a free kente cloth coloring book?  Can you tell us about it? Where can teachers or parents get it?

KODZO: Yes, I created a free kente cloth coloring book  to help young kids learn Screen shot 2018-12-13 at 3.51.27 PMabout the cloth and apply it to their own lives. The coloring book is based on real authentic kente cloth patterns and the children can make their very own beautiful kente cloths. I’ve had teachers report back that their children loved the activity and the “cloths” were used to decorate the classroom. The printable coloring book can be downloaded at: https://www.kentecloth.net/kente-cloth-printable-coloring-book/

DARIA: Is there anything else you’d like to say about your journey?  Why is it important to learn about our ancestors and traditional peoples?

KODZO: In Ghana, there is a proverb/symbol called Sankofa (which sankofaedition.com inspired) and it features a bird looking back with an egg in its beak. The egg in the beak symbolizes the future and the bird flies forward while looking back. This symbol translates to “there is nothing wrong with going Screen shot 2018-12-13 at 4.14.41 PMback to what you forgot”. A lot of African history may be forgotten however we must remember that African history did not begin with slavery. Africa has a rich and beautiful culture going back to before the times of slavery. The beautiful kente cloth is a great example of beauty and culture in Africa prior to colonization. By looking back and digging deep in our history we can remember the legacy of our ancestors, embrace our past, and look forward to our future potential!

Please visit Kodzo’s site. You’ll learn a lot and maybe even decide to purchase a special item for yourself or someone you love!

Happy Holidays!

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A Kwanzaa Book And Drum Craft

kente clothg drum project

The winter holidays are such a beautiful and festive season.  Will you be celebrating Kwanzaa this year?  Is Kwanzaa part of your family or community? If this holiday is new to you, here is a beautiful book and a fun craft to introduce children to the spirit and the history of this holiday and let them create their own kente cloth drum!

Seven Spools CoverSeven Spools Of Thread

Seven Spools of Thread is a book that was written for Kwanzaa about kente cloth, a beautiful traditional fabric woven in Uganda.  Written by an amazing author, educator and chef, Angela Shelf Medearis, the book begins with a brief history of Kwanzaa and it’s Seven Principles.  Next comes the story of seven brothers who cannot get along and you probably guessed what happens.  Solving their problems requires using the important values of the seven principles of Kwanzaa such as purpose, creativity and faith.

seven spools 2Aside from a wonderfully told story, the book has gorgeous woodcut-style illustrations by artist, Daniel Minter.  This is a story you’ll want to read over and over again, not just at the winter holiday times, but throughout the year.

A Kente Cloth Craft

When you’ve finished the story, perhaps you’d like to color your own kente cloth and make a small drum.  You can find complete instructions in the freebies listed here.  Recycle a coffee can or an oatmeal container and you can make your own kente cloth-style drum.

And please stay tuned to this blog as our next post is from an expert on kente cloth and his story is just amazing.

Links And Resources

RPL - making kente cloth drumsMake Your Won African Drum Craft – Freebie From DARIA’s TPT store https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Make-Your-Own-African-Drum-Craft-3507618

Color A Kente Cloth Pattern – Freebie From DARIA’s TPT store – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kente-Cloth-For-A-Drum-Craft-Coloring-Page-4248662

Angela Shelf Medearis Website – She’s a Chef, Author and Cultural Historian! http://www.medearis.com/

Sing A Hanukkah Song From Spain!

Have you noticed the hastag #ChristmasAroundTheWorld? I love seeing how very special holidays, like Christmas and Hanukkah, are celebrated from culture to culture, with beautiful and diverse traditions. Want to celebrate #HanukkahAroundTheWorld with me?

Here’s a lovely little counting song from Spain in the Ladino language for you!

Is this Song In Spanish?

No. If you speak Spanish many of the words will sound very familiar, but the language is Ladino, a mixture of Hebrew and Spanish. Many people may not know that Jewish people traveled throughout the world bringing their meaningful customs with them. Jewish people who established communities in Spain and Portugal were often known as Sephartic Jews and many of their traditions melded with their new homeland.  Sadly, they were cruelly expelled from Spain in the late 1400’s and traveled to find new homes around the world in places such as Mexico, North Africa and even the United States.

