Before having Zach, I was dreading the day when I would get stuck listening to awful kids music. You know the kind I’m talking about. The kind that gets stuck in your head, but not in a good way, and has ridiculous lyrics. Why does music talk down to kids? It’s like someone, somewhere, said, “Kids music won’t sell unless it’s about one of these five topics, is super repetitive, and uses no more than 25 different words per song.” Some of it is okay, but most of it is enough to make anyone over the age of five lose their minds. Especially if you’re trapped in a car with it or your kids play it on a constant loop. My sister listened to those Barney songs endlessly when she was little. It was brutal then and I was a kid, too! That’s why I was SOOOO excited when I found “Beautiful Creatures.” It’s music for the kids and parents, and won’t have you considering riding on the roof of your car to get away from it.
To be honest, Andy actually gets the credit for finding these. He came across them while we were out rummaging one day shortly after Zach was born. There were two cd’s, “Beautiful Creates” and “More Beautiful Creatures” and they were African safari animal themed. Since we decorated Zach’s room in African safari animal babies and parents, we were still very much in the zone of keeping an eye out for anything related to the theme. At .50 a piece we couldn’t turn them down. At the worst, we would’ve wasted a dollar. We picked up both and listened to them for the first time later that day. We got one heck of a bargain.
Ah-mazing kids music!
The songs are beautifully written, fun and educational, and teach kids about African animals. We’ve learned a lot too, actually! Each song is about a specific species, usually a story about one particular animal, that teaches about the animal’s temperament, appearance, and fun facts. For example, I had no idea that Ostriches ate rocks to help them digest their food. Some of the songs even provide warnings to kids about leaving the animals alone if they come across them in the wild (like snakes and hippos), which is a lot more important I suppose if you actually live in Africa.
After falling in love with the music, I looked into it a little more. As it turns out, we were incredibly lucky to come across this music! They were written by three parents in South Africa who “felt there was a need for parent friendly children’s music,” according to their site. There are actually 8 albums, most about animals, but some not (all fantastic, by the way). They also have books and a television show. While it seems they are popular in South Africa, they are virtually unheard of here. You can’t buy these at Target.
More than just songs about animals
They have a cd for lullabies called “Beautiful Lullabies.” There is also one about getting ready for bed called “Beautiful Bedtime” which takes you through the whole evening of brushing teeth, getting on pajamas and reading stories. What I love about that one is the songs start out upbeat and gradually get more calm until the last few songs which are completely lullabies. There is also one called “Beautiful Me,” all about proper behavior and growing up, including songs about siblings and spreading the message of positivity and acceptance of oneself. The authors do most of the singing, along with some of their kids.
I can’t stress enough how fantastic this music is. We’ve been listening to this music for 17 months now. Just the other day, Andy and I were discussing how strange it was that we’ve heard these songs nearly every single time we’ve been in the car with Zach, and we’re really not sick of them. Oh sure, on occasion we’d rather listen to silence or something other than kids songs, but if I have to listen to kids music, this is definitely what I choose.
Where to find “Beautiful Creatures”
You can listen to a lot of the songs on YouTube, but you’ll want to purchase the cd’s after you listen for a while. You’ll be completely hooked. For the first several months, we’d find ourselves singing the song about Imvubu the hippo, Zach’s favorite. Surprisingly, I never mind having these songs stuck in my head. They’re creative, positive, catchy, and if I was singing them Zach was happy, too!
Do yourself a favor and head over to the Beautiful Creatures site and listen to some snippets of the songs. Or look them up on YouTube. Then go and order cd’s directly from Amazon (they aren’t available on their site anymore) or buy it on iTunes. Only the “Beautiful Creatures” cd is available at this time on Amazon. Whatever you end up buying, you will not be sorry. Having kids music like this in our car at all times has been a life saver. Zach really hates rear-facing and gets crabby; he’s not a baby that loves riding in the car. But anytime he starts to fuss we turn on one of his cds and he’s happy again 99% of the time. And he’s fallen asleep to the relaxing, lullabies at the end plenty of times.
These really are some great songs, written with both kids and parents in mind. You won’t regret checking them out!
Do you have any awesome, parent-friendly, kids music to recommend?
-To your Better Life-