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Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Rock ‘N Learn {Giveaway}–CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

My kids learn from music. It’s scary how quickly they both can remember a song, a rhyme or even instructions when given in song form. I actually have to be really careful what we listen to on the radio because they will remember things after the first go-through, and it’s usually the things you don’t want them to remember! So when I found this company, Rock N Learn, I knew it was for us!

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Rock N Learn is a series of educational DVDs, CDs and Apps dedicated to teaching children through music. They sell DVDs that teach everything from early childhood learning to science, math, reading and even foreign languages. Most of the songs are all in the style of rock, but for math and social studies they also offer rap and country DVDs. Those are some our family would never purchase, but I’m sure someone out there would 🙂

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Their website is really easy to navigate–you can search for DVDs by Subject or by Age, and there is a special tab for their Mobile Apps, iBooks, and Albums available for download on iTunes. And the variety of products they offer is fabulous. Here’s just a sample: Phonics,  Money and Money Changing, Reading Comprehension, Grammar, Getting Ready for Kindergarten, Math Word Problems, Physical Science, the Solar System, States & Capitals, and lots more. They also sell some of their Preschool & Kindergarten titles as Books with CDs, which my son is SUPER into recently, so I love that option.

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 I was sent a copy of the Alphabet DVD to review. My almost-4-year old has known his alphabet for a long time, so I thought he’d be bored with it. But the first time we watched it he was glued. I like that along with showing a picture of the letter (both upper and lower case) and saying the letter name, they show pictures of other words that start with that letter and spell out the word below the picture.  I think this helped extend the video from being just for “babies” to “big kids” (in his words). Another cool thing about this video was that at the end, once they’d gotten through all the letters, they had some letter games. One game was recognizing letters in different fonts, and another was the “Name Game,” where you stand up when the first letter of your name is on the screen. Also, at the very end they show how to write each letter on a chalkboard. This is especially appropriate for my older kid who is learning to write, but a little over-the-top for my two-year old who is just learning her letters. Because of that, I would say the video caters to a wide variety of skills and ages.

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The animation is nothing spectacular, but it kept my kids interest for the 35 minutes of the DVD. The songs were also less “rock” and all started to sound the same after a while, but again, my kids enjoyed it and I know they were learning, so I can handle it. Let’s just say it’s not a DVD I would pop in and watch on my own time 🙂 Here’s a sample of the Alphabet DVD I reviewed. You can preview most DVDs on the individual pages on their website.

Rock N Learn products can be purchased at Rocknlearn.com and on Amazon.com. The prices are pretty reasonable–$19.99 for DVDs, $12.99 for CDs with Books, $3.00 for Books, and some Apps are even free!  They even sell some DVDs in groups, like the 1st & 2nd Grade Collection, at a discounted bundle price. Right now Rock N Learn is offering YOU a discount code for 25% off on any products on their website. Just enter the code JQ7711 at Checkout.  But for one really lucky reader, they are offering a DVD or CD of your choice!

Enter to Win a Rock N Learn DVD or CD of your Choice!

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of November 30, 2013, and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Rock N Learn, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Bear Hunt CD {Giveaway}–CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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When I was in junior high, I was a total dork, but I thought I was totally cool. I loved The Aquabats, a super quirky ska band who is now associated with the show Yo Gabba Gabba and has their own TV show on the HUB network. I went to their concerts dressed in sparkly skirts I found at thrift shops, fishnet tights, Converse, and did my hair in Princess Leia-style buns on top of my head with sparkly pipe cleaners sticking out of them. I actually did a dance number to one of their songs at our school talent show with my friend and she and I wore almost that exact ensemble, plus super-hero capes. Just because. I am not quite so dorky and bold these days, but I have held onto my love for a good ska/punk beat. Lucky for me, there are ska/punk/pop bands that I can listen to with my kids without worrying about bad language or inappropriate themes, and Josh and the Jamtones is one of them!

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Josh and the Jamtones has an impressive pedigree. They are all graduates of Berklee College of Music and have been together as a band since 2011. They are a sought-after group in the children’s music scene and have played at such acclaimed places as The Regent Theater, The Coolidge Corner, Earthfest, Fenway Park and have even opened for The Wiggles! Their first album, JUMP UP!, features the song “Iko Iko,” which sat at the top of Sirius/Xm’s Kids Place Live chart for 13 weeks! Check out this video and see for yourself how much fun they are having and hear how rad their music is!

Their second CD, set to release October 1st, is titled Bear Hunt, and I was sent this CD to review.  It is a fun, zany album that features ten musical numbers interwoven with silly narratives about the band’s adventures while going on an actual bear hunt. And of course it references the beloved book, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” with phrases such as “we can’t go under it, we can’t go over it…we have to go through it!”  The narratives were funny, but sort of distracting when all I wanted to do was listen to some good tunes. Josh and the Jamtones are known for mixing their styles and this CD did not disappoint! Some of our family’s favorites included “Swing Low,” a New Orleans street music-style cover of the famous spiritual; an alt-country version of “Green and Spakkled Frogs” (this one was my son’s favorite); “Everybody Dance,” a reggae/ska number that really got us moving; and “Snow Day,” a pure ska tune that had me skankin’ in my living room and reliving my junior high days (only the good parts, of course) 🙂

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Bear Hunt is a ton of fun and definitely a great CD to listen to with the kids. It didn’t even feel like “kids music,” just good music to listen to with your kids. The band recommends the album for kids ages 4-7, but my 2- and 3-year-olds loved it, as did I!  The CD will be available October 1 for $9.99 and can be purchased at JoshAndThe Jamtones.com (click here to pre-order the CD now), CDBaby.com, Amazon.com, Spotify, Rhapsody and iTunes.

