Hello, how nice to be back. How are you?
We've been off galavanting in Wales and Herefordshire, having a disastrous tent experience in the beautiful Brecon Beacons, but enjoying the stunning views and natural beauty of the area. I went on my own with the children and put our bell tent up wrong (Yes, I know) - bending all the tent pegs in the iron-hard ground in the process. Two windy, rainy nights with puddles in the tent (wet bedding made wetter when Alf shook half a bottle of smoothie all over the inside of the tent) and the logistics of doing everything with a toddler in tow was a real test, but luckily the daytimes were fun and we had loads planned. Climbing activity days at a local centre, a horse-riding lesson for Herb, a trip to a water mill, a trip to the cinema to see Cars 2, and a fantastic day trip to the showcase caves/dino centre high up in the beacons, which was stunning. We spent nights three and four of our hols in a cheap and cheerful B&B room, which the children treated as one big bouncy castle. I returned home feeling frazzled but having really enjoyed some parts of the holiday - watching the newly full moon rise over a hill whilst walking in a horsey meadow with abundant wildlife was the highlight for me :-)
And while we were off doing this my biggest boy Finn was off for a whole 7 nights all by himself with a bunch of total strangers, on an activity holiday called "Young Inventors Week", sleeping in dorms, and doing all sorts of new things. He had an absolute blast, and loved the independence from us. Being home educated, experiences like this are really good for him, since he has to put up with three younger brothers in his hair for a great deal of time, and much as he loves them, they all need some distance and times apart to appreciate each other!
Anyway.....this is meant to be a post about music!
I wanted to share some more gems with you, albums that get played to death in our household.
Here is the first. It's called African Playground, from the fantastic world music label Pututmayo. (Click on their website, it's lovely. They have an online radio show if you look on their main site) It's the most feel-good album I think you could buy for kids, so joyful and exhuberant and upbeat you'll even find yourself playing it when they're not around. We know all the words by heart, and as with all the Putumayo Kids albums there is a little booklet which tells you about each song, something about the artist, the lyrics etc.
African Playground is in my opinion, the best, but there are loads of really good albums on this label.
Animal Playground has some stunning tracks on it, my favourites are 'Eagles' by Terri Hendrix, which I cannot sing without getting a lump in my throat at one particular point... and also 'The littlest Birds" by The Be Good Tanyas, which is just gorgeous. "No more monkeys" by Asheba is also great fun and below I have included a vid link to it, just for you. Just click on the little linkbelow :-)
Moving on... the World Playground Multicultural Activity Kit is a really nice little package. The children learn about the different countries by learning about the songs and the lyrics and by ticking off countries in their "passport" that they have visited. I haven't used the book that much because I don't want to detract from their pure enjoyment of the music at this stage, but I think a time will come when they're a little older, when they may well read through the book from their own desire to do so, and will find it a very interesting and educational little bit of fun I'm sure. The CD is great.
Putumayo are great because they donate a potion of their proceeds to different charities. Read up on the albums first though. They have made A LOT of compilations and some can be a bit generic. It depends what you like.
I have included links to Amazon here but only do so because you can see reviews etc... You can often find these albums in lovely wooden/boutique toyshops, where they will be much more expensive. It depends where you want to put your dollar.
Hope you enjoyed my list anyway, see you soon!
Oh, ok just one more link. This is from Animal Playground. I just love it too much not to link it here. It's by the BeGood Tanyas. Enjoy!