Is The Ladino Language Still Alive?

Languages and mother tongues are so important to their speakers. A while back I shared a story about a marvelous musical mom named Sarah Aroeste who is proud to be raising her children bilingually in Ladino and English!  She even created a children’s music CD to share her Ladino language with the world.  You can check it out at the link below.

What Do The Lyrics Say?

You probably already guessed that the 1- 8 part of the song counts the candles on the menorah. I’ve added a new first verse in English because so many of my friends and fans speak English. The lyrics to the song are below with translations from the Ladino next to them.

Whether you are Jewish or not, I wish you a very beautiful holiday of lights!

OCHO KANDELIKAS – LYRICS

The holiday of lights is here
Good friends and happiness to share
Sweets with honey for us to eat
Candles to light and friends to greet

One little candle . . . (etc.)  8 little candles . . . For me

Hanukah lindo sta aki (beautiful Hanukkah is here)
ocho candelas para mi (eight candles for me)
Una kandelika, dos kandelikas,
tres kandelikas, kuatro kandelikas,
sintju kandelikas, sysh kandelikas,
sieto kandelikas, ocho kandelikas para mi

Muchas fiestas vo fazar, (There will be lots of celebrations)
con alergrias i plazar (With happiness and pleasure)
Una kandelika (etc.)

Los pastelikas vo kumer, (We will eat the sweets)
con almendrikas i la miel (With almonds and honey)
Una kandelika (etc.)

Links and Resources

Add this song to your Spotify Playlist:  https://open.spotify.com/album/7Jl8awV8rWHIZzJbcudDaa

Add this song to your Apple Music Playlist: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/celebrate-season-multicultural/id344193347

Free Lyric Pagehttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ocho-Kandelikas-Hanukkah-Song-Lyric-Sheet-2239295

Sing a Song In The Ladino Language With Sarah Aroeste http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/sing-a-song-in-the-ladino-language/

Get This Jingle Bell Craft Book – Free!

jingle craft book cover

When the winter holidays roll around, who doesn’t love the sound of jingle bells? And those great little jingling bells can be used to make a multitude of creative sensory crafts for kids. Because they are such a great winter activity, we’ve assembled our top 4 jingle bells crafts into a handy E-Book perfect for this time of year.

Here’s What’s In The E-Book

Jingle Bracelet (from booklet)So what were our top 4 crafts?

Number one was our easy jingle bracelets or anklets using yarn or pipe cleaners and beautiful bells. (I’ve heard back from parents who’ve enclosed these with their holiday cards!). Number two was “jingle pencils”, super easy to make with on-hand materials and perfect for large groups – then using for a holiday sing or caroling fun!

Number 3 was a jingle tube craft using any round container like a coffee can or an oatmeal package. These are sturdy and beautiful and you’ll want to use them Jingle Tubesas part of your home music basket or music therapy lessons for months to come. Lastly, our favorite totally green holiday craft reuses both the cardboard tubes for wrapping paper and left-over wrapping materials to make your own jingle marching sticks.

Sound like fun?

Here’s How To Get It

To get this E-book, just send me an e-mail at daria music at yahoo dot com. Make the subject “Free Jingle Bell Book”.  I’ll send a return e-mail with the jingle bells - different colorsE-book and ask you if you would share the link for my TPT store (which is filled with freebies) or share on social media or maybe even do a review on your blog! No worries here, do as much or as little as you like!

Will I check up on this? No. I meet the nicest folks through my blog and my music materials. They are parents, teachers, homeschoolers, music therapists and they love making music a part of their children and family’s day. If you enjoy what I create, I’d appreciate any sort of shout out because that’s precisely how I find the most awesome new friends and fans!

Would You Kindly Follow Me On TPT?

If you follow me on my TPT store, you’ll get first notice of all my music, world TPT headermusic and world cultures fun. There’s even a special section listing over 50 freebies. I’d love to stay connected with you!

Follow me on TPT here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Sellers-Im-Following/Add/World-Music-With-Daria

Learn ASL (American Sign Language) Through Music

YAMS 2Have you ever seen an ASL (American Sign Language) translator interpret a speech, a discussion or a song?  It’s an amazing ballet of graceful movement and dynamic expression.  In fact, although it doesn’t use words or sounds at all, ASL is an amazing language that may already be part of your family’s life!