Win a copy of Bear Hunt today!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of September 30, 2013, and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Josh and the Jamtones and Waldmania PR, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Hootenanny CD {Giveaway}–CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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Ask my mom where she grew up and she’ll tell you Compton, with an air of hardness to her voice (for those not familiar with Los Angeles, Compton is now a really scary, gang-infested city). Back in the 60s when my mom was living there, it was actually a really nice place, but she likes to tell people she’s “from the ghetto” even though she’s the epitome of a white suburban housewife. She also has family from New Orleans, and she still tears up when she tastes a real, Southern-style cup of gumbo.  What can I say–she’s proud of her roots! And the band Jambo is out to make today’s kids proud of their roots, too!

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Jambo is a self-proclaimed “roots-based” band that strives to bring an appreciation for different styles of music to its audience of kids. Their “roots” include music from the Mississippi Delta, New Orleans street corners and Chicago juke joints. Jambo’s creator, Steve Pierson, says he wrote two kinds of songs for the album, “full blown band tracks and what I call ‘back porch tracks.” He used at least 10 different guitars throughout the album’s 14 songs–I didn’t even know there was more than one kind of guitar! Talk about learning some music appreciation!

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Jambo’s music is inspired by kids and a desire to bring them back to their roots, so all of the songs are full of positive messages that encourage imagination and learning. I loved that about this CD–I could throw it on for the kids and not worry about the messages they were hearing or the language that was being sung. Everything was happy, silly and good-natured fun. Here’s a fun fact about the band: the band’s vocalist, Melinda McGraw, has been in movies and TV shows such as The Dark Knight, Men of a Certain Age, and Mad Men! Random, but cool. I loved her soulful addition to the band’s sound.

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The CD was super fun. My kids and I had a blast dancing around to the tracks and rocking out. Our favorite by far was the title track, “Hootenanny.” The message was great, but the beat was even cooler. Their songs reminded me of eating at Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que (do you have those near you? Delicious.) or any other Southern style restaurant where they have live blues/bluegrass music playing throughout the restaurant. I’ve always been a big ska music fan, so some of the tracks with heavy horns (“We are all One Kind,” “Let’s be Friends”) reminded me of ska and had me skanking in the living room (sorry, no video or pictures of that). Other tracks had a softer side, like “Be Yourself” and “Smile,” which were nice to sway and swing to. The Blues-y “Don’t Play With Your Food” was hilarious, and “Ice Cream Soup” was a highlight for us.

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Hootenanny is Jambo’s second CD. Their first, Lucy’s Parade, won both a Parent’s Choice® Award and a Los Angeles Music Award, and Hootenanny has been named one of People Magazine’s “Best Kids Albums Now!” But don’t just trust them, or me for that matter–go out and buy one yourself to see how great their music is! Hootenanny can be purchased at Amazon.com, cdbaby.com and iTunes. Also, if you like going to live concerts, they’re big in the kids music scene and frequently tour, so check out their website to see if they’ll be in a city near you!

Enter below to win a copy of Jambo’s Hootenanny!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of September 2nd, 2013,  and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Jambo and Waldmania PR, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Recess Music {Giveaway}–CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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My family and I LOVE music. I love to sing and dance, my husband plays the piano and sings, and our two kids have definitely inherited our love of music. My kids know most of the (appropriate) Top 40 hits on the radio because we like to listen to them in the car and then dance to them at home. And while I’m somewhat proud that my 3-year old knows all the words to Maroon 5’s Payphone, I’m much happier when he can sing all the verses to “Book of Mormon Stories” (did you know there are eight?!?) because I know that he’s learning songs that have meaning and values. Recess Music was created with this exact sentiment in mind.

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Recess Music was created by Nancy Doan, a mother, wife and minister who wanted to make the world a better place by teaching morals and values through music (sounds like my kind of lady!). Recess Music has the twin goals of teaching environmental awareness through its “Celebrate Earth” series, and social empathy through its “Best Foot Forward” series of recordings.

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We received the newest CD from the Best Foot Forward series, Gratitude Attitude. Heather Ann reviewed Share! from the same series back in April, and we enjoyed our CD just as much as she did. There are 15 songs on the disc, and each is by a different talented kids’ musician. The overall feel is very chill, which is great for those times you just need something soothing playing in the background while you’re cooking dinner and the kids are playing on the floor. But there are a few tunes that are get-up-and-dance songs, and those were my kids’ favorites!  Here they are rocking out to “In My Family’s House.”

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All of the songs teach kindness, manners and gratitude in a way that is subtle and sometimes funny but never too in-your-face. My favorites are “There’s A Pea On My Plate,” “Thank You Letters,” and “Use Your Napkin Not Your Mom”–so true, right?! The website says it best:

 “The music on Gratitude Attitude was chosen with an eye to helping children understand that their attitudes are just as important as their actions in bringing harmony and understanding to their classrooms, neighborhoods, and homes (emphasis added).”

CD Ralph

This is definitely a CD worth owning to help your kids develop an attitude of gratitude and kindness. Gratitude Attitude won’t be released until August 27th, but can be pre-ordered at recessmusic.com for only $9.99! It will be available for $12.99 at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, iTunes and brick and mortar retailers throughout the U.S. after August 28.

Until then, you can enter to win a copy of Gratitude Attitude for you and your family!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of August 10th, 2013, and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Recess Music, but all opinions are strictly my own.

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