Family-music heavyweights Elizabeth Mitchell (recently Grammy-nominated for Blue Clouds) and Dan Zanes (a Grammy winner for Catch That Train!) collaborated to record this beautiful update of Pete Seeger’s classic folk song, “Turn, Turn, Turn.” The orignal was written by Seeger in the late 1950s using Bible verses that remind us “to every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Before you fret about modern singers messing with the masterpiece, be reassured that the lyrics of this 2013 version were written by Seeger’s wife, Toshi, before she passed away in July at the age of 91 (days shy of their 70th wedding anniversary).
Sample lyrics that make this gorgeous rendition appealing to parents and kids include, “a time to teach, a time to learn, a time for all to take their turn.” It goes on to gently reminder us that there are times when we can play and get dirty, times when we celebrate and times when we cry, and times when we should just sit and rest. During the holiday season, when we all strive for peace but end up running around like crazy, the words cut to the heart of things.
Elizabeth Mitchell’s young daughter Storey shares singing duties; you’ll also see Mitchell’s husband Dan Littleton playing guitar. It’s a family affair, which makes the song all the sweeter. We’re thrilled to have exclusive dibs on this world premiere!
So without further ado…here is the video, watch it with your own little ones!
The Australian music group, The Wiggles, has been entertaining millions of children around the world for over 20 years. This year, they’re announcing three new cast members, including the first female Wiggle. Emma Watkins joins as the Yellow Wiggle, Lachlan Gillespie as the Purple Wiggle, and Simon Pryce as the Red Wiggle. Anthony Field, the founder of the The Wiggles, remains as the Blue Wiggle.
To introduce the new Wiggles, the quartet is on an international tour called “Taking Off!” and they will visit 35 U.S. cities starting in August. In addition to the tour, the group has also released a new CD and DVD. (To find a concert in your local area, click after the jump for confirmed tour dates.)
Watch a video of the new Wiggles performing “Do the Propeller!”, a song from their CD:
Already bought your tickets for this summer’s 98 Degrees and New Kids on the Block tour? Now you can share the experience with your little one! Nick Lachey of 98 Degrees just released an adorable children’s album called A Father’s Lullaby, and the mix of original and classic songs is sure to relax you and your baby.
Nick and his wife Vanessa became parents back in September, when their son Camden John was born. Now, the proud papa gushes to us about his music and his little boy:
Congratulations on Camden! How is fatherhood treating you so far? I love being a dad. It’s just a blast. He’s a great kid, so I got lucky there. It’s definitely life changing but it’s been positive in every single possible way.
Do you have any advice for other new parents? The best advice I got was to not give advice. Every kid is different and every scenario is different. You have to find your own way and figure out what works for you as parents. The only broad stroke advice I would give is enjoy every day. There’s something cool that happens every day with Camden and I’m just glad I’m there to see it.
You’re a huge sports fan. Will Camden be going to games with you? He will! But I am open to the possibility that he doesn’t like sports. But until he tells me otherwise, we’re going to be all about it. Of course as a father, I look forward to taking him to his first baseball game or playing catch in the front yard. But I also want him to be his own person. Maybe he won’t like sports, and that’s fine. He’s got to make his own way and discover his own passions.
Making A Father’s Lullaby must have been a different experience for you. It was a really special project for me. I became interested in doing it once I found out we were pregnant, and I started thinking about all the changes that were going to happen. There were a lot of emotions and feelings that I wanted to express. And I thought what better way to do it than a lullaby record? It wasn’t like writing a typical pop record, because the idea is to be calming and soothing. The producer and I poured ourselves into this project as fathers.
Are there any songs on the album that are particularly meaningful for you? The two most important men in my life are my dad and my son. “A Father’s Lullaby” is a song about passing on traditions that I got from my father to my son, and one day in turn, he’ll pass them onto his son. It’s about that bond between generations that’s so important. There’s also the song, “You Are My Sunshine,” which my grandfather used to sing to me all the time. It was special to put that on the record for him as well.
It sounds like the whole CD is pretty special to you. I’m really excited to share this album with all my fans out there. A lot of them were fans of 98 Degrees many years ago, and now they have families and kids of their own. I think it’s a great way to continue to share the music and the experience of being a parent with them.
