Singing All Day at Home

If you’re a parent reading this, I hope these months of the pandemic have given you some opportunities to share extra special experiences with your children. I know it can be pretty tough at times, especially if you are trying to do that other job (the one where you might still make money) while also making sure your children stay fed and have fun and do interesting things and aren’t just watching Frozen for the thousandth time.

I’ve tried to offer some ideas in my recent blog posts about how to create some musical fun with your children. Maybe you could act out the Three Little Pigs! This song is on my CD, Singing All the Way Home. When my older daughter was little, she used to have a blast acting out Cinderella with her dad as the prince. I think my sister and I got to be the ugly step-folks.

You could also make a puppet show! You can see my past efforts to create musical puppet shows here:

Two Little Ducks – A short video I made about ducks on the pond at the house where I am staying in Vermont. It features a tiny puppet show at the end.

Rockin’ in the Rabbit Hole – A perennial favorite of mine around Easter time. I got those peeps moving in time to my recording of Guitar Bob Messano’s song.

Two Little Robins – This is similar to the “Two Little Ducks.”

Icky Sticky and Ooey Gooey – I use home-made spoon puppets in this one!

Whatever you’re doing, give your children permission to explore and create their own worlds. Unstructured time can be a gift, where kids can be extra creative and follow their own paths a bit.

If the children in your neck of the woods want to practice words in other languages, I’ve put the lyrics to my international “Hello” song below. Perhaps you could choose one of the countries to explore further on the Internet. Go in with some questions that interest you. What’s the favorite food in this country? What do children most enjoy doing after school? What are some of their favorite songs and stories? This song is also on Singing All the Way Home.

And if you try any of these activities, let me know how it goes! Send photos!

Ni hao, Jambo, Hola

Adapted from a song I wrote with kindergarteners at the Gardner Pilot Academy, Allston, MA, 2008
Ni hao, Jambo, Hola, Bonjour, Sorida
Namaste, Shalom, Ciao, Konichiwa.
Come along with me
Welcome to our family
It’s nice to meet you
Come and sing with me!
Ni hao, Jambo, Hola, Bonjour, Sorida
A Salaam a’leikum, Oi, Konichiwa
We speak many languages
We come from many lands
If we sing together
Then we can be friends!
Ni hao, Moyo, Hola, Ahoj, Aloha
Privet, Sawubona, Yia sas, Namaskara
Ni hao, Jambo, Hola, Bonjour, Sorida
Namaste, Shalom, Oi, Konichiwa

Here’s how to say “Hello” in lots of languages:
Ni hao – Mandarin Chinese
Jambo – Swahili
Hola – Spanish
Bonjour – French, Haitian Creole
Sorida – Shona (Zimbabwe)
Namaste – Hindi (pronounced nama- stay)
Shalom – Hebrew
Ciao – Italian
Konnichiwa – Japanese
A Salaam a’leikum – Arabic, Persian
Oi – Portuguese
Ahoj – Czech (pronounced Ahoy)
Moyo – Tshiluba (Congo)
Privet – Russian (pronounced pree-vyet)
Sawubona – Zulu
Yia sas – Greek (pronounced yah-sass)
Namaskara – Kannada (India – state of Karnataka)
A fun book about saying hello in many languages is Manya Stojic’s Hello World!: Greetings in 42 Languages Around the Globe! Scholastic, 2002.

You can find this song and other songs on this CD at the Songs for Teaching website or on Amazon and other online retailers.

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