Author Archive

Out and About in KC: Favorite Holiday Activities for the Under 5 Set

by lalofont used by Creative Commons License via Flickr

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, doorbells and sleighbells, and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with string, these are few of my favorite things.”  Gets you in the Holiday spirit doesn’t it.  I have such great memories of watching The Sound of Music with my family at this time of year growing up.  Well, here are some Kansas City favorite things to do with the under 5 crowd during the Holiday Season, with a little something for everyone I hope.  (Recommendations come from both our family and several other families in the Kindermusik program.  If you have others you’d like to share, we’d love to hear them.  Just add them in the comments on our Facebook page.

Journey to Bethlehem at 2nd Presbyterian Church

Friday, Dec. 2,  7-9 pm

Saturday, Dec. 3,  5-7 pm

I have driven past the sign on Brookside Boulevard for years, but only a few years ago did our family decide to find out what “Journey to Bethlehem” is all about.  I must say I was very impressed with this 45-min walk-through of the story of the birth of Christ.  We felt truly immersed in the story as we turned in our “census” to the Roman rulers, “bought” things at the Bethlehem market, and then were led by a shepherd all over Bethlehem to see the exciting events of that first Christmas.  Now it is a family tradition.  My kids beg to go every year. (NOTE: I recommend attending well diapered and fed as you may have to stand in line for quite a while.)  Admission free to all.

Powell Gardens

Dec. 17, 9: o0 am – noon – Fun with Santa and Mrs. Claus (We’re having trouble getting the full details for this event for 2016.  We know the date is Dec. 17 and have listed the info. from last year.  If this interests, we recommend calling or visiting the website to learn more.)

Enjoy a Chris Cakes style pancake breakfast when you come out to meet Old St. Nick. Afterward, make a craft to take home, join Mrs. Claus for storytelling and admire the Victorian display in the conservatory. Then bundle up for a ride on the outdoor mini-train (weather permitting). Reservations are required.
Visit the website above for more information and costs.

Dec. 10-11, 5:00-7:30 pm –  Luminary Walk

Another fabulous experience to check out is Powell Gardens, though it is a bit of a drive, so you might plan to go and stay for a while if possible.  Their Luminary Walk will be beautiful.  Enjoy live holiday music, homemade cookies and hot chocolate by the fireside and a walk along a candlelit path to the peaceful Marjorie Powell Allen Chapel.  Admission $7/adults, $6/seniors, $3 children 5-12, children under 5 free, free for members.  While you’re at the Gardens, be sure to ride the Trolley (really our favorite part.)

Holiday at Union Station

Every year when the boys were little, we made a trip during the Holiday season to Union Station to see the model railroad exhibit.  There is also a fun train ride around a huge Christmas tree at the end of the Grand Hall and special events going on all the time.  Charges may apply to special appearances, exhibits, and train rides.  (p.s.  Memberships are great and can give you some nice discounts if you have a kid who likes Science City, like we do.)

Hope these ideas will help you create a few special family traditions to share for years to come!


Tech Tips: Enjoying Digital Home Materials with Little or No Screen Time

DHM Logo

“Our family has rules about screen time. Aside from the downloading the music, how can we use these materials?”

No worries. These materials were designed with you in mind!  Would you be okay with…

  • Playing games with a laundry basket with your baby?  (Check out “4 (Non-Laundry) Uses for a Laundry Basket” in your Cuddle & Bounce:  Little Red Caboose Digital Home Materials.
  • Learning sign language to share with your baby or toddler?  (Check out the signing videos for grownups in each unit of Cuddle & Bounce and Sing & Play Digital Home Materials.)
  • Making puppets to share with your toddler?  (Look for the fun puppet craft ideas in the Sing & Play:  Big Red Barn Digital Home Materials.)
  • Making play dough and pretend play food to share with your 2 year old?  (Check out the cute craft idea in the Wiggle & Grow:  Time for Lunch Digital Home Materials.)
  • Making a castle for your preschool princess or pirate?  (Check out this cute pretend play idea in your Laugh & Learn:  Make Believe Digital Home Materials.)

