5 Great Singable Stories to Engage Your Child

5 Great Singable Stories to Engage Your Child

Written by: Morgan May Sparks, MT-BC  Owner & Director, Rhythm Garden Music LLC

 

This article contains affiliate links. Click on the book images will take you to the site for ordering.

I love singable stories. As a music therapist, early childhood music educator, and toddler mom, I value books that are fun, engaging, and diverse. I look for books that I know the kids are going to love and I’m not going to get tired of reading. I look for books with songs that are catchy and easy for my son and me to sing together even when I don’t have the book in my hand. Most importantly, I look for books that provide teachable moments. Here are five of my favorite singable stories that do just that.

5 Great Singable Stories to Engage Your Child

This was my first singable story from Barefoot Books. I fell in love with this book because it not only had a really catchy tune, but it also featured diverse characters. As a music therapist, I work mostly with individuals with disabilities, so it was very heartwarming to see a young lady in a wheelchair featured prominently in the story.

Animal Boogie Singable Book

Engage:

Use this as a “sing and move” book- children can get their wiggles out and still meaningfully engage in the story by doing the dance moves on each page. Help your child identify the animals. Talk about where the animal might live. Using this story in a group setting? Turn it into a circle dance!

Driving My Tractor

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I live in the middle of farm country, so anything farm-related is a big hit with my families. I will often sing this song in the car as I take my son to daycare and let him fill in the animal and the last line- “It’s a very busy day!”

 Engage:

Help your child find and identify the animals (and their colors) on each page. Do some vocal play with the animal sounds. Ask your child what other songs they know about farm animals. Change the words to match your day- What are you driving? What makes it a “very busy day” for your family?

Dinosaur Rap

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My son is a huge dinosaur fan, so this book has been a big hit in my home since it released last fall. What’s really cool about this book is that it really is a ‘rap’, so it makes for a totally different experience than what children typically get from a singable story.

Engage:

Help your child practice saying the names of the dinosaurs. Talk about similarities and differences between the dinosaurs. Dance like the dinosaurs. Don’t be afraid to be a little silly- why not add some beatboxing to the rap?

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Over in the Meadow

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This one is based on the nursery rhyme of the same name. I’ve noticed that fewer children seem to be learning nursery rhymes, so I always include as many as I can in my classes.

Engage:

Craft time- create some animal finger puppets to use with the story. Help your child identify the animals and their sounds. Talk about where each animal might call home.

 

A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea

This is a cute take on the campfire song with the same title that introduces children to the marine food chain.

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Engage:

Talk about ocean life and the marine food chain. Help your child identify each animal. Learning time- can you and your child remember the order of the animals without the book? Add props for hands-on learning.

Bonus:

The final pages of each book include additional pictures and information about the book’s topic to take learning and discussion a step further. Notated music and lyrics are also included on the last page. Each book comes with an enhanced CD.

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Hey, Hey, Hey….. a GIVEAWAY!!!!

Click to here to enter to win two of the books above, “Animal Boogie” and “Driving My Tractor” along one of Bear Paw Creek’s connect-a-stretchy band!Barefoot Book Giveaway and Connect-a-stretchy Band

Morgan Sparks, MT-BC, is the owner of Rhythm Garden Music LLC, where she provides music therapy services, early childhood music enrichment classes and music lessons in West Central Indiana. She is a board-certified music therapist, Barefoot Books Ambassador, wife, and momma to an energetic toddler. Visit her website and follow her on social media at MTMompreneur.com.

40 Thoughts from Bear Paw Creek Founder at age 40

The Gift of Giving

 

 

January 6 marks my fortieth year on this earth.

My parents tell me I was an unexpected surprise and I love to tease them about what they would have all missed out on!

So I’m giving away a Bear Paw Creek t-shirt (made by a great friend) and one of my favorite children’s artists CDs, “Welcome” from Miss Carole.

 

Just leave a comment and share to be entered!

 

I’m also going to share my list of “40 Thoughts at 40” from my personal blog.

