The hubs decided that we are going to take an impromptu 10 hour road trip next weekend. While I love traveling with my family, being cooped in the car with my three rowdy kiddos can be enough to turn my hair gray. Can you relate? One of the things that keeps the kids happy in the car is good music. Of course, their definition of “good” is often very different from mine! After trying out DOZENS of kids’ albums, I think we finally have a pretty good selection of CDs for the car that we can all agree are great. So today, I’m sharing my list of the best, non-irritating kids’ albums for your car. And guess what!? I’m giving away some of these albums! So keep on readin’!

**This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. That means I will earn a small commission at NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU when you order on Amazon through my site. Thanks for your support :)

Best Kids' Albums Collage

In no particular order, here is my family’s list of the best, non-irritating kids’ albums for your car:

1. Okee Dokee Brothers: Can You Canoe

My sister got this album for my kids for Christmas this year. I could just kiss her. It’s SO fun. The music has a very country/folk/blue grass feel, but the songs are so clever! My kids and I love this one. And when friends ride with us, this is the album they request to listen to.

The Okee Dokee Brothers

2. Jazz for Kids

I got this album before Addison was born. For some reason I thought to add a ton of children’s albums to my baby registry (one of my better ideas!) and this one was a total hit. We still love it all these years later. Some of the Jazz greats sing fantastic versions of classic kids’ songs. And My kids now adore the song “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.

Jazz for Kids

3. Caspar Babypants: Sing Along!

This one was given to us by a dear friend who said that this album was all the rage among her mom-friends in Seattle simply for the fact that it isn’t annoying to listen to! I have to agree. The songs are quirky and catchy. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself listening to it in the car when the kids aren’t with you!
Caspar Babypants

4. For the Kids

This album contains a variety of artists singing a WIDE array of songs. My personal favorite on the album is Sarah McLachlan singing “Rainbow Connection”. But my kids love the Bare Naked Ladies song “La-La-Lemon”. There is really something for everyone on this one. We’ve listened to this one so much that half the songs now skip.

For the Kids

5. Playing for Change

Although this isn’t technically a kids’ album, it is definitely loved by mine. And it DEFINITELY falls into the “non-irritating” category. In fact, once you learn HOW they make these albums, you’ll be blown away. Playing for Change is an organization that began recording street performers and local artists from around the world singing songs in their own languages and in their own style. They organization splices together the tracks from these various singers and musicians to create one, MAGICAL  version of each song. Take a look at this clip featuring the song Stand By Me…I promise, this is worth the watch!
Playing for Change

6. Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woodie Guthrie

This album is just plain SWEET. It’s about as folky as they get, but it is really easy to listen to. My kids love every song on the album…and I love that it mellows everyone out!

Little Seed

7. Not For Kids Only

Who DOESN’T love Jerry Garcia and Dave Grisman?? This album is essentially Jerry and Dave playing a bunch of kids’ songs (you can kinda picture them sitting on a front porch somewhere recording these songs). But the musicality is spot on, and the lyrics are laugh-out-loud funny in spots. Even the hubster loves this one.

Not for Kids Only

8. Seeds Family Worship

I love this ministry. I bought all of their albums in a set, based solely on the recommendation of a friend. I am SO glad I did. The folks at Seeds have managed to take passages of scripture, word for word, and turn them into AWESOME songs that are SO fun to listen to. These are some of the most requested CDs by my kiddos. And the most incredible part is that my 3 YEAR-OLD is reciting scripture, complete with the Bible address thanks to these songs. I wish I had a video to share of them rocking out in the car singing Philippians 4:6-7!

Seeds Family Worship

But the BEST part about Seeds Family Worship is that when you order one of their albums, they GIVE you a second one to share with someone. So guess what!! It’s time for a giveaway! One lucky Homespun Sprout reader will win a set of Seeds Family Worship albums valued at $76! These CDs have been such a blessing to my family. I can’t wait to share them with you too! The giveaway ends Sunday, April 26th…good luck!

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We are pretty well established in our “public school routine” after having given up on homeschooling this past January. And although putting Addison in school has been a HUGE blessing, it’s not all sunshine and roses. There are definitely parts of this school thing that we struggle with. For me, the biggest struggle is the lack of “fun” time I get to spend with Addison. The morning tends to be a whirlwind to get out the door. And then by the time she comes home, it’s just about time to start prepping dinner. There isn’t much room for crafts, or projects, or games. For Addison, the biggest struggle has been homework, and more specifically, SIGHT WORDS. And who can blame her? What kid wants to sit in school all day just to come home and have to memorize piles of random 2-4 letter words? So to combat this problem, and to use up some of my massive stash of paint chips, I came up with two fun ways to practice sight words. Paint Chip Sight Word Games! And look at that…we get to spend some fun quality time together while we do homework!