There are tons of activities like these and more just waiting for you in your Digital Home Materials.  When you flip through the activities you’ll find recipes, crafts, and play ideas for you to enjoy without any screens at all. Simply read through the directions, gathering some great inspiration for fun with your child, turn off your device, and play away! Plus, there are a whole host of printable activities including recipes, games, crafts and the like that can be downloaded and enjoyed screen free, just use your desktop computer to go back to the colorful Download Center box on the unit homepage for your child’s curriculum, and click on the button marked “Activities”. And for the book, you have four options, download the .pdf file to read on a tablet or phone, print off a hardcopy, read the digital version online, or order your own hardcopy (FREE shipping direct to you). Last but not least, don’t forget about all the great parenting information tucked into the materials, so you can read, watch, and learn about how your child learns and how you might further her development.

And if you don’t mind a little screen time (2-5 minutes), there are even more options for you! You see, Kindermusik International knows and respects that each family gets to decide what’s best for them when it comes to this issue. In creating this digital resource, Kindermusik has read about and researched this topic thoroughly. We have aligned our stance with that of the highly respected NAEYC and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning, recognizing that children can benefit from a responsible and age-appropriate use of technology in combination with hands-on experiences and in partnership with an actively involved caregiver. We are proud to bring these high-quality materials to your family which truly embody the very best of both worlds- a responsible introduction to technology AND lots of hands-on, movement-rich, in-your-lap, down-on-the-floor learning.

Unlike many other digital platforms for kids, these materials are designed for you and your child to use cooperatively, engaging with one another as you read, watch, discuss, and discover. You’ll find the format is designed to move at an appropriate pace for your child in a style that feels like a traditional floor game played with you. Most of the games and videos are less than 2 minutes in length without any overstimulating sights or sounds and incorporate much of the latest research on early childhood development and learning in their design and focus. They are truly a rich and exciting tool that’s now available to you anytime and anywhere!


Win Free Tuition for 4 Months

Win Free Tuition for 4 Months!

We are so excited about the first week of Kindermusik that we’ve decided to host an Opening Week Countdown Giveaway!  We’re giving away FREE tuition for 4 months to 3 lucky folks.

Giveaway #1 – Free Tuition for 4 months for one family who would like to join the Tuesday 11:15 am Cuddle & Bounce class (for ages 0-12 months) at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church from now until classes take a break in December.  (Winner pays $35 to cover the cost of materials for class.)

Giveaway #2 – Free Tuition for 4 months for one family who would like to join the Tuesday 9:15 am Sing & Play class (for ages 1-2 years) at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church from now until classes take a break in December. (Winner pays $35 to cover the cost of materials for class.)

Giveaway #3 – Free Tuition for 4 months for one family who would like to join the Tuesday 10:15 am Wiggle & Grow class (for ages 2-3 years) at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church from now until classes take a break in December. (Winner pays $35 to cover the cost of materials for class.)

When are the classes?  Classes start next week, Sept. 8!

How do you enter? Just email kindermusikwithjoy@gmail.com by 10:00 pm Wednesday, Sept. 3 saying that you’d like to enter the contest and telling us your child’s age and agegroup.  Winners will be chosen by 8:00 am Thursday, Sept. 4.  Giveaway Rules:  Winner chosen from random drawing of all correct entries.  Any person who submits an email entry by the contest deadline will be entered into the prize drawing at the end of the contest.  Winners will be announced on the Kindermusik with Joy Facebook page.  Winners will also be notified directly by email.  Offer good only to families not currently enrolled for the School Year with Kindermusik with Joy.


All Aboard for Favorite Train Sights in KC

When I got my Master’s Degree in Music I never dreamed I’d be using it to sing hello like a train on a regular basis, and yet that is how many of my days are spent.  And I love it!  I love even more watching the faces light up when I throw “chugging hello” out as a suggestion instead of say “stomping hello” or “twirling hello.”  So, I thought it only fitting that I write down for my train loving friends a few of our favorite train sights around KC.