40 Thoughts at 40 by Bear Paw Creek Founder

 

  1. Without faith, I would be lost in this journey called life.
  2. I believe relationships are our main purpose of being here. Be intentional with and take care of them. The first relationship to take care of is with God, the rest will fall into place when you have that one right!
  3. All people have a reason and purpose for being created, from conception to death.
  4. The way you were raised and your experiences in childhood become the foundation of who you are.
  5. Life is short, you are always one phone call away from a truly life changing event.
  6. Material things don’t matter, they can be gone in a second.
  7. People matter.
  8. I still love snow!
  9. When you have two children (esp. one of each), and are pregnant with your third, the most common question is, “You have the perfect family, why would you have more?”
  10. I’m glad social media wasn’t around when I was young!

Head on over and read the next 30!  Leave a comment and share away to be entered into the giveaway. 

 

 

[Tweet “Bear Paw Creek Founder Shares 40 Thoughts at 40 plus gives away a tshirt and cd!”]

Janet Stephens is the founder and creator behind Bear Paw Creek’s creative movement props and bags. She is passionate about learning and sharing along the way.

Annual Back to School Sale

Annual Back to School Sale

Janet Stephens is the founder and creator behind Bear Paw Creek’s creative movement props and bags. She is passionate about learning and sharing along the way.

It’s Bear Paw Creek’s annual back to school sale!  We’re all on a budget and this is one way of giving back to you, our wonderful customers.  Save every day in the month of August with our 20-10% off sale! The early bird gets the best discount. This also includes free shipping to all 50 states!

20% off   August 1-7

Use code: 20bts2016

15% off     August 8 – 14

Use code: 15bts2016

10%     August 15-31

Use code: 10bts2016

[Tweet “Bear Paw Creek Back to School Sale: 20%, 15%, and 10% off – plus free shipping!”]

Movement Prop Giveaway with 14 Songs

Did you hear that Rachel Rambach and her team at Music Therapy Connections wrote 14 songs just for Bear Paw Creek’s movement props?  I have some great posts planned with showing how much fun we have been having playing her songs for our circle time activities.

It’s also inspired me to offer the props as a package on our site!  This is in the works, so look to see them available in the next month!

They will include the connect-a-stretchy band, bean bags, balloon ball, and chiffon scarf set. 

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The giveaway will include all these props and includes the digital song album!!!

Click on the image below to get a taste of the songs.  You get 12 songs for $14.

12 songs for Bear Paw Creek movement props

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Janet from Bear Paw Creek turns 39 1/2

Janet from Bear Paw Creek turns 39 1/2

Janet Stephens is the founder and creator behind Bear Paw Creek’s creative movement props and bags. She is passionate about learning and sharing along the way.

 

So today marks the day I turn 39 1/2 years old.  I don’t suppose many of you think much about your half birthday, do you? Since my birthday falls so close to Christmas, my Mom started sending me half birthday presents when I was older.  I don’t receive them every year, but some

Yesterday I received one and it reminded me that I have six more months until the “big” 40!  That birthday seems to be counted as a big one and some people dread it, bit I’m actually looking forward to it.  Perhaps on the day I won’t feel that way.

It does make me ponder my life up to this point, and I wanted to share a bit of my story with you.  Where did the idea of Bear Paw Creek come from?  Read on!

From Wisconsin, to Alaska, to Missouri

I was born and raised in the great state of Wisconsin, the youngest of three.  I had a wonderful childhood and was always creating something and loved to be outside.

After graduating from high school, I set of on my great Alaskan adventure. I was able to contact an older sister of a high school friend who had recently moved to Alaska and she graciously offered me advice and said I was welcome to stay with her while I found a job and place to live.

We had great fun together and she offered for me to live with her and pay rent. She had just purchased a log home bordering the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.    It was simply an amazing place to live and experience part of what Alaska has to offer.  I worked at Subway and also started some nanny jobs and respite care for those with special needs.

Both those jobs lead me to meet my husband and our family journey began!  After our first son was born we decided to make the move to Missouri , and headed down the Alcan with a 24′ Uhual and car trailer.  Flat tires, engine fires, and we eventually made it to Springfield, MO!

[Tweet “Count down to turning 40 – what a life!”]

Bear Paw Creek is Founded in 2000

After our big move I was looking for a way to bring in some money so I could stay home with our son.  After a talk with my sister, the idea of creating movement props, instrument cases, and bags that music therapists had a need for – Bear Paw Creek was started in January of 2000.

