The Happy Kids Songs Workbook: Hands-On Activities to Build Character, Social and Emotional Skills from Happy Kids Songs, which accompanies Happy Kids Song sets, three of which we received by download - Friends & Sharing (set 1), Happiness & Attitude (set 5), and Manners & Character (set 6) - is sure to be a big hit with the younger end of its intended audience (3-8 year olds). At 9 1/2, my twins were a bit too old to really appreciate the materials the way they deserve, and I don't think that most 8 year-olds would be very engaged either. However, I know that my kids at 3, 4, and 5 would have LOVED this set and, to that end, I'm a little sad that we didn't know about it a few years ago!
All told, we received 15 songs (each set contains five songs). Each set is $4.95 for the download, or the songs can be downloaded for .99 each. The songs are 100% professional production quality and are sung by Don MacMannis, Ph.D. (Dr. Mac), a singer, songwriter, producer, and music director (for Jay Jay the Jet Plane!!). I'm not exaggerating when I say that these are good songs! The lyrics are not silly and the melodies are not simple, if that makes sense. It's not like what you may automatically may think of when you think of kids' songs. These are the kind of kids' songs that you find yourself singing during the day and *not* being annoyed!
To go along with the songs, the website contains free downloadable lyrics and activities. If you prefer, though, you can buy the workbook for $12.56, which contains the lyrics and activities for *all* of the songs. That way you don't have to download them piecemeal and you can have them all in one place. Additionally, when you buy the workbook, Dr. Mac very generously allows you to make copies of the song lyrics and activity sheets for home and classroom use. There are also lots of ideas in the back of the book for how to really flesh out the ideas expressed in the songs to make them real and relevant to young children. You get a lot of bang for your buck with this book!
Further, the messages that the songs convey are wonderful for *all* ages. I think the reminder that a good friend is honest is one that bears repeating, especially for kids.
So, while my kids didn't do a lot of the activities (most of which are dot-to-dots, draw the expressions on the faces, coloring, and word searches), they did listen to all of the songs - and they even requested multiple listenings. As I said, I'm sad that I didn't have this great product when they were younger, as I know that at least three of them would have absolutely loved the activities, and the fact that you are allowed to make copies of the workbook pages means that it is super affordable.
Many other Crew members also got to check out Happy Kids Songs, so be sure to click the banner below to see what they thought!