  • The Model Railroad Experience at Union Station – So the train enjoyment at Union Station comes in so many ways.  One of our favorites is to go to the back of the Sprint Festival Plaza to the Model Railroad Experience.  There you’ll find a huge room full of model trains of various sizes with amazing displays of all kinds running daily.  Oftentimes they even have a Thomas the Train set running!  Best of all, entrance is free with any Union Station exhibit ticket!
  • The KC Rail Experience at Union Station – Admission Adults are $13.50, and children (3-12) are $11.50., This museum is dedicated to the history of Union Station as a working train station during the height of the railroad for passenger travel in the U.S.  While most of the exhibit is not especially kid friendly, there are a few train cars you can climb aboard.
  • Science City and/or the Freight House Bridge at Union Station – Admission to the KC Rail Experience and Science City is a package deal, so if you pay for one you get both.  Science City is a fun place all on its own without much emphasis on trains; however, there is a small observation area behind the “Mr. E Hotel” exhibit that looks down on the train tracks behind Union Station.  This area has become our favorite place to watch the real live trains go by.  An alternative that is free (if a little windy) is to go through the Sprint Festival Plaza to the Freight House Bridge which is a walking bridge connecting Union Station to the Crossroads Art District.  Best of all, it crosses right over the tracks, so you can actually look down into the train cars.  Definitely a cool sight!
  • Midland Railway – This historic railway in Baldwin City hosts a plethora of events throughout the year, our favorite being a Day Out with Thomas, which usually lands in early Summer (late May or early June) and involves a petting zoo, tents with Thomas related activities for kids, and best of all a ride on a real live Thomas the Train!!

Now I have heard there are a few other fun train events or sights around town.  What are your favorites?


Tech Tips: Creating a Button on Your Homepage for your Materials

DHM Logo

I discovered something very cool this week that I wanted to share with you all regarding the new Digital Home Materials and iDevices.  You can actually create your very own “button” on your Home Screen(s) (the ones that pop up when you turn on your iDevice) that links directly to your Digital Home Materials login on Safari.

Here’s how you do it:

  • From Safari go to http://my.kindermusik.com.
  • Login to your Digital Home Materials.
  • Click on the “Send” Icon in the top left corner of your browser.  (This is the button you click to print, email, facebook, etc. a webpage.)
  • Click on the button marked “Add to Home Screen”.
  • Voila!  Now you have a button on your home screen.  When you tap it, your Digital Home Materials will automatically open without your having to pull up Safari and type in the web address!

Win Free Tuition for 4 Months

Win Free Tuition for 4 Months!

We are so excited about the first week of Kindermusik that we’ve decided to host an Opening Week Giveaway, and it’s our biggest one yet!  We’re giving away FREE tuition for 4 months to 3 lucky folks.

Giveaway #1 – Free Tuition for 4 months for one family who would like to join the Friday 9:30 am Sing & Play class (for ages 1-2 years) at Asbury United Methodist Church from now until classes take a break in December.  (Winner pays $35 to cover the cost of materials for class.)

Giveaway #2 – Free Tuition for 4 months for one family who would like to join the Friday 10:15 am Wiggle & Grow class (for ages 2-3 years) at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church from now until classes take a break in December. (Winner pays $35 to cover the cost of materials for class.)

Giveaway #3 – Free Tuition for 4 months for one family who would like to join the Thursday 11:30 am Laugh & Learn class (for ages 3-5 years) at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church from now until classes take a break in December. (Winner pays $35 to cover the cost of materials for class.)

When are the classes?  Classes start this week, Sept. 9!