Paint Chip Sight Word Games

I have a giant stack of paint chips from various other projects and activities (like these paint chip tangrams!) And I LOVE these things. They are bright, beautiful colors, and they are sturdier than cardstock. While brainstorming ways to make our sight word practice a little more fun (and effective), it dawned on me that I just needed to figure out how to turn it into a game. And what better game than Memory? Addison loves to play memory, and she’s GOOD at it. So by taking something that’s a challenge (sight words) and putting it in the form of something fun that she’s ALREADY good at (Memory), we have set the stage for success. I can’t believe the progress she’s made in just a couple days.

To make your sight word cards, you’ll need paint chips in a few colors. Cut them into strips and write the sight words twice (on the same color chips). Place them facedown on a table and take turns turning over two cards at a time. The most important part is making sure you BOTH read the words aloud at every turn. The person with the most matches wins!

paint chip site word memory game 1

The second game that can be played with these cards is Go-Fish. Each player draws 5 cards. The rest should be put facedown in the middle of the table as the “fish pond”. Player 1 asks if player 2 has a certain sight word in his or her hand. If a match is made, player 1 puts the match down on the table and gets to take another turn. If a match is not made, player 1 must draw a card from the fish pond. In order to ask for a card, the child must be able to read the word! We haven’t tried this one yet…Memory is still keeping Addison’s attention pretty well. But I will be anxious to see how it works once she gets tired of Memory.

paint chip sight word go-fish game

I also wanted to share another fantastic idea I ran across today on Facebook. My friend Cassie over at 3Dinosaurs shared an awesome post about using hopscotch to work on sight words! We will definitely be trying that one out too! Do you have any games or tricks for making sight word practice less painful? If so, please share in the comments or on Facebook!

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Snail Collage

Hobby Lobby is a dangerous place for me when it comes to impulse buys. Can you relate? On my last trip, I was shopping with all three children (which is enough to put me into a state of intense perspiration…but that’s another story). On this particular shopping adventure, I saw a bag of GORGEOUS, brightly colored marbles on an end cap in the checkout line. Usually the brilliant minds at Hobby Lobby save these locations for trendy “Frozen” toys, the glue sticks that you forgot back on aisle 17, and candy. But marbles? Who buys marbles?? Apparently I do. I couldn’t resist. The marbles sat on my counter for a couple days before I came up with a plan for them…kid-made miniature garden snails!

I love seeing gardens (especially miniature gardens) with little critters and treasures tucked in the plants. Some cute snails seemed like just the thing my patio plants needed! And the best part? I was able to get out my Sculpey clay for Addison to try out! So here’s how we made them.

**This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links. That means that if you happen to make a purchase on Amazon by clicking though my site, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Materials

Sculpey clay is great for kids to work with. It’s soft and pliable, and there are tons of fun colors to chose from. Addison had a blast playing with it while we made our miniature garden snails!

mini snails 3

To begin, place a piece of parchment paper, a paper plate, or a plastic placemat at your work space. The Sculpey clay can stain surfaces and leaves a bit of a film on wood finishes.

Tear off a small amount of the clay color of your choice. Roll it into a small oval shape. it should be about 1 1/2-2 inches long and it should be slightly tapered on the ends. Bend one end up a bit to make your snail’s head.

Mini Snails 2

Press a marble on to the snail’s back to make an indentation. This indentation will stay there when you bake your snails. You’ll glue the marble on later.

Next, cut 1/2″-1″ pieces of craft wire. You will need two per snail. These will become your snails’ eyes. Gently press the wire pieces into your snails’ heads. The wire can stay there during baking.

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees. Place your snail bodies on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Bake the snails for 30 minutes. Allow to cool.

mini snails 5

Next, place a small dot of glue in the indentation you made with the marbles earlier. Place the marbles on the glue and allow to dry completely.

Mini Garden Snails 1

Your finished snails will be water resistant (don’t submerge them in water) and will add SUCH a cute touch to your garden or potted plants!

Mini Snails 4

 

 

 

 

 

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