Dylan does Dr. Seuss (no no no, not like that)

More from the Parent Friendly music scene –

Dylan Hears a Who is a six-song album of music adaptations of Dr Seuss storybooks, sung in the style of vintage Subterranean Homesick Blues-era Bob Dylan.

Even though this is a parody of Dylan, it’s still pretty cool music and, as is my qualifier these days, it’s good parent friendly kid music.
The best part is that you can download all six songs for free. No joke. Right from the Dylan Hears a Who site <link>

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Video games: Educational AND fun? Believe it!

It’s pretty amazing how far technology has come in such a short time, just in the past 10 years or so. Remember when we (my fellow 30somethings) were kids and our cool educational games were things like Simon and Merlin? MerlinAnd our choice of computer educational games consisted of Lemonade stand and Oregon Trail? And what about regular video games? I don’t know about you but I thought Pitfall was pretty much the end of the rainbow as far as home video games went. Computer programming wasn’t even a blip on the radar. I remember in Junior High taking a computer class where we “learned” (and I use that term loosely) Visual Basic. Let’s be honest, I didn’t actually learn anything about Visual Basic. All I knew is if I followed the instructions in the book, eventually all of the little letters and symbols I was entering into the keyboard eventually turned into a smiley face on my screen. pitfall

Fast forward to this weeks TechFest, where a “game” was introduced – which can be played on PC or Xbox – that teaches young children about the principles of computer programming. According to atthew MacLaurin, one of the creators of Boku, he “wants kids to approach the programming tool like a puzzle game. Soon, like with World of Warcraft, they’ll realize they can mess with it. Once kids figure that out, they’ll want to start getting creative,” he says. “Then we’ve got them.”

I couldn’t agree more!

(So let’s recap just for the sake of argument – Purchasing video games to teach science and technology = good use of dollars. Purchasing video games as a way to get kids to exercise = bad use of dollars)

Read on below for more info about this amazing new game….

Boku: Programming for KidsBoku

Matthew MacLaurin took the stage during today’s TechFest keynote to show us his Boku project, a programming environment for children.

Boku turns programming into a game — it runs on an Xbox or a PC. There’s no typing, so you can use the Xbox controller by itself, and the user interface enforces syntax (no syntax errors) so kids don’t get frustrated.

The main character in the “game” is a robot named Boku who lives on an island. Players give Boku different instructions that vary in complexity to make him do different things. Each programming task represents a level in the game, and the programs get more sophisticated as the player advances through levels.

In about a minute, Matthew created a simple program that instructed Boku to run around his island eating all the red apples.

Matthew says that his young daughter plays this and explains to him that Boku only eats red apples.

He skipped ahead a few levels to show us a soccer game where a team of Bokus try to kick green apples through a soccer goal made by two palm trees.

The idea is to teach kids logic, analysis and design as well as the practical skills learned by putting programs together. I must admit that Boku looks like a lot of fun. If they put it out as an Xbox game, I’d pick it up. <link>

Parent Friendly Music Festivals!

I don’t know if Parent Friendly is a term widely used, but I think it is the perfect phrase. Example…Live taping of Barney. NOT parent friendly. Seeing the Jellydots with your kids at the South By Southwest Music festival in Austin. VERY Parent Friendly.

Yes that’s right. One of my newly anointed favorite kid/parent Alt-Pop bands, The Jellydots, are playing the South by Southwest (SXSW) Music festival this year in Austin.

Check out the info below for details…

THE JELLYDOTS SET TO ROCK SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST 2007

Look out Auditorium Shores, The Jellydots are back!

 

When? Saturday, March 17 at 11:00 AM

Where? Town Lake Stage at Auditorium Shores

Price? FREE and ALL AGES!!!

 

The Jellydots have been wowing the pint-sized set since 2002. Doug Snyder, a full-time guitar instructor, came up with the concept of The Jellydots while writing silly songs with his young guitar students. “Once we had a few songs written, I realized we may be on to something special,“ says Snyder. In November of 2002, Snyder released “Music is Cool,” a collection of songs about his cat, cookies, and race cars.

And if that’s not enough,
and in case you didn’t know, the Austin City Limits Music Festival also has a kid/parent friendly locale called Austin Kiddie Limits with a ton of kid activitie, not to mention completely tolerable kid music, such as the aforementioned Jellydots. They also have a great offering called Tag-A-Kid. Have a special numbered wristband placed on your child’s wrist. You’ll provide them with contact information just in case you get separated from your child. If your child is brought to lost and found, they’ve got an immediate way to contact you!

There’s also a Children’s Theatre and Playzone at Summerfest in Milwaukee!

So fear not my fellow music loving parents. You aren’t doomed to endless scores of the Wiggles and Little Einstein. There’s hope. Let’s help keep the Parent Friendly music alive!

For more great tips of Parent Friendly music, check out Children’s Music that Rocks!