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Posts Tagged ‘iPod’

  1. 1, 2, 3, 4: Counting Songs Your Kids And You Will Love On Your Playlist

    September 10, 2014 by admin

    As we’ve mentioned before, we like our family playlist to include songs that everyone likes.   But does that mean we don’t have some educational songs for our kids on that list? No. We have educational songs that we love on the playlist!

    Here’s a sample of songs from our regular playlist that help our kiddoes learn how to count while they enjoy singing along:

    1,2,3,4/ Feist : Yes, this one only goes up to four (for most of the song anyway).  But it’s catchy and fun, and you have to start somewhere.

    2,4,6,8 Motorway/ Tom Robinson: Counting by twos is also a great skill!

    Dance Dance Dance DanceI’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You/ Black Kids: Another one that only counts to four.  But we love it so! Bluey adores the refrain!

    Monkey- Hockey/ James Kochalka: This song counts all the way to to nine with fun lyrics about a sports playing primate.

    Kiss Off/ Violent Femmes: Ten is for Everything! Everything! Everything!

    7 Things/ Miley Cyrus: She doesn’t count out loud in this song, but it still offers a chance to encourage counting up to seven!


    While a majority of the recommendations above weren’t written as kids songs, this one was. But it’s so good, we love it and sing it every time it comes on.

    3 Is The Magic Number/ Blind Melon: Counting by threes! It takes three legs to make a tripod, or to make a table stand.3 6 9

    So load up your iPod with these great sing-along counting songs and bring some more math to your day-to-day!

  2. The Tablet

    July 9, 2014 by admin


    Part of our continuing series: Traveling With Kids


    We recently added a new tool to our traveling arsenal when heading out on a long trip-  a computer tablet!

    We were gifted a used tablet and have found that by relaxing our stance on electronics in the car, we have a new item to help make the trips go smoother.  We loaded the tablet with games and some movies that meet our criteria for educational value and non-violence.  We find our Bluey really appreciates this new part of the traveling repertoire.

    Now part of the lead up to a longer adventure includes the possibility of a new game to try out, so our kiddo is even more excited about the road trip.

    We have created a few rules about the tablet, so that it doesn’t overtake our usual traveling experience:

    1. The tablet never comes along on shorter trips, so we can continue to build our appreciation of experiencing rides together.

    2.  We have an understanding that when TRMom or TRDad say the tablet must be set aside for a time, there are no arguments.  This allows our kiddo to get back to his other car activities that stimulate other parts of his mind: looking out the window, playing with Legos, drawing, singing and interacting with the rest of the family.

    3.  No headphones!  We don’t want our kiddo retreating from the trip entirely, so we insist on no headphones.  We’d rather tolerate a few quiet blips in the background and be able to talk with Bluey as we like, than have him checked out completely.

    We find our longer jaunts highly enjoyable since this piece of tech has joined our family.  Our kiddo looks forward to each new adventure.  And he continues to be just as likely to spend a half hour during the trip playing with his stuffies, or fiddling with a Rubik’s Cube, as opposed to exploring on his tablet.

  3. Turn Off The iPad

    May 21, 2013 by admin

    We’ve posted before about our belief that it is critical to take the time to unplug from your electronic life every now and then.  We feel that people tend to use their devices to avoid face-to-face interaction; or as way to disengage from whatever is happening around them.

    We are preparing for a quickly approaching family vacation.  What do you think was one questions Plum asked when hearing of the trip?  “Can I bring my iPad?”  We know you can guess the answer!  It was, “No.”

    Here is why we forbid this device to accompany us on our family trip:IMG_1901

    • A vacation is about immersing yourself in your surroundings and discovering new sights, tastes, sounds, and feelings.  It is not about tuning out your world to focus on the latest App.
    • Your motivation to explore your surroundings plummets when you have an iPad feeding your boredom.
    • Your interest in conversation with your friends and family diminishes when you can instead engage with the tempting worlds and characters within the Apps on your iPad.
    • Once you disconnect from your iPad, it takes a good ½ hour, or more, for you to become a recognizable, functioning human once again.
    • Your iPad is an expensive piece of equipment that would be at risk of being broken, stolen, or lost while traveling.


    So for a myriad of reasons, some captured above, our vacation will not include an iPad.  Plum will complain at first.  She’ll use her wit and wiles to try and devise a way to get us to cave.  But hopefully, on the ride home from a wonderful journey sans iPad, she’ll realize that maybe TR Mom and TR Dad actually do know what they’re talking about- at least some of the time.

