Feb 27, 2013

Out of school learning: TMBG kids' songs (ABCs, 123s, Science)

Learning is fun! No, seriously.

After our nightly session of teaching T's monster (now named "Jessy") how to read, we usually add in a They Might be Giants video on YouTube...or two. Or three.

I've never been a devoted TMBG fan, having written off their music as too twee back in the 90s. But I've outgrown my childhood snobbishness to some extent, and I've since discovered that I really like "Birdhouse in Your Soul."

Also, the tweeness works well for kids' songs - and I appreciate how the lyrics convey accurate information in an entertaining way.

TMBG's third kids' album, Here Comes Science, came out in 2009, the year T was born - reading the overwhelmingly positive reviews led me to seek out Here Come the ABCs and Here Come the 123s. Of the songs, three stuck to my mind: "Seven Days of the Week," "The Mesopotamians" (which strictly speaking isn't on the kids' CDs), and "Davy Crockett in Outer Space"; I sang these to little T a lot (though on rewatching the videos, my versions have become increasingly bowdlerized).

With T bigger now and able to appreciate the music videos too (which are pretty essential - it's definitely a multimedia experience), I decided to trial some more songs - and she is a fan. T's absolute favorite is "E eats Everything." I think they could have put in a bit more effort for the letters past K, but that would probably have made it too long (which they sort of lampshade since "U and V and W / Are worn out from this song").

Other songs T loves:

"Meet the Elements" (T's fave line: "Now add some gold and silver for some pizza place class!")

"Electric car"

"Seven" ("We want cake! We want cake!")

"I'm a Paleontologist" (we do love dinosaurs)

"Apartment 4"

We haven't yet listened to all the kids' songs, but it's clear T prefers the songs with catchy lyrics. "Rolling O" left her cold, though I like the jazzy melody.

As for the monster reading - it's progressing. T is very attached to her monster and would spend hours playing if only I let her. I've reduced her intake to one letter a day, since now that I help her less with the mouse it takes her a bit longer to learn each letter.

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