What is ASL?

If you are deaf or hearing impaired or have a family member or friend who is deaf or who signs, you already know what American Sign Language is.  If you don’t, here is one of the best definitions, from the NICED:

“American Sign Language (ASL) is a complete, complex language that employs signs made by moving the hands combined with facial expressions and postures of the body. It is the primary language of many North Americans who are deaf and is one of several communication options used by people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.”

Watch And Learn

Although becoming fluent in ASL could take years, it can be fun to dive in and BRW ASLlearn basic words by taking a course, studying online or – my favorite – by using music.  A few months ago I began to create ASL videos of my most popular songs and their links are below.  In addition to these songs, I’ve asked a wonderful ASL interpreter named Destiny Yabro (seen in the videos) to create extra videos explaining and demonstrating 10 signs from each song.  Below is the current list of ASL “Sign Along With Me” videos, but please bookmark and check back as I frequently add more.

Do you have a favorite DARIA song?  If so, contact me at dariamusic at yahoo dot com under the heading ASL Suggestion and I just might do your favorite song next.  Also, if you are a teacher and need these videos for your students in a format other then Youtube, please check out my TPT site, where you can stream them for use in the classroom.

DARIA’s VIDEOS on YOUTUBE

You Are My Sunshine – 10 Signs Demonstrated
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZPqfq4Bx6c

Beautiful Rainbow World – Signed in ASL
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGLg0-wtXoU

Beautiful Rainbow World – 10 Signs Demonstrated
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gG_7OGoxHmg

For All The World’s Children – Signed in ASL
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mAuhwBytm0

For All The World’s Children – 10 Signs Demonstrated
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeDXLG34l7I

DARIA’s ASL VIDEOS ON TPThttps://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/World-Music-With-Daria/Category/American-Sign-Language-ASL-336179

Resources And Links
What is ASL From The NAD – https://www.nad.org/…/american-sign-language/what-is-american-sign-language/
What is ASL From The NIH – https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/american-sign-language

28 Kids Crafts To Reuse Plastic Straws

drying strawsAre you trying to use less plastic?

I meet more and more parents who are striving to use less packaging and plastic products.  And it’s really encouraging to even see big companies – like Starbucks and the entire Marriott hotel chain – phasing out plastic straws altogether!  But even if you are the most recycling-conscious family, you’ve probably ended up with some of those pesky plastic straws and wondered what to do with them.

Instead of tossing them into the waste stream, here are a host of great activities that reuse these not-so-disposable items and are fun and productive kid’s crafts as well.

Clean Your Straws

If you’ve ended up with straws from juice, smoothies or soft drinks you can easily clean them off before you craft with them.  Rinse them in soapy water and let them stand them in a jar or glass for a few minutes (as seen above).  In no time at all, they’ll be clean and ready to be used in any of the crafts below!

Straw Rattles Completed On YellowA Quiet Rattle

We love this craft!  It is fun to make, also reuses plastic bottles and creates a quiet rattle that is never too loud, even when playing with bunches of friends!  And if the straws you’ve used are colorful, they make wonderful patterns of colors as you shake them along to music.

What To Do

Cut the straws into small lengths, anything the size of a small bead to about an inch long.  Cut them all the same length or mix up the sizes.  And if you have straw pieces left, they are perfect for the sensory bins listed below or even the friendship bracelets!

To create the rattle, simply allow your child to drop any number of their favorite colors and sizes into the plastic bottle.  When it looks and sounds perfect to your little one, put on the cap and seal with a sturdy electrical tape.  This keeps the contents inside the rattle and makes the end-product child-safe.

Note: while creating any of these crafts, make sure the small pieces of straws don’t go in a child’s mouth.

More Musical Straw Crafts!

josef playing straw zamponasPanpipes Made From Straws
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/make-your-own-simple-panpipes/

Use straws as the contents to a “Roly Poly” Thing
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/make-a-roly-poly-musical-thing/

Use straws as the contents to an ocean drum
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/make-an-ocean-drum-for-world-oceans-day/

maracas - back to schoolUse straws as the contents to a set of maracas
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/an-easy-musical-craft-for-young-children-back-to-school-maracas/

Other Straw Crafts You’ll Love!