  4. Urban Music Scene

    July 8, 2012 by admin

    Those trendy stores play such cool music, have you ever wondered what was playing, or where you could get it?

    If that store was Urban Outfitters,we can help!

    UO posts five songs from their store playlist every Monday at the UO website.  We’ve picked up tunes from Zach Hill to Lissy Trullie to Deerhoof to X-Ray Eyeballs.  You are sure to find some songs you like, or find a new favorite band if you check the UO website regularly.

    And don’t think you’ve missed the bus on great tunes we have—the UO Music Mondays page is accessible back to 2009, so go out there and get some great free music.

    Free music! What beats that?

  5. Sounds of the Norse!

    June 17, 2012 by admin

    We love all sorts of music and we want to expose our kids to a wide variety of it.  We also love free music.  When we can get both at once, we are super pleased.

    A great source for free music is this site:  They have regular updates about the goings on of various bands from Scandanavia, many of which include free downloads. We visit this site frequently and learn about all sorts of great new bands.  A fantastic find from Sweden, First Aid Kit, came to our attention thanks to

    First Aid Kit

    The sites best feature is a monthly list called: Music Alliance Pact.  This downloadable zip file has sample tracks from bands all over the world.  What a great way to learn about the music scene everywhere from Argentina to Zambia!

    There is an email mailer for that will help remind you when each Music Alliance Pact update is available.  Soon enough you’ll be listening to bands you’ve never heard of and finding new loves from around the world.

    You’ve got the music in you!


  6. Unplugged

    June 7, 2012 by admin

    Take a moment to look around you the next time you are in a busy pedestrian area like a college campus, park, or bus station.  How many of the people surrounding you are plugged in to some device and therefore disengaged from what is happening around them?

    Everyone’s in their own little world.

    Now think of your own family.  How can you create family togetherness if everyone is on their own planet of texting, Ipods, and video games?  And how do you encourage social interaction with people if you focus your entire sensory being into all of these devices?

    You need to limit, or eliminate, the electronics if you want your kids to have a valued take away from the activities that you are doing.  And if you want to be an engaged parent, you must also make the choice to unplug!  Facebook posts, blog updates, email responses, texts, etc.- the majority of it can wait until your kids are asleep or in school.

    We try to hold off the electronic frontier for as long as seems reasonable.  Our Bluey has no electronic games, no computer games, and a limited interaction with television.  We even try to limit the amount of toys that emit electronic noises (see a later post on dealing with noisy toys.)  Our Plum, well, she has a laptop , DS game system, and a Nano.  But we curtail her allowable hours on those devices to force her to interact with the real world.  She has no internet connection on her laptop (see our future post on kids and the internet.)

    And we do our best to make sure that if one parent has to be plugged in for a limited amount of time while the kids are up, the other parent is free of devices and is actively engaged with our kids.  There are endless activities to do together as a family when you are unplugged.  Remember board games?  Go have an outside adventure like a hike or scavenger hunt.  Read a book together.  Get out the Playdoh or paint a picture.  Plant some flowers.  The world is yours!


  7. How to Turn Your Kids Into Great Travelers: Let the Music Play

    May 29, 2012 by admin

    Let the Music playOur family loves music.  Our computer iTunes plays in the background at home throughout the day.  Both of our kids and Dad strum the guitar almost daily.  And no car trip is begun without our iPod at the ready.

    Music in the car helps the time go by happily. Music on the iPod means no commercials, no fading stations, and no repeats.  We love rockin’ out.

    Even though everyone in the family appreciates a wide variety of music, we all have our favorites.  Our iPod contains a play list for Plum and Bluey, as well as organized lists for us adult folk.

    We usually default to a random mix and just let the music play.  But it doesn’t take long for someone to shout out a desire for a specific play list or song.  It is a great thing to be able to lift a grumpy kiddo’s mood simply by blasting “Party in the USA,” and breaking out our own unique family choreography! Or should that be Car-eography? ;p

    We sometimes use the Ipod’s capacity to make a custom list for a day while we’re on-the-go.  We start the trip going through the car’s passengers, asking each person to name a song for the list.  Adults can help young ones remember their favorites.  When we feel we have enough selections, we let the new song list play on random.  Everyone gets to hear her/his favorites and perhaps finds a new favorite from someone else’s choice.