How do you enter? Just email kindermusikwithjoy@gmail.com by 10:00 pm Tuesday, Sept. 10 saying that you’d like to enter the contest and telling us your child’s age and agegroup.  Winners will be chosen by 8:00 am Wednesday, Sept. 11.  Giveaway Rules:  Winner chosen from random drawing of all correct entries.  Any person who submits an email entry by the contest deadline will be entered into the prize drawing at the end of the contest.  Winners will be announced on the Kindermusik with Joy Facebook page.  Winners will also be notified directly by email.  Offer good only to families not currently enrolled for the School Year with Kindermusik with Joy.


Tech Tips: Moving your Kindermusik eBooks to iBooks

DHM Logo

Want to read your new Kindermusik eBooks on your iPad without having to use a web browser? Here are a few simple steps to get you there:

  • Click on the Story link in your Digital Home Materials Download Center (the colorful box on the bottom right of the screen) to download.  NOTE:  You will need to be on a desktop.
  • Open the download.
  • Click to Extract or Unzip the file. (The word EXTRACT or UNZIP may appear toward the top of your screen or may be accessed by a right click.) Most computers come with software to extract files and will know exactly what to do. If your computer does not, you will need to download this free software, 7zip. Follow the directions on the site. It’s easy.
  • When you click to extract or unzip the file, it will ask you where you want to save it. I usually choose to put it in Libraries/DigitalHomeMaterials. I have folders for each curriculum and under that, folders for each unit. Example: Libraries/DigitalHomeMaterials/KMWiggle&Grow/UpintheSky
  • To be able to easily transfer my eBook to my phone or iPad, I copy the file into DropBox (which I also have as an app on my iPad). It is free to download and easy to use. Just drag or copy/paste the files into your DropBox folder.  If you don’t want to download the DropBox software, another really easy option is to simply email yourself the file as an attachment.
  • Now that you have copied the file to DropBox or emailed it to yourself, you can click on the file to open it on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Use the buttons in the top right corner of the now open file to select “Open In iBooks”.
  • Your new eBook is now available for you to read at any time in iBooks.

This takes me about 5 minutes or less to do! – Written and Shared by the IT folks at Kindermusik International, Adapted for eBook instructions by Joy Granade
UPDATE 8/9/2013 – We have heard through the grapevine that there’s a free WinZip you can download to unZip files directly on your iPad.  While we can’t attest to whether or not it works, we thought we’d mention it in case it is helpful.


Tech Tips: Unziping Your Downloads & Burning a CD

DHM Logo

Need to unZIP?  Learn how to unzip or extract files, such as the music, activities, or lyrics downloads from your  Kindermusik@Home units.  Instructions are also included for burning a CD:

  • From your desktop computer click on album link to download.
  • Open the download.
  • Click to Extract or Unzip the file.  (The word EXTRACT or UNZIP may appear toward the top of your screen or may be accessed by a right click.) Most computers come with software to extract files and will know exactly what to do. If your computer does not, you will need to download this free software, 7zip.  Follow the directions on the site. It’s easy.
  • When you click to extract or unzip the album, it will ask you where you want to save it. I usually choose to put it in Libraries/Music. I have folders for each curriculum and under that, folders for each unit. Example: Libraries/Music/KMLaugh&Learn/Carnival of Music
  • To be able to easily transfer my music to my phone, iPad, iPod, or to burn a CD, I copy the audio files into iTunes. It is free to download and easy to use. Just drag or copy/paste the audio files into your music library on iTunes.  (Or if you’ve unzipped a book or activities from class, you can email the .pdf to yourself or use DropBox to move it to your tablet or smartphone.)
  • Create a playlist in iTunes.  Click on File (top left corner), select New Playlist. It will create a place for you to give your playlist a name, such as the name of the album.
  • Drag the new tracks from the music library into your playlist.
  • To burn a CD, click on the same file tab (top left corner), and select Burn playlist to disc.

This takes me about 10 minutes to do, from download to burned CD! – Written and Shared by the IT folks at Kindermusik International

UPDATE 8/9/2013 – We have heard through the grapevine that there’s a free WinZip you can download to unZip files directly on your iPad or iPhone.  We can’t attest to whether or not it works, but we thought we’d share in case it is helpful.