Sensory Bin With Straw Pieces – From Teaching Mama
https://teachingmama.org/plastic-straw-sensory-bin/

20 Assorted Drinking Straw Crafts For Kids- From Meraki Lane https://www.merakilane.com/20-drinking-straw-crafts-for-kids/

Simple Friendship Bracelets Made with Pipe cleaners and “Straw Beads” – From Kiwi Co – https://www.kiwico.com/diy/Arts-and-Crafts-Ideas/1/project/Straw-Bracelets/1169

More Crafty And Elegant Straw Bead Bracelets – Tutorial below and here’s hoping you reduce, reuse recycle and rock out with any of the crafts you’ve found here!

Online Event – Turn Plastic Into Music For World Oceans Day!

WOD screensnap

What are you doing for WORLD OCEANS DAY?

Did you know if you make something creative out of plastic – you can win a free E-book or any music CD from DARIA? We want to encourage you to cut back on plastic by practicing the 5 R’s – Refuse, Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, and Remove!  And have a blast at the same time!

What Is World Oceans Day?

World Oceans Day is a special holiday celebrated all over the world on June 8th.  It’s a great opportunity to honor, understand and work to protect seas, oceans and all our valuable waterways!  It’s also a good time to think about things like plastic waste and how we can use less, refuse more and make something cool out of what we already have.  And if you live near a beach, please check the World Oceans Day site (link below) for special clean-up and family events where you can make a difference seaside!

Turn Plastic Into Music!

craft straw zamponasNo matter how well you reduce and recycle, you probably have some plastic in your recycling bin!  Don’t trash it – make it over! We just shared a post about a MYO ocean drum, a fun project that recreates the sound of the surf.  For World Oceans day, we’re filling it with items that should never end up in the ocean – straws, plastic and bottle caps. We used a shipping box we got in the mail, but you can reuse a pizza box or a product box that’s hanging around your house. If the box has writing all over it, no worries.  Just cover it with recycled paper or Inside Recycled Ocean Drumthe reverse side of a used manila folder and you have a great canvas to decorate right there!  To the right is what we’re putting inside.

Outside?  Below are three ocean drums that other groups have made.  Very… very creative and fun.

ocean drums makingAnd after you create your drum – you’ll be amazed at the sound it creates.  Just tip it from slowly from side to side to make the sounds of the sea.

TURN PLASTIC INTO MUSIC

Make ANYTHING from plastic you have in your recycling bin, send me a photo and you’ll get my TURN PLASTIC INTO MUSIC E-book free! Although I’d love to see creative musical instruments, I’ll accept anything you remake from your recycling bin.  Just e-mail me at dariamusic at yahoo dot com under the subject “UPCYCLED PLASTIC” and I’ll send you a copy of the E-book plus ask your permission to use the photo in this blog or my social media.  It’s totally OK to say no but I’d love to share what you make with DARIA Sings For Earth Day - CD Covermy readers!

And, you can also win my DARIA SINGS FOR EARTH DAY cd if you prefer!

So ready, set …  Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Remove and Rock on!

LINKS AND RESOURCES

WORLD OCEANS DAY Resources And Teaching Materials http://www.worldoceansday.org/resources

Free Respect The Earth 5 R’s poster https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/5-Rs-RESPECT-THE-EARTH-Earth-Day-Poster-Freebie-3743747

Free Plastic Pollution Lesson Plan http://www.worldoceansday.org/plastic-pollution-lesson-plan

MYO Ocean Drum Post – http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/make-a-drum-that-sounds-like-the-ocean/

Turn Plastic Into Music E-Book from DARIAMUSIC https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Recycling-Projects-TURN-PLASTIC-INTO-MUSIC-5-Multicultural-Music-Activities-3747012

Splash and Bubbles Resources For World Oceans Day http://www.worldoceansday.org/splash-bubbles-resources

This Earth Day – Turn Plastic Into Something Fantastic!

Screen shot 2018-04-19 at 11.38.43 PMThis year’s Earth Day theme is End Plastic Waste! We hope you’ve been reading about this topic and moved to make changes in your own life. But, what about plastic you already have in your recycling bin? Creating fun recycling projects with kids will help them see plastic waste as more than just “use it and lose it” trash. As you practice the 5 R’s (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Remove) you can upcycle out of the waste cycle into 5 great-sounding musical instruments.

