Hello my dear Marshmallow Peeps! Maki and I have been plunged underwater with our new and exciting involuntary role of homeschool support staff, if not at times, lead teacher. It’s been a slog. But, on the upswing, you may (or may not) have noticed that while we are sheltering in place there is a OVERWHELMING AMOUNT of activities available for kids and families to do together. Or apart. Whatever your nervous system needs at any given moment. We get it. Here is a small sliver of an update highlighting new media releases and online opportunities to sing, dance, and listen together in the safety of your sweet home:
First though, we here at ETM put together a little playlist for you. It partially highlights some new kindie that was either released in April or will be released in early May, and it partially highlights some oldies of the blues and swing genre, inspired by my cousin who leads a nightly swing dance session from his apartment in Nancy, France. My family has been tuning in at 9:30am (6:30pm France time) every weekday to get our swing dance on. The music is infectious, one of the few good things to be infectious these days! Groove to it in good health.
Here are a few new kindie albums, some of which are highlighted in our playlist. Check them out:
JUMPIN’ JAMIE, Nevermind the Blocks, Here’s Jumpin’ Jamie, an album that rocks and is dedicated to social justice, collective morals, emotions, varying perspectives, community and inclusivity. A couple topical polemic tracks to check out are Wolves, where Jamie uses folktales as metaphors to warn of inherent biases and Whistleblower, an anthem for kids to be brave and speak out for the truth.
FLOR BROMLEY, Fiesta Global, a bilingual Spanish/ English latin fusion album that highlights Central and South American culture and the rich history of immigration in the USA. With guest kindle heavy hitters like 123 Andres and Jazzy Ash and talents like Claudio Vega and Damaris, Fiesta Global is a perfect blend of exuberant celebration and cultural exploration. Additionally– It’s a Fiesta with Flor! Flor Bromley invites everyone into her home (virtually) as she streams her Spanish Musical Adventures Mondays & Fridays 11am (EDT), free of charge via Facebook Live from her Facebook page. Each week, kids meet a different puppet character from Flor’s collection and learn new songs, stories, and dances.
THE OKEE DOKEE BROTHERS, Songs for Singing’, a double album chock full of songs that are meant to bring a little bounce in the day to day family life. Many take the format of the sing along with tracks recorded live with choruses of families joining in on The Okees melodies. In these days of sheltering in place, these songs make you take note of an otherwise mundane moment and mindfully observe it as well as give the family something to sing while gathered around a backyard fire pit (if you are lucky). Break out the marshmallows and graham crackers.
DANNY WEINKAUF, Dinosaurs and Metaphors, an album that celebrates a child’s view everyday life. With things being anything but normal and “everyday,” its nice to listen to 15 songs that remind us to find the fun in everything we experience. There’s plenty of fodder for laughter.
SARA LOVELL, Night Life, Lovell’s third kindie album tackles that ever present love/ hate relationship with sleep. Parents covet it, children actively avoid it, but regardless of our attitude towards it, sleep draws us all into that magical world of our subconscious. This is Sara Lovell’s playground. She even includes a lullaby for parents. She is so thoughtful.
And lastly, here are some more activities to help occupy the kiddos as they safely at home:
Romper Room meets YO! MTV Raps as the ALPHABET ROCKERS host DAILY DANCE PARTIES Monday-Friday during the entire shelter-in-place period. The Hangout is free, 45 minutes long and is a place where families can reflect and connect! Hosted on Zoom.
Playtime Playlist has posted a spreadsheet of virtual concerts by many artists in the independent family music world.
Red Tricycle has been sharing links to live-streamed shows for house-bound families.
MommyPoppins is compiling dozens of at-home classes and streaming content under the link Poppins@Home.
And look no further than the Story Pirates for stories and creative writing exercises. Story Pirates are updating their content daily via the third season of their top-rated podcast and their new Creator Club. Tune in to Story Pirates Radio (hosted live every day at 11 am ET).
PJ Library offers dozens of literary, craft, and at-home activity ideas.
And for stressed-out caregivers and educators, Whileathome.org is an amazing site created by Pod Save the People’s own Deray McKesson. #WhileAtHome is a clearinghouse for credible information and action steps for people who need support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Be well my fellow peeps.