It's never too early to introduce your lil one to fine art. Start out by picking up an arty book to read during storytime. If you're not familiar with these artists, it's a great opportunity to boost your own knowledge too. These books are wonderful learning tools and enjoyable reads with exciting illustrations and sweet prose. We rounded up 10 of our favorites, perfect for sharing with your tot the next time you're ready for a story snuggle.
Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post from Joyce Slaton about tots and popular song lyrics.
Something strange has happened to the music on the radio lately: suddenly it doesn't suck. By which I mean my 7-year-old daughter and I like the same stuff. The dance-pop made by Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Adele, and their ilk appeal equally to middle-aged people and little kids, who both appreciate the thumping rhythms and catchy beats.
The problem? The lyrics. They're not made for kids. And it's pretty icky to hear a little girl singing about how she wants to have a toast for the douchebags (Kanye West's "Runaway") or she wants to hear you scream all night (Usher's "Scream"). There are songs with lyrics vague/positive enough for everyone (I'm looking at you, Taio Cruz's "Dynamite"), but there are plenty of others with lyrics that make a parent cringe when they hear them coming out of a child's mouth. Such as:
- "Starships" by Nicki Minaj has a ferociously infectious beat and a chorus that seems innocuous enough when Minaj is singing about starships that are meant to fly. Sounds great! Until you get to the part about being higher than a motherf*cker and Minaj is advising listeners to f*ck who they want and f*ck who they like. Yikes! The video, which features Minaj rolling around in a bikini, is also cringe-inducing for parents.
- "Can you blow my whistle, baby?" Flo Rida asks on his admittedly extremely catchy single "Whistle." You just put your lips together and you come real close, he advises female listeners, who he says are talented with their lips like they blew out candles. Hmm . . . I do not think Flo Rida is really talking about whistling, do you?
- OK, so maybe kids will not understand what Ke$ha means when she talks about brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack in her hit "Tik Tok," and leaving the house for the evening means she is not coming back. But when she sings about boys trying to touch her junk, junk, suddenly you will be snapping the radio off and initiating a round of "Old MacDonald."
- It is enough to try to explain to little kids what the F is in the band name LMFAO. The lyrics to their unbelievably popular song "Party Rock Anthem" are equally troubling, with the singer explaining that he is running through hos like Dramo and that the girl you are looking for is on his jock. There is a long night of explanations ahead for parents whose kids wonder what this means, exactly.
There's nothing worse than dealing with an unruly tot during a long drive. Sometimes turning on the tunes is the only way to make things better. But finding the balance between easy listening and annoying singing can sometimes be a challenge. These cool albums deliver songs your kids will love — and they're sung by musicians Mama wants to listen to! From old-school favorites to new bands, this collection of kid discs will have the whole family singing along.
Celebrate Summer with books that fete the sun! We've rounded up books perfect for kids of all ages that, along with being fun reads, also teach children about the season. From changes in nature to long days at the beach — or dealing with heat waves — these books are sure to quickly turn into family favorites! Did we miss your tot's top pick? Leave a comment with its title!
Sure, kid-specific and pop music have their time and place, but when we learned that music historian Robert Greenberg was praising the benefits of classical music for kids, we were ready to listen up. We spoke with the professor and author of How to Listen to Great Music: A Guide to Its History, Culture, and Heart and he shared five reasons why moms should turn down Kidz Bop and turn up the Bach.
- Great music encourages the gifts of friendship and solace. Having familiarity and being able to identify with a piece of classical music is a tremendous gift. That piece will remain a friend and a source of beauty and solace forever. As we grow older and our own lives become more enriched, our relationship with a piece of classical music only deepens.
- Classical music teaches us appreciation for those who have gone before us. In our technocratic age, it's all too easy to assume that because we have cool electronic toys and modern conveniences, we are smarter and more advanced than people who lived centuries ago. While technology may be linear, art and music are not.
- Classical music teaches us to listen patiently. What generally distinguishes classical music from popular music is information content. Most popular music is expository, meaning that a given piece consists wholly of a single principal thematic idea. In a classical piece, the principal theme is only the beginning. That material might then be extended and varied, developed and transformed, contrasted with other thematic ideas, or all of the above.