One of the easiest things to overlook in modern parenting is children’s music. We’re raising a generation of “cool kids” and “hipster toddlers” who bounce along to our music – the filtered, PG versions of course – or maybe some top 40 artists that we find only slightly grating.
Or, we go the opposite route and put on a CD of screaming enthusiastic toddler songs that makes you question why the wheels on the bus NEVER STOP.
But, are these the songs that you remember from your childhood?
As a kid, I remember sitting in the back seat of my parents’ sky blue sedan listening to my dad’s mix tapes. REM, The Cranberries, Julie Andrews, Raffi, and Fred Penner, all mixed in together to appease everyone’s tastes; giving us a musical education while allowing us to have something of our own.
To this day, that music is a piece of my childhood. Julie Andrew’s vibrato is the reason I will never train out my own, it made such a lasting impression on me.
I first heard about Kira Willey’s album Kings and Queens of the Forest when Ella was just over two years old. It was recommended by a blogger I trusted, so I ordered it online from Kira’s website and hoped for the best. We only had one other kids’ music CD (that I could stand) – The Barenaked Ladies’ Snacktime, so I thought we needed to add another one into our rotation.
I reviewed the album here, and my appreciation for Kira’s music has only deepened since then. When I see my daughter singing or dancing along to Kira’s music, I am so thankful and happy that her music is now a part of my daughter’s childhood.
It’s more than the fact that Kira’s music supports our family yoga practice — each song has a yoga sequence that children can do along to the music — which is amazing in itself. The music is sweet, upbeat, happy, and filled with such a respect for children.
Kira’s music is fun but it is also deep, in a way that is comforting and validating for children. It reminds us that children can have reverence for nature, or have big feelings about missing their daddies, or just need to hop around! It celebrates the simple, sweet moments of childhood, while also giving words and comfort for the confusing bits.
How to be a Cloud is the newest album from Kira Willey and Ella was so excited when she unwrapped it. Like her previous albums, the first half of How to be a Cloud is purely music and the second half is bonus yoga tracks to explain how to do yoga sequences to those songs (with Kira enthusiastically explaining the poses while the music plays lightly in the background).
I found that this album had more soft and low-key tracks than Kings and Queens of the Forrest, so I like the balance that the two offer. (And I finally ordered the first CD, Dance with the Sun, which came with a free download of the full album, so I’ll share about that once we explore it a bit.)
The first song to come out of our speakers is definitely the current favourite from the album, so we decided to make a yoga sequence video set to the music to share a bit of our excitement with you.
I think it’s such a wonderful gift to be able to share beautiful music with our children and give them an appreciation of the power of music – to inspire us, to find validation in, or just to enjoy.
As cute as it is to watch my daughter rock out to Taylor Swift or Great Big Sea, I am just filled with happiness when I watch her just be a kid, listening, singing, and dancing along to music written for her. (Music that is also pleasant to my parent ears – bonus!)
What are your favourite albums for kids?
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