Digital Home Materials FAQs

Revolution
Get ready.  We’re gonna’ rock your world a little bit and maybe even your boat too.  We are joining the revolution of the evolution of our awesome new Digital Home Materials. 

DHM Logo

my.kindermusik.com

So what does that mean, and how does it affect you?  It means that Kindermusik International has done it again.  They’ve made the magic, learning, and music they’re known for new once more…and this time it’s easier, more convenient, and more applicable than ever before.  Through rigorous research, planning, thought, love, and care, Kindermusik International has created a digital delivery system that will bring music, literature, home activities, videos, and up-to-date research on child development into your hands anytime and anywhere.  These materials are accessible on your home computer, tablet, or smartphone.  (Um, yep.  You heard that right.  Standing in the grocery line, anyone?  Waiting at the doctor’s office?)  They bring you everything you love about Kindermusik in an eco-friendly digital format that will never get lost, left behind, chewed up, used up, or need to be trucked there to here wasting-fossil-fuels-up.

It’s an exciting time to be part of the Kindermusik family.  We hope you love Kindermusik@Home as much we do!

Have some questions?  We want to answer them!  If you don’t find what you’re looking for below, email us at kindermusikwithjoy@gmail.com.

First, we recommend watching these videos on how to get started with your materials.

Kindermusik @ Home on your PC: http://youtu.be/9x0OY5ec2Vk
Kindermusik @ Home on your Mac: http://youtu.be/iqzHiwhnpFE
Kindermusik @ Home on your smartphone or tablet: http://youtu.be/6AqVAD0yUFQ

In less than 5 minutes, you can find detailed instructions for signing in, navigating the site, and downloading and opening your music, activities, and more.

Our family has rules about screen time. Aside from the downloading the music, how can we use these materials? SelectShow

How do I find or access my materials? SelectShow

I'm having trouble accessing my materials. What do I do? SelectShow

How do I get the music for the class? How do I make a CD for my car? SelectShow

How do I unzip my music, activities, and/or lyrics downloads? SelectShow

Can we get instruments, physical books, or CDs? SelectShow

Why are my charges lower than before? SelectShow

How do I get my new eBook in iBooks on my iPad? SelectShow

I want an easier way to get to these materials on my iDevice. SelectShow

But my child is enrolled in Young Child. When do I get Digital Home Materials? SelectShow


See What’s New at Kindermusik!

As we’ve mentioned this week, there are some fun changes for next year.  Here are some of the important things to note as you register for Summer or School Year classes:

Pay Less Up Front – All classes regardless of agegroup will have a $20 Registration Fee for Summer and a $35 Registration Fee for Fall.

Lower Monthly Payments – For children under 5 years, your monthly payments will now be just $48 per month for Summer and our School Year Sessions.  Young Child classes will be $59 per month for Summer and for the School Year.

An Extra Week of Class at No Extra Charge to You – We’ll be adding an extra week of classes to our Calendar for May next School Year as a nice little bonus to you all (excepting Young Child classes which will need to finish earlier in order to ensure completion – even in the event of needing make-ups – before Young Child Graduation).

All New Agegroups – You may have noticed our School Year schedule has all new agegroups.  Here are again the names and age breakdowns for the new groups:

  • Cuddle & Bounce – for infants and crawlers
  • Sing & Play – for walkers to 2’s
  • Wiggle & Grow – for 2’s and 3’s
  • Laugh & Learn – for 3’s and 4’s
  • Young Child – for 5’s and 6’s

And Fun New Curricula and Themes – In addition to all new agegroups, Kindermusik has completely re-written all their curricula except the already amazing Young Child classes.  We’ll have new themes for you every 4 weeks of class.  While not even all the themes for School Year have been released yet, you can see two fun new themes for toddlers and preschoolers for summer here.

Don’t forget to sign up right away!  Classes always fill quickly, and we don’t want you to miss out on all the fun ahead!