Car rides are like attempting most things with children. Sometimes it’s a wonderful time, all happily singing along to some silly song. And other times, there’s screaming and throwing food. We’ve found a number of CD’s that we regularly pop into the player in the car to help entertain.
The best thing about this selection is that I never grow tired of them. I could rave for as long as Mountain Goat asks me to sing “Baa Baa Black Sheep” while I’m trying to take a shower, but I’ll keep this post relatively concise.
My point being, pick these up ASAP if you’re looking for something to stimulate these little minds while you run errands, adventure, road trip for vacation.
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Berenstain Bear’s Stories CD – This was a gift for Fox and I have to admit, it took me some time to get used to the cadence of the reading of these stories. I found it quirky and wondered who in the world was hired to read like this. Then I discovered Stan and Jan Berenstain were reading their own stories! And boy, did it ever take on a new spin for me. Can you imagine hearing your grandparents act out stories from their childhood? That’s what this is like. And there are so many of the classic stories like “The Bike Lesson”, “He Bear, She Bear”, and “The Bears’ Vacation”.
Children’s Favorites, Volume 1 – I have to be honest, I’m of that generation that thinks whatever we had as kids is best for our own kids. I grew up listening to records of Larry Groce singing all these familiar (and many now sooooo non-PC) songs. And we found the same collections on CD! Fox calls this one “Orange Mickey” and with 30 songs, this CD holds attention and never bothers me as we cycle through it.
Children’s Favorites, Volume 2 – Volume 2 is just as good as Volume 1, perhaps even better because the CD ends on the “Mickey Mouse March”. Who doesn’t love yelling out “M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!!”? Groce’s voice is perfect for the repeated plays and he sings in that perfect range that fits both adults and children. This CD also has our family’s “theme songs” as picked by Fox. Mine is “Shortnin’ Bread”, because of all the coffee I drink. Pick this one up in addition to Volume 1 because it’s cheap and gives you another 30 songs of variety.
Poetry Speaks to Children (Book & CD) (A Poetry Speaks Experience) – Saved the BEST for last! This collection of poems is simply amazing. Let me count the ways. First of all, in no other setting would Fox have memorized contemporary poems and even classics like Poe’s “The Raven” and Carroll’s “Jabberwocky”. The selection of poems ranges from topics of jungle creatures, sheep, balloons, art class, fairies, being confident in yourself (your age, your race), to dealing with difficult days.
And the best part?! Many of these poems are read by the authors. Hear Roald Dahl, Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, and Ogden Nash read their own pieces, to name a few. It rolls off their tongues like honey because they are so familiar to them. And the performance of “Casey at the Bat”? My word. Poetry Alive does a sports broadcast rendition of this that has quickly made it one of my favorites on this CD.
So. If you’re to get anything to listen to in the car. BUY THIS. It’s remarkable to hear children randomly spouting these great works of poetry. Makes a mama proud.