We picked up our first wholesale customer in 2001 and while our family grew, that was our main focus.  We added three more children before picking up two more wholesale customers in 2008. We continued to add to our family and made a move out of the city to the country in 2011.

In 2012 I started to dive into the retail market and building out a website.  I was hooked!  I love the one on one connection with our customers and sharing ways to use our products. 

We currently have eight wonderful children – so it’s always an adventure and busy at our place!

That’s a bit about my story – I wonder what the next 39 1/2 years will bring?

 

 

Leave a comment and enter to win one of our fabulous t-shirts made my Now That’s Bold.

Bear Paw Creek tshirts by Now That's Bold

 

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Welcoming Spring with Music and Movement Activities

Springtime Music and Movement

As of March 19, it’s officially spring!  I know around some parts of the USA, old man winter has shown up again, but here in Southwest Missouri, we have been enjoying beautiful weather. 

Julie of Serenade Designs sent me this great list of Springtime music and movement inspiration. Thank you!

Also, enter to win a flower inspired fabric covered balloon ball.

 

 8 Springtime Music and Movement Activity Ideas

 

 

1 –   Springtime Music for Elders (from JoAnn Jordan):

2 – Gardening Songs for Kiddos (from JoAnn Jordan):

3 – Grow, Flower, Grow (from Rachel Rambach):

The connect-a-stretchy band and Hub 8 are used in the following video.

4 – 5 Songs for Springtime (from Rachelle Norman):

5 – Sense-sational Activities: Springtime Sounds (from Amy Kalas Buser):

** Localization → can do with the rainbow streamers and following the SIGHT of the hoops shaking, hearing the rustle of the ribbons, feel the rainbow stretchy band move up and down to the music

6 – “You Are My Sunshine”

7 – “Rockin’ Robin”

8 – “Mister Sun”

 

[Tweet “Enter to win a fabric covered balloon ball inspired by spring! https://bearpawcreek.com/giveaways/flower-fabric-covered-balloon-ball/”]

 

Flower Balloon Ball Giveaway

Enter to win this great fabric covered balloon ball – inspired by Spring of course!

Checking out the fabric covered flower balloon ball

Checking out the fabric covered flower balloon ball!

Flower Balloon Ball

Why American Made Matters to ME!

Why American Made Matters to ME!

Today, November 19, is American Made Matters Day! For several reasons, that matters to me personally and for our business.  A few years ago I learned that one of our customers had taken two of our products and was getting them manufactured over seas.  It was a hard time both personally and in business, but as what happens through many difficult things in our life, the silver lining is shining through.  It put me on an amazing path of learning and growing, building a new wholesale customer base, and reaching our customers on a growing retail basis for the first time since 2000.  It’s been the proverbial “kick in the butt” I needed!  (FYI: they came back to us and are carrying ours once a again.)

There are several organizations/movements that are helping spread awareness of the importance of buying USA made products. I appreciate all of their efforts!  American Made Matters struck a chord with me from a manufacturing and consumer perspective. 

I am proud that Bear Paw Creek is a member of American Made Matters.  I appreciate Don Rongione and the team at AMM for their efforts and what they are accomplishing.  Their mission is to “Educate consumers that buying US-made products strengthens the American dream.”  You can learn more about them here.  

American Made Matters

As in all things, there are two sides.  It’s pretty hard to find some products that are even capable of being made in the USA.  Some products may be finished here, but with imported materials.  American Made Matters standards for being a member are: The AMM logo can now be found on thousands of products that comply with our standards which are at least 50% of the cost (labor, materials, and overhead) is incurred in the United States and the final assembly or transformation takes place in the U.S.

All of Bear Paw Creek’s products are manufactured here in the USA 100% of the time with the help of our team.  I have a goal of using 100% USA made materials and am always on the look out for it. There are some hidden mills out there that are still making material state side.  As of now, we have several products that are 100% USA materials!  The Q Chord Gig Bag and hoop streamers are two of them.

I am giving away an AMM hat and a set of our scarves (minus the plastic cord lock – all USA materials!)  Leave a comment here or on social media and you’ll be entered.  @bearpawcreek or #bearpawcreek

AMMDAY15

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