International Music to Cook by (or For Any Other Time Really)

By , September 14, 2007 10:13 pm

Tonight we had our Friday Kids Cook Night which has fallen a bit by the wayside over the summer. My post today is not about Kids Cook Night however, but about the music that accompanies it.

I found the cassette version of Wee Sing Around the World (Wee Sing) for $2.99 last year in our grocery store bargain book bin, which, incidentally, has really yielded a surprising wealth of wonderful books! Unfortunately it is a tape and I have recently decided that we will definitely need a CD version due to all the use the poor old cassette gets.

I just found out that at Amazon, the CD and accompanying 64 page book is only $9.99, and is even eligible for the 4-for-3 promotion. I love that promotion. What a great excuse to by more fun books that I didn’t even know we needed! OK. So I am not exactly “simplifying my life” with this attitude, but it is all for my children’s sake really!

This collection consists of children’s songs from around the world. I count 40 countries on the list, most with one song, but the US has three (Native American, Native Hawaiian, and basic, classic kids’ song – “Eentsy Weentsy Spider”), India has two. When the songs are in a language other than English (as most are), then it is sung once in the native language and once in an English translation so we English-speakers can understand what it is about.

One of the things I like most about this collection are the introductions. Before each song the singer introduces him or herself by saying “Hello, my name is ____ and I am from___.” They first make their introduction in their native language, and then in English. So fascinating! I love hearing all the different languages, and so do my children. They often end up sitting on the kitchen counter top next to the speaker of our little counter top stereo so as not to miss a thing.

What a rare find, children’s music that I actually LIKE to listen to as much as they do. This is a very good thing since it is my 5 and 7 year-olds‘ favorite music, and has become our Kids Cook Night background music, and background music for many other moments as well.

The songs are all brief enough to accommodate short attention spans (even when sung in two languages). Since they hail from a wide range of different countries (Jamaica, Ghana, Iran, and Ukraine for example), they illustrate a variety of different musical styles.

One of the things that I hope to instill in my children is a sense of the beauty and variety of life around the world, yet the realization of how similar we all really are. I want them to understand for example, that while people from other countries might have different languages and different types of music, we all enjoy music and singing and dancing! I think that this collection is a great first step toward that very ambitious goal.

Photo thanks to and photographer clarita.

4 Responses to “International Music to Cook by (or For Any Other Time Really)”

  1. Andamom says:

    I’m a huge fan of children’s music as well — I sing to my children (despite having not the best of vocal ranges) and as you know, my daughter is in a chorus now. For fun, our family creates songs and changes around lyrics from songs we know. My husband used to play in a band and he still yearns to create music.

    A friend of Gabriel’s dad is a musician who plays with the Dee Deedle Dees — a band that plays quirky fabulous and educational music for kids and adults alike. Their Myspace page –

    I’ve always been around an international crowd — since childhood really. Parent of my friends were from all over the world — and I developed a true appreciation for their culture through food, language, hobbies, and so forth. I try to provide my children with a similar appreciation…

  2. claudie says:

    Merci pour ta visite sur le billet de mon pauvre Félix; Je suis vraiment réconfortée par toute cette gentillesse. Maintenant les voisins ont certainement eu une amende et je crois que c’était la seule façon malheureusement de les sensibiliser. J’espère ne plus avoir à revivre une telle situation. Je pense que tes enfants ont beaucoup de chance d’avoir une maman si attentive à leur bien être et au bon développement de leur personnalité.
    Du coup je me demandais si tu connaissais la fameuse recette du gâteau au yaourt, que les enfants de toutes les maternelles de France cuisinent dans les écoles?
    Elle est très simple et permet d’aborder les premières notions de dosage.
    1 yaourt
    3 pots de yaourt de farine
    2 pots de yaourt de sucre
    1/2 pot d’huile tournesol
    3 oeufs
    1 pincée de sel
    1 sachet de levure
    1 sachet de sucre vanillé
    Fruits coupés en morceau
    Tu mélanges le yaourt avec tout le reste. Le pot de yaourt sert de doseur.
    La cuisson environ 20 minutes enfin ça dépend du four, il faut surveiller.
    Bon je te souhaite une bonne semaine et à bientôt!

  3. Jenny says:

    I’ll have to see if I can find this- I’m trying to instill an appreciation for everyone’s differences with CJ too. I got her the Wee Sing in the Car about a month ago, and while she loves it, my husband abhors it! As for me- if it makes for a peaceful 30 minutes drive to target- I’m all for it!

  4. Mom Unplugged says:

    Andamom – It is nice to try to pass that appreciation on to one’s children. The world is such a diverse place, but people are all basically the same inside. I want my kids to understand and appreciate that. I don’t know the Dee Deedle Dees, but will check out their website. Thanks for the tip!

    Claudie – Merci beaucoup pour la recette. C’est tres gentille de ta part de penser a nous! Je suis sure que les enfants vont l’aimer. On va essayer de faire le gateau ensemble et je te dirai comment ca se passe! Je suis sure qu’il sera delicieux. J’espere que l’amende convincera tes voisins de faire plus attention au chien et de ne le plus laisser courir partout. J’espere te rencontrer mardi pour Cats on Tuesday. J’ai un nouveau “blog” pour les chats: Je ferai Cats on Tuesday la-bas. A bientot!

    Jenny – I have not heard any other Wee Sings so I can’t really comment on the comparison, but I must say that the name Wee Sing seemed a bit too cute (I find most children’s CD’s to be too saccharine to tolerate). If it hadn’t been for the price I might not have bought it. But…I really like this! It is different from what you usually get in a kids’ tape. Hopefully your husband might like this one better Jenny! Please let me know.

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