Have you ever wished for songs that teach letter sounds, spelling, or counting? Songs that your children or students will learn easily, like to sing, and that you’ll enjoy too?
These songs actually exist!
My older kids (ages 2,3,5, and 6) have been listening to them in the car for months. These are the only CD’s that all four of them consistently love and sing along to. And here’s the kicker… I like them too!
(Disclosure: I received free products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine! This post contains affiliate links.)
Today I’m thrilled to be sharing a review and giveaway for one of my favorite learning resources: Heidisongs!
But first… are you up for a story?
Back in 2005, my sister Kate was teaching kindergarten in California. I was teaching first and second graders in Arizona. Kate called me after attending the California Kindergarten Teacher Conference.
“I went to this great workshop! This kindergarten teacher has written all these great songs for teaching letter sounds, sight words, and some other concepts. She showed us how to use them in our classrooms with the actions that she’s developed. Sometimes these presenters get silly and treat us like their kindergarten students, but she wasn’t like that at all. A great teacher of teachers. I can’t wait to try the sight word CD’s I bought in my classroom!”
Kate’s students loved the songs, and when they got stuck on a sight word when writing in writer’s workshop, she reminded them of the action song and they were able to make the connection.
Fast forward to 2013. By this time I was married, living in the Midwest, and had four small kids. My daughter was loving her first year in school and would come home singing catchy songs for letter sounds and sight words. She sang them so much that I found myself humming the tunes while I was mopping the floor. Her little brothers (ages 2 and 4) sang the songs to themselves while playing with their Duplos.
I had to ask my daughter’s kindergarten teacher where these songs came from. She said they were created and sold by a teacher from California. They were called Heidisongs.
A few months later, I received a comment on one of my blog posts.
I did a double take and wrote back, “Are you THE Heidi of Heidi songs?”
That was the beginning of a friendship between Heidi and me. Since then she has become a big promoter of my blog. I was thrilled when she offered to send me some of her products to enjoy with my children and review here at The Measured Mom.
Why I LOVE Heidisongs … and think you will too!
1. The songs were created by a real teacher for real kids.
Heidi began by creating these songs for her kindergartners. When fellow teachers asked her to record the songs for them and finally convinced her to share them at conferences, she brought CD’s she had burned on our own computer. When her sessions were packed and her CD’s quickly sold out, it became clear that she should start a business.
Heidi is genuine and real. I can’t always trust a company creating “educational materials” to make a buck. I do trust a master teacher who’s sharing what’s worked in her classroom for years.
2. The songs are multi-sensory.
This is the brilliant part of Heidisongs. Each CD has a correlating DVD. On the DVD the letter, word, or number is on the screen while an adult (often Heidi herself) is dancing to the tune and singing along with the chorus.
This means the kids get to SEE it, HEAR it, SAY it, and DO it. This means they will also REMEMBER it.
By the way, the videos aren’t meant to be entertainment like you would expect with a kids’ TV show. They’re meant to be instructional. So while they’re not crafted to compete with Disney, they’re very functional in helping students, teachers, and parents learn the songs.
3. The songs are just plain silly and fun.
We’ve had a few giggles in the car when learning new songs. While some of the songs make sense, others remind me a little of nursery rhymes with their nonsensical nature. That’s a hit with kids. (It’s why nursery rhymes have stood the test of time!)
Here’s a silly song my kids love.
4. The lyrics are easy to learn and remember.
Many of the songs are based on familiar tunes that kids might already know, making it even easier for the words to stick.
The following song has the same tune as “Who Did Swallow Jonah?”
5. The materials can be used in a variety of ways.
a. Listen to the CD’s in the car. My Two, Three, Five, and Six all request the CD’s. The fact that the songs appeal to all four of them – and that they will joyfully sing the songs together – says quite a lot!
b. Watch the DVD with your child for all the benefits. To help your child really learn the words, numbers, shapes, etc. the best plan is to watch the DVD together. Get up and dance to the songs! You know how there are kids who get up and jive to the songs at library story time, and the kids who stand there staring at everyone? My kids are the staring kind. But even they couldn’t help and move when we watched the videos.
c. Pull out the songs to ease transition times. When kids get rowdy in the classroom or start to get antsy at home, turn on the CD player. You’ll get everyone on the same page – learning and having fun at the same time.
d. Use other supplementary material. I’m just scratching the surface of what Heidi offers on her site. Besides the DVD’s and CD’s, you’ll find storybooks, learning games, workbooks, and more. Do visit her site and browse her great resources!
I love this video of a kindergarten class singing a song that teaches the sight word fight.
Are you convinced yet? Seriously, if you and I were out for coffee (well, hot chocolate – I don’t like coffee!), I’d talk up Heidisongs even more.