This Earth Day, I’m offering my TURN PLASTIC INTO MUSIC E-book free, and you can download it at the link below. (If you are an educator with a limited budget and read this post after the E-book has returned to full price, you can always e-mail me at dariamusic at yahoo dot com for an educator’s copy.)Screen shot 2018-04-19 at 11.38.58 PM

The five projects in this book include amazing-sounding maracas from mini-sized water bottles, Latin American guiros and Aboriginal bullroarers from plastic bottles with various sizes of mouths. There’s also two crafts that use plastic straws – zampoñas or panpipes and a kaleidoscope straw rattle.

And really… wouldn’t you rather make music than contribute to something like this?  Below is a video taken in Cameroon, Africa several year ago.  This year school children in this region are committed to ending plastic waste and changing what you see here!

Links And Resources

TURN PLASTIC INTO MUSIC – E-book Free Until Earth Day 2018 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Recycling-Projects-TURN-PLASTIC-INTO-MUSIC-5-Multicultural-Music-Activities-3747012

 Earth Day Organization – Tool kits for Individuals, Schools, Organizations, and More! https://www.earthday.org/

5 R's official posterFree 5 R’s poster - https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/5-Rs-RESPECT-THE-EARTH-Earth-Day-Poster-Freebie-3743747

How Long Does It Take Garbage To Decompose https://www.thebalance.com/how-long-does-it-take-garbage-to-decompose-2878033

Meet The Zero Waste Pioneers https://us-mg5.mail.yahoo.com/neo/launch?.rand=0fm9p2d7jlhgu#4735222175

Scientists Discover Enzyme That Eats Plastic https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/scientists-accidentally-create-super-enzyme-that-can-devour-plastic-pollution/

What Are You Singing For Groundhog’s Day?

Daria_GroundhogCover_Web

I just love groundhog’s day!  Maybe it’s because groundhogs are so cute and cuddley. Or I was born somewhat near the permanent residence of Punxatawney Phil, official groundhog predictor of Spring. Or because groundhogs  have adorable nicknames such as whistle pigs and woodchucks.

So, for so many reasons I couldn’t just crawl back into my hole for 6 more weeks of winter and I jumped at the chance to write and record a silly Groundhog’s Day song.

groundhog pop-up hereThe simple song is based around the tongue-twister “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck… if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” I also wondered how much ground a groundhog could grind and how much sap a sapsucker could suck. And, yes, even though the lyrics are in song form, the tongue twisters still are a challenge to sing or say.

You can find the song lyric freebie below, plus a link to a sweet Springtime activity that includes pop-up puppets. It’s a fun way of having your own groundhog’s day anytime and anywhere.

And the best thing? You can laugh yourself silly while you predict an early Spring!

Links and Resources

Groundhog’s Day Song – Free Lyric Sheet – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Groundhogs-Day-Song-Lyric-Sheet-2357681

Groundhog’s Day Song From Itunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-groundhog-song-how-much/id385842751

Groundhog’s Day MYO Pop-Up Puppet Activity from TPT – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Groundhogs-Day-Song-and-Pop-Up-Groundhog-Puppet-Activity-484374

little groundhogs

Learn An Bilingual Christmas Song – Feliz Navidad

Love this song? Add it to your Spotify or Apple Music playlist and listen free at the links below this post. 

Did you know that singing the entire “Feliz Navidad” means learning only 6 new words in Spanish?  And these are definitely 6 new words and 2 phrases that you and your kids will love to use around holiday time.  Of course, you know the song. It goes like this:

Here’s our Feliz Navidad cheat sheet and a free lyric sheet below.

Feliz – Happy
Navidad - Christmas
Feliz Navidad - Happy Christmas/Merry Christmas

Prospero – Prosperous
Año – Year
Prospero Año – Prosperous Year/Happy New Year

Y – and
Felicidad – Happiness

Links And Resources

Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/7Jl8awV8rWHIZzJbcudDaa
Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/celebrate-season-multicultural/id344193347

Free Lyric Sheet – Feliz Navidad:  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Feliz-Navidad-Lyric-Sheet-2214462