Lullabies and other music may help sick preemies
Singing or playing womb-like sounds in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) may help slow the heart rate and improve sleep and eating patterns of premature babies, a new study suggests. (via Reuters)
Children, Ages 5 And 7, Drown In L.I. Pool
A 5-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl drowned Sunday afternoon in a backyard pool in Suffolk County. (via CBS News)
Education Reform: Starting at the Beginning
School officials in Atlanta have been accused of racketeering for cheating on tests in order to gain bonus pay and status for their schools. (via Huffington Post)
Sexist ‘Avengers’ T Shirts Tell Boys To Be Heroes And Girls To Need A Hero
Marvel, the comic book publisher, is now contributing to the boys are strong/girls are weak dichotomy with two t-shirts based on the popular “Avengers” franchise. (via Huffington Post)
People, networks may sway parents’ vaccine choices
The people and information sources parents surround themselves with may influence their choice to vaccinate their children or not, according to a survey from one county in Washington state. via Reuters
We listen to a lot of children’s music here, but one recent CD particularly stuck out to us: a rap album by Flipping Out star (and expectant mom) Jenni Pulos. So naturally, we were very excited when Jenni stopped by the office last week to give us the scoop on her music and her pregnancy.
As it turns out, Jenni started working on her album, Old School Kids Beats, four years ago—way before she became pregnant. But its release last week is conveniently timed just a few months before her July due date. And the album has already staked a spot on the iTunes bestseller charts for children’s music, so it looks like all that hard work is paying off. “Watch out Spongebob, I’m coming after you!” Jenni declared with a laugh.
Old School Kids Beats tackles everything from potty training to bullying, the latter being particularly important to Jenni. “’Bullies Aren’t Cool’ is especially close to my heart,” Jenni said. “It’s a true story saying we should support one another.” While many of the themes are targeted towards toddlers, Jenni believes parents will dig the album too. In fact, one of her major inspirations was Pixar, because of the way they create entertainment that kids and adults can enjoy equally. “I thought, let’s get popular music and fresh beats and mix that with timeless messages,” she said.
Making the album ended up being a family affair for Jenni, as her 19-year-old nephew wrote “Cell Phone 411” and her husband wrote (and sings!) the chorus to “The Doctor Says.” Even better, 10 percent of the proceeds from the album will go to several of Jenni’s favorite charities, including the American Cancer Society and Opportunity Village.
Jenni’s devoted fans can also look forward to catching an inside glimpse at her pregnancy on the new season of Flipping Out, which is filming now. You can also catch her on Interior Therapy, which returns to Bravo this summer.
Doctors Announce FDA-Approved Trial to Cure Autism with Cord Blood
Researchers announced Tuesday the beginning of a FDA-approved clinical trial that uses umbilical cord blood stem cells to ‘cure’ autism. (via Fox News)
Ouch-Free Vaccines? They’re in The Works
Every parent dreads holding the baby still while a nurse or technician pushes a needle into a plump little thigh. But what if a little clear patch arrived by mail, one that could be stuck onto the child’s back and then would dissolve painlessly? (via MSNBC)
Music Lessons Linked to Lasting Brain Benefits
A study of 45 young adults found those with at least one year of childhood musical training had enhanced neurological responses to sound, a trait tied to improved learning and listening abilities. (via ABC)
More Hispanics Are in College, Report Finds
College enrollment has soared for Hispanic young adults in the last few years. Among Americans ages 18 to 24 with a high school diploma or equivalent, 46 percent of Hispanics were enrolled in college last year, up from 37 percent in 2008. (via New York Times)
Child Eating Disorders On the Rise
A study conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality showed that hospitalizations for eating disorders in children under 12 increased by 119% between 1999 and 2006. (via CNN)
When I was in college, I spent my summers working as a teacher’s assistant in a child care center. I have many wonderful memories from those days — watching a baby take her first steps, hearing another say his first word — but there’s one thing I don’t miss: nap time.
Every day after lunch, the children were put on their cots to rest or nap. The lights were turned off, the shades were drawn, and music was turned on to block out noise from other classrooms. Our selection of music that calmed the children (without putting us to sleep) was so small that we often listened to the same CD, on repeat, for weeks. (Turns out there’s a limit to how many times you can hear the same princess love song before you start going crazy.)
My experience with bad children’s music must be why I instantly fell in love with Martha’s Trouble‘s new album of lullabies, “A Little Heart Like You.” A mix of traditional and original songs, the album is the 11th self-released record from the husband-and-wife duo. It’s the perfect lullaby album — soothing for Baby, not boring for Mom and Dad. If it had existed a few years ago, I wouldn’t have minded listening to it on repeat during nap time.